What do you find most challenging? Incidents? Parents? Player conduct? Volunteer conduct? Rules?
Safe Haven Challenges Creating a safe haven has never been more challenging. Increase in reported SAM cases in many youth organizations and sports nationwide. 20%-30% of reported SAM cases occurred between minors. Registered Sex Offenders reported at fields
Safe Haven Challenges There may be predatory patterns… Officiating – scouting potential victims. Coaching – building a position of trust. Grooming – filling needs of children or parents. –Gift giving –Favoritism –Private messaging/activities Bold, symbolized by Pedo Bear
Safe Haven Challenges Registered Sex Offenders 775,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S. It may be unlawful for them to be around children other than their own. May be parents or spectators. May “volunteer” under the radar – field setup, concession stands.
Safe Haven Challenges California School District failed to prevent student's sexual assault - December 20, 2012 Jury found the School District responsible for 30% of a $23 million judgment based on the school district's failure to supervise. Settled another lawsuit for $139 Million in 2014. California lawsuit filed over alleged failure to conduct background check - January 16th, 2013 Parents filed a lawsuit against U.S.Y.S. and a California Youth Soccer Association alleging that the local youth soccer club failed to perform a background check.
Safe Haven Challenges Death from Second-Impact Syndrome Deaths have been reported from a second impact while the brain is still recovering from a concussion. 5 th Concussion Lawsuit Filed Against NCAA - November 15, 2013 Case joins a growing field of lawsuits alleging the NCAA was negligent in its care for athletes who they claim are suffering the long-term effects of concussions and head trauma suffered during their collegiate careers.
Safe Haven Challenges Teen pleads guilty in referee’s death – August, 2013 17 year old soccer player in Utah pleaded guilty to homicide by assault in the death of a referee. Mother of one player kicked the opposing player while both players were down on the ground in retaliation for a foul during a game. Police called to escort threatening spectator from field. Coach arrested for assaulting referee.
Additional Protocols What can we do? Require a Volunteer Application every year. Require the use of eSignature (Policy 3.7). Require training and certification. Monitor fields for appropriate use of protection guidelines. Run more comprehensive/timely background checks with more efficient vendors. Use kids zone
Additional Protocols What should you do if you observe concerning behaviors? Contact Safe Haven. Notify CVPA, Division Coordinator and Regional Commissioner. Address any protocol/guideline violations. Is it simply a lack of training? Add additional observations or monitoring.
Additional Protocols What should you do if you suspect someone is a sex offender? Contact Safe Haven or law enforcement. Officers can help assess any risks or restrictions. Remember everyone has civil rights. Illegal to post/distribute identities/pictures. Safe Haven will help you balance the need to protect children with the rights of the individual.
Additional Protocols What should you do if a volunteer is arrested or under investigation? Notify Safe Haven immediately. The volunteer must be asked to “step aside” from any volunteer position for which a conviction would make him/her ineligible to hold the position. Safe Haven will change their volunteer status accordingly in eAYSO.
Additional Protocols What should you do if a volunteer is arrested or under investigation? Do not comment on any allegations or individual except to acknowledge what has been made public and to reinforce AYSO’s commitment to the protection of our children and to working with law enforcement as required without casting any judgments on the case.
Additional Protocols What should you do if a volunteer is arrested or under investigation? Safe Haven will confirm facts and any mandated reporting requirements with law enforcement and contact Legal Commission. Any prepared statements will be provided. An designated AYSO spokesperson will handle media inquiries.
Additional Protocols Young Adult Volunteers Complete an adult volunteer application upon turning age of majority. Take AYSO’s Safe Haven training as a new adult. Please counsel these young people about the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries and transparency in their interactions with minors.
Additional Protocols Divorced Parents AYSO’s position is to ask parents to work together in the best interest of their children and not to mediate domestic disputes. Regions can only share player information with parents listed on the Registration form; if there is a dispute, both parents must provide proof of custody.
Additional Protocols Divorced Parents Player information will be given to parents with proof of custody unless registering parent has court documentation to the contrary. AYSO does not enforce temporary restraining orders; if a protective order is presented which protects a child from an adult, the Region should not assign the adult as a coach for the child.
eSign Update AYSO National Policy Statement 3.7 Jan.1, 2014: All AYSO volunteer applications must be submitted using eSign via eAYSO. Aug.1, 2014: All AYSO player registration forms must be submitted using eSign via eAYSO.
Why eSign? Reduce cost of long-term storage of “wet” signature forms. Improved/faster background checks. Protect privacy of our families reassure them their information is secure. Help mitigate increases in insurance costs. Preserve “chain of custody” in event of litigation.
eSign for Volunteers eSign speeds up the background checking. Any volunteer application that does not come through eSign will be automatically red-flagged and cannot be registered by the Region until a signed form is received by Safe Haven.
Concussion Update Relatively Small number of reported concussions on Incident Reports over the last few years. Most commonly described incidents occurred with player-on-player contact or from fall to the ground. No proven protective headgear. Regions must not sponsor or endorse any type of protective headgear or sideline testing products.
When required by State Law, parents must obtain a medical clearance in addition to completing the Participation Release Form. Any player who exhibits any sign/symptom of a concussion and is removed from play, may not return to play for the remainder of that day.
Concussion Update The Region Safety Director must receive: an AYSO Incident Report signed Participation Release copy of the signed Player Registration Form copy of any SAI claim form whenever a player is removed from play due to signs/symptoms of concussion. Fax/email forms to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Code of Conduct Update AYSO Policy Statement 2.12 In order to ensure the protection of volunteers and players, Policy 2.12 has been updated to reflect AYSO’s Code of Conduct Policy Against Harassment, Abuse or Violence. Includes recommended sanctions for misconduct consistent with due process.
Code of Conduct Update Studies on increasing violence in youth sports found: Adults living vicariously through children. Kids being forced to play adult versions of games to satisfy an “adult” thirst for experiencing what is seen on television. “Win-at-all-costs”, focus on being #1 and the scoreboard instead of the purpose of youth sports – skill, physical and emotional development, and most of all, fun!
Code of Conduct Update Reinforces the philosophies and policies that support a safe haven with education. Harassment of any kind is not tolerated and must be addressed immediately. Address bad behavior immediately and consistently before it becomes violent. Do not ignore steps for dispute resolution and due process – verify facts and right to be heard.