This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the committee and volunteers of Oakleigh Dragons Junior Football Club to child safety and to provide an outline of the policies and practices the Club has developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse.
Commitment to Child Safety
All children who are a part of the Club have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and the Club has a zero tolerance to child abuse. The Club aims to create a child safe and child friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun and the Club's activities are always carried out in the best interests of the children.
Application of this Policy
This policy was developed by the Club and in collaboration with the committee, volunteers and players and their parents.
This policy applies to all individuals involved in our organisation including, but not limited to:
All of the people to which this policy applies have a role and responsibility in relation to child protection. They must all:
- understand the indicators and risks of child abuse;
- appropriately act on any concerns raised by children; and
- understand and follow all applicable laws in relation to the protection of children and reporting or management of child safety concerns.
Child abuse can take a broad range of forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. People to whom this policy applies need to be aware that child abuse can occur whenever there is actual or potential harm to a child, and these are circumstances that the Club is committed to reducing the risk of occurrence.
Children’s Rights to Safety and Participation
The Club encourages children to express their views about their safety. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children who use our services to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them.
We teach children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents, raise with us.
We encourage players to contact the Child Support Officer if they have any concerns or feel uncomfortable in a situation. We will ensure the players privacy is respected and deal with issues confidentially.
We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. To achieve this we:
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families;
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families;
- welcome children with a disability and their families and act to promote their participation;
- seek out appropriate staff from diverse cultural backgrounds; and
- treat players equally and fairly.
Recruiting coaches and volunteers
The Club takes the following steps to ensure best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of staff and volunteers:
- Interview and conduct referee checks on all staff and volunteers
- Require Working with Children Checks for relevant positions
- Our commitment to Child Safety and our screening requirements are included in all advertisements and as part of the induction process for new staff or volunteers
The Club seeks to attract and retain the volunteers. We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated. We have developed a Code of Conduct to provide guidance to our staff and volunteers, all of whom receive training on the requirements of the Code.
Reporting a child safety concern or complaint
The Club has appointed Eloisa Nidorfer as Child Safety Person with the specific responsibility for responding to any complaints made by volunteers, parents or children. That person can be contacted at childsafetyOYCFC@gmail.com or on 0417 677 532.
We recognise the importance of a risk management approach to minimising the potential for child abuse or harm to occur and use this to inform our policy, procedures and activity planning. In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children. To reduce the risk of child abuse occurring, adults to whom this policy applies should avoid direct, unsupervised contact with children. For example, this should be a consideration when:
- using change room facilities;
- using accommodation or overnight stays;
- travel; or
- physical contact when coaching or managing children.
Coaches are strongly discouraged from engaging with players on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. All communication with players must be visible to their parents.
Reviewing this policy
This policy will be reviewed every two years and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from children, parents, carers, staff and volunteers involved in the Club.