The issue of child abuse is a complex problem that has an impact on all areas of society, including participation in sport and recreation activities.
The Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service, led to increased community awareness of the significant number of child sexual assaults and incidents of abuse which occur. It also highlighted the need for the development and implementation of strategies to protect children from abusive situations.
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, Rockdale City Suns 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 physical activities.
In addition, development of Child Protection and Intervention Policy and Guidelines provides the Organisation with an excellent risk management tool for developing prevention strategies and for the effective management of child abuse issues within sport.
Information contained in this document will create a framework and provide direction for staff, officials, coaches, volunteers, members and parents of children and young people involved in Rockdale City Suns, and affiliated regional and local clubs. It will help deliver a consistent approach to child abuse prevention at all levels of the sport and recreation industry.
Rockdale City Suns is committed to ensuring that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children are maintained at all times during their participation in activities run by Rockdale City Suns and its member bodies. Rockdale City Suns aims to promote a safe environment for all children and to assist all staff, officials, coaches, members and volunteers to recognise child abuse and neglect and follow the appropriate notification procedures when reporting alleged abuse.
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 football competition and provide information and direction for employees, official, coaches, volunteers and members of the organisation.
This policy and guidelines will assist Rockdale City Suns in establishing coordinated strategies for dealing with the problem of child abuse and neglect in a responsible, effective and consistent manner.
Through the development of this policy Rockdale City Suns’ objectives are to:
1. provide information to assist staff and volunteers in dealing with all forms of child abuse
2. provide comprehensive guidelines relating to risk minimisation and reporting/ notification procedures
3. provide direction to all staff and volunteers regarding their legal responsibilities under child protection legislation
4. promote and adopt principles for child protection and intervention amongst staff, volunteers, coaches, members and parents of children participating in the organisation€™s programs and competitions.
SCOPE OF POLICY
The Child Protection Intervention Policy of Rockdale City Suns are applicable to all management and staff (paid, voluntary, permanent or casual) of Rockdale City Suns, and its affiliated regional/ local clubs.
IMPLEMENTATION OF LEGISLATION
In order to implement the child protection legislation Rockdale City Suns will undertake to:
1. implement strategies and procedures that focus on the best interests of children and meet the requirements of child protection legislation
2. promote a safe and supportive environment for all children and young people participating in activities which come under the umbrella of Rockdale City Suns.
3. increase awareness and emphasise the importance of child protection issues in a sporting environment to all those involved with the activities of
Rockdale City Suns. This includes administrators, coaches, officials, athletes, parents and their children.
4. ensure that all staff of Rockdale City Suns are aware of their responsibilities arising from recent child protection legislation, in particular, the requirement under the Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998, to inform their employers if they have been convicted of a serious sex offence.
Administrators, coaches, officials, members and volunteers often have a high level of contact with children in the sporting environment and play a major part in the successful operation of sporting activities.
Coaches and officials are often seen as role models. They have significant influence on the children they come into contact with and therefore have significant responsibilities. Rockdale City Suns expects that all administrators, coaches and officials whether paid or unpaid, who participate in organised sport under the banner of this Organisation will commit to implementing risk management strategies developed by Rockdale City Suns for child protection and intervention.
Rockdale City Suns Child Protection and Intervention Policy and Guidelines will be reviewed annually and updated in line with any legislative changes that have significant impact on the manner in which child protection and intervention issues are to be dealt with.
Notification Procedures for Allegations of Child Abuse – Rockdale City Suns
Rockdale City Suns acknowledges that issues regarding child abuse and the reporting of allegations of child abuse is highly sensitive, and should be dealt with in a confidential manner.
Rockdale City Suns has developed these notification procedures to ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout the process and that consistent procedures for reporting are encouraged.
Rockdale City Suns will be proactive in its role to protect children and encourage an open environment that allows employees and members to be aware of their rights and responsibilities within the Organisation.
CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER
To deal appropriately with these issues and to ensure that the confidentiality of all parties involved is maintained, one person within Rockdale City Suns will be designated as the child protection officer.
The child protection officer is responsible for reporting any allegations of child abuse that occur to the local branch of the Department of Community Services (DoCS), and the NSW Police Service.
If the child protection officer is not available then the most senior person within Rockdale City Suns should be notified.
Child Protection Officer:
Name: DENNIS LOETHER
Position: CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER- ROCKDALE CITY SUNS
WHAT SHOULD BE REPORTED?
Some incidents may seem minor, however, they may in fact reveal more serious concerns of misconduct or a pattern of behaviour that requires further scrutiny. All people associated with Rockdale City Suns should be aware of the indicators for child abuse and sexual abuse so that they may make an informed decision on what to report.
If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child participating in any organised activities conducted by Rockdale City Suns is at risk report the matter to the child protection officer.
Verbal notification of alleged child abuse must be followed up in writing within 24 hours to the local Department of Community Services using the child protection notification form provided.
If an incident of child abuse occurs it is not the responsibility of persons within Rockdale City Suns to take it upon themselves to determine whether the allegation is true or false. This responsibility belongs with the NSW Department of Community Service and the Judiciary.
Depending on the nature of the allegations and the extent of the situation, the NSW Department of Community Service will determine the manner in which the matter will be investigated. This may involve the NSW Police Service.
All matters regarding allegations of child abuse are to be treated as confidential. The person designated as the child protection officer is the contact person for any incident involving allegations of child abuse. This is essential for confidentiality. Confidentiality protects all individuals involved:
the alleged victim
the alleged offender, and
the person making the notification.
COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ACT 1998
Under the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998
Rockdale City Suns is required to:
1. notify the Commission for Children and Young People of the name and other identifying details of any employee against whom relevant disciplinary proceedings have been completed irrespective of the findings
(except where the allegation has been proven to be vexatious, mischievous or false)
2. provide details of child abuse allegations/ convictions against employees to the Commission
3. notify the Commission of any applicants for child-related employment, rejected as a result of risks identified through employment screening processes
4. ensure that records of all information required to be submitted to the Commission for Children and Young People are retained by Rockdale City Suns
CHILD PROTECTION (PROHIBITED EMPLOYMENT) ACT 1998
Under the Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 Rockdale City Suns
1. will not commence employing a person in a child-related position without first requiring them to disclose whether or not they are a prohibited person
2. will not commence employing, or continue to employ, in child-related employment, a person that has been identified as a prohibited person’s.
All paid and unpaid applicants for child related employment with Rockdale City Suns are required to sign a Rockdale City Suns Prohibited Employment Declaration form which confirms they are not a prohibited person.
All paid applicants for child related positions at Rockdale City Suns are required to sign a Rockdale City Suns Background Check Consent form.
Rockdale City Suns will submit all Rockdale City Suns Background Check Consent forms to the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation for them to conduct the Working with Children Check.