AYSO Region 112 Safe Haven Policies for Child and Volunteer Protection

Child and Volunteer Protection Administration

  1. The region is committed to the protection of all its children from abuse and neglect while participating in the program, and it promotes the awareness and prevention of child abuse in the community at large.
  2. The region shall have a child and volunteer protection advocate (CVPA), who shall be responsible for overseeing the AYSO Safe Haven child and volunteer protection program in accordance with AYSO guidelines. He or she shall be a member of the regional board and will act as the main resource on child protection issues and shall be the region's liaison with the Coordinator of Certification and Advocacy at the AYSO National Support & Training Center.
  3. The region requires all volunteers to complete, date, and sign the AYSO volunteer application form. Volunteers also authorize AYSO to perform applicant screening.
  4. The region shall have the right to deny the participation of any individual volunteer for any reason, including refusing to fill out the volunteer application form, lying or knowingly misrepresenting information on the application form or violating the principles of these child protection policies. AYSO shall have the right to revoke both the registration and certification of any volunteer who falsifies information or is found guilty of child abuse, neglect, or other crimes.
  5. The requirements for good faith reporting to law enforcement agencies and child welfare agencies in the state of California are as follows:
  6. Any volunteer under investigation for alleged abuse, neglect, or endangerment will be asked to resign voluntarily until the matter is resolved. If the volunteer refuses, the board will move to suspend the volunteer until the matter has been resolved. The names and identities of the parties involved shall be protected at all times to the fullest extent possible during the proceedings.
  7. A suspended volunteer who is subsequently cleared of all charges may apply to the regional commissioner (RC) and board for reinstatement in the region. However, reinstatement is not a right, and reinstated volunteers are not guaranteed to return to their former positions.

Training

  1. All coaches, referees, other volunteers who work directly with children, and the child and volunteer protection advocate, shall be trained and certified before working with children in accordance with the current AYSO recommendations and requirements.
  2. Only official AYSO materials and courses (or those approved by AYSO) may be used to train and certify these volunteers. Only official AYSO programs, procedures, and policies will be taught.
  3. Properly signed rosters of attendees will be sent to AYSO Programs Department to validate each attendee's training and certification, and to ensure that the coaches and referees are registered with AYSO.
  4. Courses and clinics shall be taught by qualified AYSO certified and registered instructors or someone under the supervision of a qualified AYSO certified instructor.
  5. All other regional volunteers will be trained in child and volunteer protection as appropriate.
  6. Volunteers shall be subject to ongoing evaluation, and additional training may be required to maintain good standing within the region and the organization.

Supervision

  1. The regional board shall cooperate with the CVPA to ensure the safety of the region's players.
  2. The coach administrator and the CVPA, prior to each season, shall meet with the head coach of each team, either individually or in groups, to review child protection and supervision responsibilities.
  3. The coach administrator shall observe and review the performance of coaches to see that it conforms to the standards set by this child and volunteer protection policy.
  4. Once the head coach has assumed charge of the children on his or her team, he or she remains responsible until a duly designated adult has taken charge of each child after practice or a game or the child leaves the immediate vicinity of the practice or game as prearranged by the parent to walk home or go to a friend's or relative's house. No child should be left unsupervised after a game or practice. Parents who are unreasonably late or consistently tardy should be reported to the child protection advocate for action. Each coach may establish a standing policy of where children may be picked up by late parents.
  5. The referee administrator and the CVPA, prior to each season, shall meet with the referees, either individually or in groups, to review child protection and supervision responsibilities.
  6. The referee administrator shall observe and review the performance of the referees to see that it conforms to the standards set by this child protection policy.
  7. The game referee is responsible for providing a "child safe" atmosphere for the match, and has both the duty and authority to take any reasonable action to make it so. The referee is to report to the referee administrator and CVPA any cases of questionable conduct toward children by any coach, player, parent, sibling, or spectator before, during, or after the match.
  8. The recommended supervision ratio should be 1:8 or fewer; that is, one adult for every eight or fewer children and two adults present at all times (one of whom may be the coach and one of whom should be the same gender as the group). For the protection of both the children and the volunteer, no volunteer should permit himself or herself to be alone with any child or group of children (except his or her own) during AYSO-sponsored activities.
  9. Volunteers shall notify the RC, CVPA, and parents concerning AYSO activities away from the regular practice areas, playing fields, or other designated areas. Such notification should be documented, stating the nature of the activity, the names of the children involved, and the names of the adult supervisors.

Conduct

  1. The region advocates and expects exemplary behavior by all its participants, and it will hold a strict line on conduct as laid out in these policies.
  2. Abusive statements such as those that deal with race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, age, sex, or sexual orientation are not permitted.
  3. In addition, physical, emotional, sexual, and ethical abuses are prohibited, as is neglect or endangerment of a child.
  4. Some forms of touching are acceptable as long as they are respectful and appropriate:

These policies will be updated regularly as needed. To stay current or for further information, contact the Coordinator of Certification and Advocacy at the AYSO National Support and Training Center.