All AFL 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”).
Preston Bullants Junior Football Club (“PBJFC”) (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:
In addition to this Policy, the Club has produced Child Protection Guidelines which are available on the PBJFC website. The Club will comply with those Guidelines to aid and supplement this policy.
This Policy, applies to all players, committee members, volunteers, coaches, team managers, assistants, employees and parents of players of the Club, 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 YJFL, and may be processed by the Club as it sees fit
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:
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 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 parents/guardians, 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, Guidelines and Code of Conduct through the website and electronic communications such as Team APP and email.
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:
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.
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 Protection Policy and Code of Conduct, and relevant statutory requirements.