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Child Protection Policy
Pirates Document Status: Final
Document Owner Club Safety Officer
Version Number: 2.0
Release Date: 19 Apr 2010









Policy Statement
  • Protecting children from abuse is a responsibility that we must all undertake.Through the implementation of strategies that assist in preventing child abuse from occurring the Quakers Hill Pirates Baseball Club has taken a pro-active role in relation to child protection and intervention.
  • These strategies will help to foster a safe and positive environment for children and young people to participate in our sport and club activities.
  • The club is committed to ensuring that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people is maintained at all times during their participation in activities run by the Pirates Club.
  • The Pirates club aims to promote a safe environment for all children and to assist officials, coaches, members and volunteers to recognise child abuse and neglect and to follow the appropriate notification procedures when reporting alleged abuse.

Rationale
  • The focus of the policy and guidelines is the prevention of child abuse in the sporting environment. This policy and guidelines promote the care and protection of children participating in baseball at the Pirates club and provide information and direction for officials, coaches, volunteers, parents and members of the organisation.
  • This policy and guidelines will assist the Quakers Hill Pirates Club in establishing coordinated strategies for dealing with the problem of child abuse and neglect in a responsible, effective and consistent manner

What is a Child?
  • For the purpose of this policy a child is considered to be a person under 18 years of age.

Understanding Child Abuse
  • Child abuse can take many forms. Children may be harmed by both verbal and physical actions. They may also be harmed by people failing to provide them with basic care. Child abuse could include;
  • Sexual Abuse/Sexual Misconduct – any sexual act or sexual threat imposed on a child, including suggestive behaviour and inappropriate touching.
  • Physical Abuse – non-accidental injury and/or harm to a child caused by a parent, care-giver or another person responsible for the child.
  • Emotional abuse – behaviours that may psychologically harm a child, including severe verbal abuse and threats of abuse or excessive and unreasonable demands.
  • Neglect – where a child is harmed by the failure to provide the child with the basic physical and emotional necessities of life.

The greatest risk for sport and recreation clubs would be sexual and physical abuse, however, emotional abuse is also a serious problem. All forms of child abuse must be avoided and addressed.


Indicators Child Abuse

It is important that people working with children are aware of the indicators of abuse and have the confidence to respond to any indication that a child may have been abused. Some indicators of child abuse are:

  • bruising, particularly in the face, head or neck region
  • multiple bruising or injuries - for example, burns, scalds, sprains, dislocations or fractures
  • injury left untreated
  • differing versions of how an injury occurred
  • child/relative advising of abusea child, referring to someone else being abused, may mean him/herself
  • sexual behaviour that is inappropriate for the age of the child
  • nightmares/bedwetting/going to bed fully-clothed
  • a high level of distrust of other people
  • an inability to relate well with adults and/or children
  • extreme attention-seeking behaviour, disruptive or aggressive behaviour and bullying
  • seeking indiscriminate or inappropriate adult affection.
The presence of one indicator does not necessarily suggest that a child is the subject of abuse. People working with children need to consider the context in which the indicators are observed and use common sense in the reporting of child abuse. If you feel any doubt, speak with the club Safety and Child Protection Officer or report to the authorities.

Roles and Responsibilities


All administrators, officials, coaches, members and volunteers
  1. have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for players and participants that is free from discrimination, harassment and abuse
  2. be aware of the indicators of child abuse so that they may recognise abusive situations
  3. report any suspected case of child abuse using the appropriate proceduresknow and understand the requirements placed on them by recent legislation, in relation to reporting child abuse and disclosing any child-related convictions they may have
  4. be aware of the contents of this policy and guidelines and the Code of Conduct and Adhere to these at all times
  5. recognise that they are role models and therefore are in a position of power and influence over children and young people
  6. behave in an appropriate manner to ensure that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children in their care is maintained at all times
  7. Read and sign the ‘Working with Children Check – Prohibited Employment Declaration’ form.

Parents

Parents have a responsibility to protect their children from abusive situations at all times, including when they participate in sport and recreation activities. Parents should:

  1. be aware of the indicators of child abuse so that they may recognise abusive situations
  2. ask if their child's sporting club has a policy and guidelines on child protection and intervention
  3. know the content of the policy and guidelines on child protection and intervention for their child's sporting club
  4. know the steps to take if they suspect a child has been abused
  5. educate their children about abuse and inappropriate behaviour
  6. let children know that it is OK to tell someone if they have fears or concerns about an adult or bigger person.
  7. Adhere to the clubs Code of Conduct.

Guidelines for Coaches, Officials and Parents



The following guidelines have been adapted from the play by the rules website and are provided to assist coaches and officials in working with children. These guidelines compliment the Pirates Club Code of Conduct which clearly defines the expected standards for fairness, equity and good sportsmanship in baseball, both on and off the field.


Physical Contact


Generally physical contact with players/participants should be:
  • To develop sport skills.
  • To treat an injury.
  • To prevent or respond to an injury.
  • To meet the specific requirements of the sport.

All physical contact by personnel should fulfil the following criteria:

  • Physical contact should be appropriate for the development of sport skills.
  • Permission from the player/participant should be sought.
  • Player / participants to be congratulated or comforted in a public setting not in an isolated setting.

Supervision of Children:

  • The number of adults needed will depend on the age and number of children involved, and whether there are disability considerations.

Being alone with a child:

  • Do not isolate yourself and a child and avoid being alone with any particular child. If a child approaches you and wants to talk to you privately about a matter, do so in an open area and in the sight of other adults.
  • Ideally advise another coach or official and ask them to stay within sight while you have the discussion and to come to your assistance if the child becomes emotional and/or you indicate support is required in dealing with the child.
  • Avoid unaccompanied and unobserved activities with children.

Adopt positive language and behaviour:

  • Adopt positive language when talking with children and in the presence of children.
  • This includes avoiding bad or aggressive language that could intimidate a child or set a poor example.

Change Rooms:

  • Before going into change rooms knock or announce that you will be coming in and try to have at least one other adult with you in a change room with children.
  • Do not isolate yourself and a child from others in the change room.

Maintain Control – avoid losing your temper:

Try not to lose your temper with a child (verbally or physically). If you find tha you regularly lose your temper with children you should seek support on behaviour management strategies, anger management or consider whether you have the patience to work with children. Some ideas to assist with maintaining control include;

  • Setup basic rules at the beginning of the season – ie. Be nice, follow instructions, have a go, no put downs. Make sure children are aware of these rules. 
  • Give positive messages.
  • Have a time out area for children and young people that are not behaving. 
  • Consider a card system to express concerns about a child’s behaviour rather than yelling at them. Ie. A yellow card is a warning, two yellow cards is time out and a red card could mean a child misses a game.

Collection by parents / guardians:

  • Let children, parents/guardians know the times of training and games, when they can expect to collect their children and that it is not your responsibility to transport children home if parents are delayed. 
  • Avoid being left alone with a child whilst waiting for them to be picked up – do this by having a parent/guardian assist at training as a support person, or have the ‘second to last’ parent wait with you for the final parent. 
  • The club should maintain emergency contact numbers for all parent/guardians.
  • Each team should have access to the numbers for their team members.

Transport of players / participants:

Ideally all players/participants should have their own transportation to and from training and games. You should only provide transportation when;

  • The driver is properly licensed.
  • Other players/participants/parents/guardians are in the vehicle.
  • The ride has been approved by parents/guardians.
  • The ride is directly to/from club activities.
  • You should also call someone and tell them what you are doing, the exact time you are leaving – so that you are accountable for your time.

Overnight Trips:

  • Always have more than one adult with children on an overnight trip and do not separate yourself and children from other adults.
  • There should always be more than one adult with a group of children, even if the number of children is small.
  • Adults should avoid sleeping in the same room.
  • There must be emergency procedures in place to enable supervising adults to be able to respond to any alarm raised by a child.
  • If an alarm is raised by a child, more than one adult should respond.

Injuries and illness:

Only persons who are qualified in administering first aid or treating sports injuries should attempt to treat an injury. Medical assistance should be sort if required. Considerations include;

  • Avoid treating injuries out of sight of others.
  • The comfort level and dignity or the injured persons should be a priority.
  • Only uncover the injured area.
  • Always report injuries and any treatment provided to parents and document and incident.
  • If necessary seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Remove any child that is bleeding from the game and treat the bleeding before allowing them to rejoin the activity.
  • Report any injuries to the Club Safety Officer.

Photographing children:

  • You should be aware that there are some people who visit sporting events to take inappropriate photographs or video of children.
  • You should be alert to this possibility and report any concerns to the Club Safety Officer or Executive Committee.

Key Principles For Dealing With Incidents

An allegation of child abuse is a very serious mater and must be handled with a high degree of sensitivity. The initial response to the alleged abuse of a child should be immediate in incidents that are serious or criminal in nature while less serious/urgent allegations should be actioned as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours.

The following is a basic outline of the key principles and process to follow:

Step 1 – clarify basic details of allegation:

  • Refer any complaints, concerns or allegations to Club Safety & Child Protection Officer or the Club President.
  • The initial response of the person to whom the child (or person on behalf of the child) confides is crucial to the well-being of the child. It is important for the person receiving the information to:
    • Listen to and believe what the child says;
    • Reassure the child that what has occurred is not the fault of the child;
    • Ensure the child is safe;
    • Be honest with the child and explain that other people may need to be told in order to stop what is happening;
    • Ensure that what the child says is quite clear but do not elicit detailed information about the abuse.
      • Obtain and clarify basic details:
      • Child’s name, age and address
      • Person’s reason for suspecting abuse (observation, injury or other)
      • Names and contact details of all people involved, including witnesses

Step 2 – Report allegations of a more serious nature:

To deal appropriately with these issues and to ensure that the confidentiality of all parties involved is maintained, one person within the Pirates Baseball Club will be designated as the child protection officer – this role lies with the Club Safety Officer.The Club Safety Officer is responsible for reporting any allegations of child abuse that occur within the club to the local branch of the Department of Community Services (DoCS), and the NSW Police Force.
If the Club Safety Officer is not available then the Club President should be notified.
Club Safety Officer (includes role of Child Protection Officer):
Name: - Mark Alsford 0410 437 436
Club President:
Name: Michael Fitzgibbon 0437 033 505
If there is any doubt about whether the allegation should be reported the Club Safety Officer will contact the relevant state authority (Police / DoCS) for advice.
The NSW Department of Sport & Recreation has a Child Protection Infoline for advice on child protection
issues Ph: 1300366407.


Step 3 – Protect the child:
It is the responsibility of the Executive Committee and the Club Safety Officer to:

  • Assess the risks and take interim action to ensure the child’s/children’s safety.
  • Some options could include redeployment of the alleged offender to a non-child related position, supervision of the alleged offender or removal from their duties. 
  • Address the support needs of the alleged offender.
  • Supervision would ideally occur with the knowledge of the person.
  • If stood down, it should be made clear to all parties that are aware of the incident that this does no mean the person is guilty and a proper investigation still needs to be undertaken.

Step 4 – Further clarify and investigate allegation:
For allegations of a more serious nature (e.g. sexual abuse)

  • Maintain strict confidentiality, fairness and due process
  • The Club Safety Officer should liase with the club executive committee and the relevant authority (Police / DoCS) and be guided by their requirements.

For allegations of a less serious nature (e.g. verbal abuse)

  • These matters should be reported to the Club Safety Officer or a member of the Executive Committee
  • The guidelines set out in the ‘Grievance Procedure’ document should be adhered to with the exception that where the issue relates to child protection or abuse the club safety officer will participate in the hearing with the executive committee.

Important Contacts


Club President Michael Fitzgibbon 0437 033 505  
Club Safety Officer Mark Alsford 0410 437 436  
Department of Community Services (DoCS) Helpline - 132111 -
NSW Police Assistance Line - 131444 -
NSW Dept of Sport & Recreation Child Protection Infoline - 1300 366 407 www.dsr.nsw.gov.au









Resources

 

  • NSW Sport & Recreation ‘Child Protection in Sport and Recreation – Guidelines for parents/guardians and Children’
  • NSW Sport & Recreation ‘Child Protection in Sport and Recreation – Guidelines achieving child protection for sport and recreation clubs’
  • NSW Sport & Recreation ‘Child Protection in Sport and Recreation – ‘A simple guide for sport and recreation organisations’
  • NSW Sport & Recreation - www.playbytherules.net.au
  • Australian Sports Commission - http://www.ausport.gov.au/ethics/