By implementing the strategies listed below, clubs and associations can provide a safer and more enjoyable sporting environment for children.
- Appoint a child protection (member protection) representative. This person should be the first point of contact if a child, parent or other member of the club or association becomes concerned about an incident.
- Have the child protection (member protection) representative appropriately trained and their details and role well advertised within the club and association. See our online training here.
- Adopt or update policies and procedures recommended by your national organisation. If there is not an affiliated peak organisation, the club or association should develop its own policies and procedures. The policy should include a complaints process and codes of behaviour for all roles within the sport, stating what is acceptable behaviour. See our Member Protection templates here.
- Adopt thorough recruitment and selection practices for paid and voluntary positions. These practices should include job descriptions, interviews, checking references and where appropriate, conducting police checks. UK Athletics have produced an excellent guide around recruitment you can download here.
- Promote the policy and procedures to all members, particularly coaches, and make them easily accessible (for example, put them on your website).
- Ensure clubs and associations meet all relevant state child protection legislative requirements. The information and processes for applying for a Working With Children Check (if relevant) should be available from the sport’s Member Protection Policy
- State and national organisations need to ensure that teams travelling into states/territories with specific child protection legislation are also aware of the requirements under the legislation. The information and processes for applying for a Working With Children Check (if relevant) should be available from the sport’s Member Protection Policy.
- Respond to suspected, allegations and complaints of child abuse. Where there is an incident of suspected child abuse, the child protection representative for the club or association should immediately make contact with the national organisation and/or the relevant authorities to seek advice.
- Ensure there is no harassment and victimisation of the child or the person who made the allegation on behalf of the child.
- Use accredited coaches and officials and check that their accreditation is current.
- Provide information to coaches and others working with children about how to recognise child abuse and give them directions on what to do if abuse is reported or suspected.
- Conduct an education and training program to increase awareness of child abuse (various agencies in each state that can assist with this).
You can download an information sheet with these strategies here.