Trust to lead

Join us to make sure all adults who work regularly with children can be trusted to lead.

Join our campaign

We all expect the people who look after our children to be safe to do so. But this is not always the case.

Right now there are 2 legal loopholes for adults working with children:

  • 16 and 17 year olds aren’t fully covered by consent laws meant to protect them
  • people who are unsuitable to work with children can do so.

These loopholes could mean adults are able to exploit the close relationships they build with young people in a trusted environment.

Help us close the loopholes

1. Protecting 16 and 17 year olds from sexual abuse

The law as it stands

  • Sexual activity involving children under 16 is illegal in the UK.

And when the adult is in a 'position of trust':

  • Sexual activity and relationships involving a child under 18 is illegal.

The loophole

Right now, the position of trust law only applies to adults in certain professions such as teaching or care.

But there are adults working closely with children who aren't covered by this law.

This gap allows adults to build a relationship of trust with a child within a trusted environment, which could be exploited for the purpose of grooming

Teachers are covered by the position of trust law. But some professionals working with children aren't: Roles not covered by the position of trust law gif

2. Everyone working with children should get the right DBS check

Book and pencil

Adults regularly working alone with children are legally required to have the top level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (an enhanced DBS with barred list check). But adults trusted to work alongside them can't legally get this check.

This means someone who's been disqualified from working with children and young people can still have contact with them.

A full and proper DBS check is not a lengthy process. We shouldn't sacrifice our children's safety to save a few minutes' paperwork.

Join our call to keep children safe and ensure that everyone working closely with children gets the right checks.

We're calling on the Government to:

  • Protect children from grooming by making a 'position of trust' cover anyone who works regularly with children.
  • Change the law so anyone regularly working with children can have a barred list check.
  • Ensure everyone regularly working with children can be trusted to lead.

Find out more about our policy calls.


Join us to make sure we can trust all adults working with children.

Join our campaign

Lee's story

"I knew what he was doing was wrong. I wanted it to stop but part of me was afraid to speak out."

Read Lee's story

"He made me strip naked and exercise. He told me I wasn't good enough and was weak and that the extra training sessions would make me stronger. I believed he was trying to help me and that this was normal."
Adult survivor who contacted our football helpline

Sign up as a campaigner

Campaign to make sure children are better protected in sport and beyond.

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Find out more


Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know - a family member, friend or professional. 
Read more about grooming

New helpline for footballers who’ve experienced sexual abuse

We launch a new support line following ex-football players Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart speaking out about abuse
Read more

Preventing child sexual abuse

How we can help protect children and young people from sexual abuse.

Help prevent child sexual abuse

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