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Child Protection in Sport Central Coast Football - August 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Child Protection in Sport Central Coast Football - August 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Protection in Sport Central Coast Football - August 2006

2 Session overview Background & legislation Prevalence and types of abuse 5-Step process Recognising, preventing and dealing with abuse Responding to case scenarios

3 Why has Child Protection become such an issue? Child abuse is not a new problem There has been a dramatic increase in disclosures and the reporting of child abuse due to: 1.New legislation 2.Better reporting systems and structures, better education and awareness 3.Better support systems 4.Media coverage

4 Background The issue of Child Protection was brought to light through the Wood Royal Commission. Several important pieces of legislation arose from the recommendations made through the investigation which provided the basis for implementation of Child Protection measures and the creation/ammendment of further legislation. The relevant pieces of child protection legislation are: 1.Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act Commission for Children and Young People Act Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act Ombudsman Amendment (Child Protection and Community Services) Act Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act Commission for Children and Young People Amendment Act 2005

5 Legislation Overview Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act, 1998 greatly increased the range of people who are mandated to report child protection concerns. It also introduced the concept of Risk of Harm as the focus for reporting. Mandatory reporting responsibilities apply where there are: –Reasonable grounds to suspect risk of harm –Grounds arise during or from a persons work.

6 Legislation Overview Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 Established the Commission for Children and Young People to promote and monitor the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and participate in screening for child related employment. Makes it mandatory to screen applicants before appointment to a paid primary child related position and allows for discretionary screening of unpaid employees/volunteers.

7 Legislation Overview Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 Prohibits the employment in child related employment of prohibited persons - anyone found guilty of certain serious sex offence. Makes it an offence for prohibited persons to apply for, or remain in, child related employment. Requires employers to ask prospective employees to declare their prohibited person status.

8 Legislation Overview Ombudsman Amendment (Child Protection and Community Services) Act 1998 Covers employees of NSWSR. Gives the Ombudsman the power to scrutinise systems for the prevention, handling and response to child abuse allegations and convictions within organisations. Enables the Ombudsman to oversee and monitor investigations into child abuse allegations or intervene to directly investigate the allegation.

9 Legislation Overview Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 This Act has expanded the number of offences covered by the Prohibited Employment legislation and will significantly restrict the activities of sex offenders in NSW Over 1100 people have been placed on the sex offender register since November It is expected that over sex offenders will be added to the list each year

10 Legislation Overview Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2003 This Act defines more clearly defines reportable conduct for employees working in child related positions. It will provide some certainty for people working with children. It is OK to physically contact a child to instruct a sports skill It is OK to comfort a child who is upset It is OK to raise your voice to gain attention of a group

11 Legislation Overview Commission for Children and Young People Amendment Act 2005 Strengthens previous legislation to enable a cleaner approach to creating a safe environment for children Supports the Child Safe, Child Friendly approach for organisations Allows for screening of certain groups of volunteers in high risk areas Increases the Commissions powers to audit and intervene

12 How much of a problem is Child Abuse? It is a serious problem in society… 1.1:3 girls and 1:6 boys under age 16 will be sexually abused 2.Only 10% of abusers appear in court 3.1 abuser can effect children 4.98% of reported abuse is committed by men 5.Only 4% of abuse is attributed to strangers

13 Is this really a problem in sport?? Research into club & elite level (2000) athletes (Leahy, ASC 2000) 1.Sexual Abuse? 21% of men 31% of women 2.Abuse in the sporting environment? 46% of elite athletes 25% of club athletes 3.Common pattern Victims thought they were the only one, whereas the perpetrator was likely to be abusing several athletes at once

14 What is Child Abuse?? Child abuse is any action, physical or verbal, that exploits, harms or damages a childs physical, emotional or psychological wellbeing. Physical abuse Neglect Emotional abuse Sexual abuse

15 What is Child Abuse?? PHYSICAL ABUSE: non-accidental injury to a child by a parent, caregiver or another person responsible for a child. Examples include injuries caused by excessive discipline, beatings or shakings, bruising, lacerations or welts, burns, fractures or dislocation, female genital mutilation, attempted suffocation or strangulation. NEGLECT: failure to provide children with the basic physical and emotional necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter, emotional security, affectional attachments, medical care and adequate supervision.

16 What is Child Abuse?? EMOTIONAL ABUSE: a range of behaviours which can destroy the confidence of a child and result in significant emotional deprivation or trauma. It involves the impairment of a childs social, emotional, cognitive, intellectual development and/or disturbance of a childs behaviour. emotionally abusive behaviours include excessive or unreasonable demands, failure to provide the psychological nurturing and affection necessary for a childs physical and emotional growth and development, scape-goating or rejecting, severe verbal abuse and threats of abuse.

17 What is Child Abuse?? SEXUAL ABUSE: any sexual act or sexual threat imposed upon a child. Adults or adolescents who perpetrate child sexual abuse exploit the dependency and immaturity of children. coercion, which may be physical or psychological, is intrinsic to child sexual abuse and differentiates such abuse from consensual peer sexual activity. Behaviours constituting sexual abuse can include inappropriate kissing and fondling, digital, penile or object penetration of a childs body, use of children for pornography or prostitution, bestiality or forced participation in sexual activity with other children.

18 Why kids dont tell Who will believe them?? Guilt…. Children may feel they have a lot to lose by disclosing abuse?? –Family, friends, home, networks, self esteem After the abuse, guilt/ secrecy/ fear/ pretending things are normal (both perpetrator and victim)

19 What can/should our club do? NSW Sport and Recreation encourages a 5-step process to help create a safer sporting environment for children: 1.Undertake the Working with Children Check 2.Appoint a Child/Member Protection Officer 3.Establish a Child Protection Policy (include a Code of Conduct for employees) 4.Manage allegations of child abuse (using sound and established procedures) 5.Report incidents

20 Step 1: Undertake the Working with Children Check The Working with Children Check is a legal requirement that involves a three-part process: 1.Signing a Prohibited Employment Declaration 2.Employment screening/criminal record check 3.Probity checks (eg. Referee checks etc)

21 Step 2: Appoint a child protection officer The CPO (or MPO) coordinates your clubs child protection activities which may include: 1.Working with Children Check responsibilities 2.Record keeping 3.Awareness raising activities (eg Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct) 4.Contact person in your organisation if people have a concern or need information

22 Step 3: Establish & implement a child protection policy [Organisation Name] is committed to ensuring that the safety, welfare and well being of children and young people is maintained at all times during their participation in activities run by [Organisation Name] ……………………………………………. A sample template policy is available on our website

23 Step 4: Manage allegations of child abuse An allegation of child abuse is serious - sensitivity and confidentiality are paramount. CCF has procedures that must be followed to ensure the appropriate outcomes are achieved. The relevant MPO and General Manager will be responsible for initiating an investigation Under no circumstances should an individual attempt to carry out an investigation into an allegation of child abuse

24 Step 5: Report incidents Completed relevant disciplinary proceedings - CCYP Allegations proven to be false, vexatious or misconceived? The DoCS Helpline (Ph: ) should be contacted if you suspect that a child is at risk of harm. Reports to DoCS are strictly confidential

25 How do I recognise abuse? You have suspicion on reasonable grounds when: A child tells you they have been abused Someone else tells you that a child has been abused A child tells you they know of someone who has been abused (often referring to themselves) You observe behaviour and/or injuries and your knowledge leads you to suspect abuse You observe abuse of another person

26 What should I do? Your initial response to an incident or disclosure of child abuse is crucial to the well-being of the child! CCF procedure outlines the following: Listen, be supportive and do not dispute what is said Re-assure the child - Its not your fault Ensure the childs safety Clarify what the child is saying – WITHOUT eliciting detailed information or asking leading questions Clarify childs name, address, age. Clarify names and details of those involved Document all details – seek your MPO immediately MPO must then inform General Manager

27 Allegations of a serious or criminal nature? An immediate report to the police and/or DOCS If in doubt about serious nature – call DOCS to discuss Investigations of less serious nature will be carried out by relevant MPOs and GM Investigations of a serious or criminal nature will be conducted by Police and DOCS

28 Practical measures Minimise one-on-one contact in isolation Ensure all physical contact is appropriate Ask permission before appropriate physical contact Adopt positive language Implement appropriate change-room policies Clear guidelines on transport (avoid one-on-one) Clear guidelines on conduct for overnight trips Dont lose your temper – walk away Codes of conduct and behaviour management

29 What do we need to do? Remember, the key to improving the situation is simple: Follow the 5-step process Give members a point of contact – awareness of MPO Implement/abide by policy, procedures and codes of conduct Create awareness about child protection Educate, inform and update Review and evaluate

30 Benefits Safer sporting environment & safer children Feeling of well-being for members Risk exposure minimised Community support through pro-activity Compliance with legislation Marketing opportunity

31 Will this work? Practical responses to child protection begin with small steps The 5 Steps to creating a safer environment for children will minimise the risks to children in your sport. Education, training and awareness will also help to protect coaches and volunteers in your sport and reduce the likelihood of allegations.

32 Responding to situations Scenario 1 A Club Official assisting with canteen duties has physically lashed out at their own child for giving them a mouthful of abuse. The child was punched a number of times on the back and shoulder by the official (parent) in front of a number of witnesses and other young children What would you do??

33 Some options to consider Recognise that the official has physically abused a child and that the incident occurred whilst undertaking employment for the club. Action must be taken. Report the incident to CCF Consider the safety of the child and the reporting requirements (DoCS, NSW Police) CCF must investigate – consult with the official and obtain statements from witnesses Document all actions. Ensure natural justice/due process. Report to CCYP at the conclusion of the employment proceeding where there has been an incident of reportable conduct.

34 Inappropriate Response Take no action as a parent can do what they like with their child Talk to the parent and tell them not to do it again or you will have to report them Think about the problem for a couple of weeks without saying anything to the parent, the child or others

35 Responding to situations Scenario 2 A child has mentioned to a friend that he has been inappropriately touched/sexually assaulted by the coach in the change room. The friends parents have raised the issue with you as the MPO/CPO? What would you do??

36 Some options to consider Immediately make a report to CCF CCF should then contact NSW Police/DOCS due to serious nature of allegation Police/DOCS will liaise with CCF and relevant MPO regarding the investigation Club officials may be required to: Provide contact details for those involved Remove coach from current position/provide supervision of coach Provide support to both the coach and the child/family Should ensure confidentiality and due process are maintained Implement any actions recommended by CCF

37 Some options to consider Investigations will involve all parties and may be conducted by Police, DOCS, CCF with support from club officials After all investigations are concluded – make a finding Appropriate disciplinary action in relation to persons future involvement must be made (drawing on the findings of Police/DOCS) Completed disciplinary proceedings reported to the CCYP if allegations is proven Allegation was found to be false, vexatious, mis-conceived – no report to CCYP Consider counselling for coach, child, childs family

38 Inappropriate response Investigate the matter yourself without making contact with the NSW Police Talk to the coach (who denies the incident) and decide not to take any further action Go straight to the child at the centre of the allegation to find out what happened without first talking to the NSW Police

39 Further information NSW Dept of Community Services NSW Sport and Recreation Australian Sports Commission Commission for Children and Young People DoCS Helpline Kids Helpline NSW Police Assistance Line

40 THANK YOU!


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