Policy of the Month – May

Our Policy of the Month for May is the Child Safe Policy!

This month we look at why a Child Safe Policy exists, and why every club should have one in place.

Your child safe policy should be publicly available to help raise awareness about the importance of child safety in clubs and demonstrate your commitment to protecting children from abuse, for example on your website and/or in welcome packs for new personnel, children and families.

Child safety must be embedded in every Australian sporting organisation’s culture, reflected in their policies and procedures, and understood and practised at all levels of the sport. This includes within our own clubs and facilities where children and young people come to practice, play, learn and excel.

It is essential everyone involved with delivering sport in Australia understands the important legal and governance responsibilities they have in relation to child safety. This includes boards, committees, club administrators, volunteers, coaches, parents and participants. There is zero tolerance for any behaviour that puts the well-being of children and young people at risk.

What is a Child Safe Policy?

A Child Safe Policy is an overarching document that provides an overview of key elements of your sport club’s approach to child safety.

It should:

  • clearly state the clubs zero tolerance of child abuse
  • detail the clubs child safe processes and procedures, or link to existing documents that include child safety considerations – for example, its reporting procedures (including leadership responsibilities), how to respond to an allegation of child abuse, human resources and recruitment practices, and risk management strategy and procedures
  • clearly state the clubs commitment to cultural safety for Aboriginal children, cultural safety for children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability
  • detail expectations and requirements of staff and volunteers to ensure the protection of children, and the training and support staff and volunteers receive
  • Include contact details for people to access information in relation to child safety, such as the child safety officer. A child safety officer/champion is a person in your club who has knowledge of child safety issues, and could be a point of contact for others who have questions or concerns or want to report an allegation of child abuse. You could consider including child safety officer/champion duties in the person’s job description
  • Include how and when the policy and other child safety tools are reviewed to help your club improve.

Talk to us if your club needs assistance with a Child Safe Policy or requires templates or resources.

You can download the Child Safe Policy template.