All FFV football clubs are required to implement the Child Safe Standards and the mandatory reporting guidelines from the Victorian Government’s amendment to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) (“CYFA”) and the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) (“Crimes Act”).
Brunswick Zebras Football Club (the “Club”) is committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of all children. We have zero tolerance for child abuse. Everyone involved at the Club is responsible for the care and protection of children and reporting information about child abuse.
The purpose of this Policy is to:
a) work towards a Club culture of child safety;
b) ensure that all persons are aware of their responsibilities for identifying possible occasions for child abuse and for establishing procedures for preventing such abuse and/or detecting such abuse when it occurs;
c) provide guidance on responding where a person suspects any child abuse within all Club Environments;
d) provide a clear statement to players, committee members, volunteers, employees and contractors forbidding any such abuse; and
e) provide assurance that any and all suspected abuse will be investigated.
f) The FFV Child Protection Guidelines, available on the FFV website, has more detailed information on each of these areas. The Club will use all reasonable endeavours to adopt and comply with those Guidelines in its recruitment practices.
In addition to this Policy, the FFV has produced Child Protection Guidelines which are available on the FFV website. The Club will comply with those Guidelines to aid and supplement this policy.
This Policy, and the attached Code of Conduct, applies to all players, committee members, volunteers, coaches, team managers, assistants, employees and parents of players of the Club, whether registered via MFC or otherwise registered with our club. Non-registered individuals who otherwise participate in activities with or for our club are also bound to this policy by virtue of their participation in our club’s activities.
Breaches of this Policy or the Code of Conduct may be investigated by the Club and/or FFV, and may be processed by the Club as it sees fit, or in the alternative by FFV as Misconduct in accordance with the FFV GDT.
This Policy is based on the following principles:
The Club’s Committee is responsible for ensuring that policies are reviewed and updated and that training exists for committee members, volunteers, coaches, team managers, assistants and employees on child protection matters. The Committee is also responsible for identifying and managing risk in relation to child safety.
Child Protection Officers (CPOs) are available to listen, discuss and clarify issues confronting individuals in our Club. Players, members, employees, volunteers and committee members can all speak with a CPO if they have concerns in relation to child abuse. The CPOs will make reports on behalf of the Club and ensure that adequate records are maintained. The Club CPOs will be listed on our club website and identified to all children and parents at the club.
Child abuse includes:
Any act committed against a child involving
The infliction, on a child, of
Serious neglect of a child.
For the purposes of this policy “Child” (or minor) means a person who participates at the Club under the age of 18 years, unless otherwise stated under the law applicable to the child.
In addition to the mandatory reporting obligations above, any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from child abuse, may disclose that information to the police. The Club encourages all persons to speak with the CPO (or FFV) for guidance or support with addressing such concerns.
You have “reasonable grounds” to notify when:
The club encourages reporting where you hold a concern about the safety of a minor.
The Club will ensure that child safety is a part of its overall risk management approach.
As part of its risk management strategy and practices, the Club will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of its risk controls. The Club will ensure that appropriate training is conducted for:
Information will be provided to players (or for players such as Miniroos and Junior teams) to their parents/carers, about child safety.
The Club will also ensure that all committee members, volunteers, coaches, team managers, and employees are provided with ongoing supervision and support such that their performance is developed and enhanced to promote the establishment and maintenance of a child-safe environment.
The Club is pro-active in the area of prevention and will communicate the Child Protection Policy, Procedure and Code of Conduct in the manner below.
Conditions of becoming a member
Parents, guardians, community, sponsors and partners
Conditions of becoming a member (Parents will receive a hard and electronic copy)
Committee members, coaches, managers, employees and volunteers
Letters of appointment/ contracts/agreements
Annual Training Session
The Club is pro-active in its recruitment of individuals to the club, including committee members, volunteers and employees, coaches and team managers, in the area of Child Safety. The Club will:
The FFV Child Protection Guidelines, available on the FFV website, has more detailed information on each of these areas. The Club will use all reasonable endeavours to adopt and comply with those Guidelines in its recruitment practices.
In the case of an allegation being made against a committee member, coach, team manager, employee, volunteer and/or contractor at the Club, the CPO will follow this Child Protection Procedure. At all times the safety of the child is paramount.
The first step is to consider withdrawal of the accused person from active duty, which could entail standing down (with pay, where applicable), re-assignment to other duties that do not have direct contact with children, or to work under increased supervision while the matter is being investigated. During the investigation process, it may be necessary for a person to be stood down from their usual duties at the Club or suspended from all activities at the Club.
In the event of a child disclosing an incident of abuse to someone they trust it is essential that it is dealt with sensitively and professionally:
The Club will appropriately investigate all allegations relating to an incident of abuse in accordance with its obligations. In some circumstances, it may be necessary for the Club to conduct an investigation in addition to any investigation conducted by authorities (e.g. the police).
The CPO will conduct an independent investigation, or will appoint an appropriate person to do so, into the allegation to the extent that it will not interfere with investigations by the police, and will co-operate with authorities as required. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for the Club to engage a person from outside the Club to conduct an independent investigation in relation to allegations.
All people covered by this Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct must co-operate fully with any investigation by DHHS, the police or the Club.
The CPO will make every effort to keep any such investigation confidential; however, from time to time other committee members, employees, volunteers may need to be consulted in conjunction with the investigation (e.g. to provide witness statements).
An investigation conducted by the Club will be conducted in accordance with procedural fairness to protect the integrity of the investigation and the interests of all the participants involved in the investigation. The Club will also handle the allegations in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible.
The outcome will depend on the findings of the investigation, but may include withdrawal from active duty, re-assignment to duties with no contact with children, increased supervision, disciplinary action, dismissal or criminal prosecutions.
The Club shall notify FFV of the outcome of any investigation that results in suspension of an individual from the Club for abuse related matters.
All reports of alleged abuse or harm, or risk thereof, must be recorded by the CPO. Places, times, dates, names of people, observable behaviours or evidence of harm are to be recorded. Reports must be to be securely stored by the CPO or club administrator.
There are two guiding principles in respect to a child’s privacy.
Those who make reports, and those about whom accusations are being made, are entitled to confidentiality. Where there is suspected abuse or misconduct, committee members, employees or volunteers must not disclose or make use of the information in a manner that breaches confidentiality, other than to report and act consistent with this Child Safety Policy and Code of Conduct, and relevant statutory requirements.
Any person (aged 18 or over) that forms a belief, on reasonable grounds, that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria against a child (under the age of 16 years) by another person (aged 18 or older), must make a report to the police as soon as practicable, unless the exception above applies.
Committee members, employee, volunteers, or of-age players of the Club should discuss these observations and concerns with the Club Child Safety Officer, who can assist the person to make the report to the police as required. FFV can also assist.
Any person (of any age) that forms a belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from child abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or neglect), may disclose that information to the police or the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”). The Club encourages all persons with concerns to raise this directly with the Club Child Safety Officer.
It may be that, following the previous step, a person decides to make a report to DHHS or the police with the support of the Club Child Safety Officer.
Where a report is made, the individual must also advise the Club.
Ask that the Club be informed of each step of the procedure.
Request that if an interview is to take place at the Club the visiting police officer is in plain clothes and the time of the interview is specified so that appropriate arrangements for a meeting room can be organized.
If the complainant alleges that a crime has been committed by a committee member, employee, volunteer or contractor, that person will be stood aside immediately.
The Club Child Safety Officer should conduct (or appoint another person to conduct) an independent investigation into the allegation to the extent that it will not interfere with investigations by DHHS or the police, and will co-operate with the authorities as required.
Where an allegation has been made, the Club will make, secure, and retain records of the allegation of child abuse and the Club’s response to it.
Fulfilling the roles and responsibilities contained in this Procedure does not displace or discharge any other obligations that arise if a person reasonably believes that a child is at risk of child abuse.
If the child is agreeable to be interviewed by DHHS or the police, the Club Child Safety Officer should offer to be present at the interview to give support to the child.
Following a report, DHHS or the police may need to contact the Club about the notification. It would be a matter of courtesy to inform the Club Child Safety Officer that a report has been made, or is about to be made.
The Club Child Safety Officer should advise FFV of such matters so that we can update our records in relation to the individual.
Following a report, it is important to both protect confidentiality and the interests of the child and family at all times, as well as natural justice for the process.
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