Western Australian Flying Disc Association (WAFDA) Inc
Child Protection Policy
1.1 All players and clubs currently playing in WAFDA sanctioned events / leagues
2.1 ‘Child and Youth’ refers to someone who is under the age of 18 years.
2.2 ‘Child sexual maltreatment’ occurs when a child has been exposed to, or subjected to, sexual behaviours or acts which are exploitative and / or inappropriate to his or her developmental level. These acts involve a wide range of sexual activities which exploit children and includes forcing, tricking, bribing, threatening or pressuring a child into sexual activity. This is a criminal offence.
2.3 ‘Resultant harm to the child’ includes significant emotional trauma, physical injury or impaired development. This harm may not always be easily identifiable.
Note: In some cases a fine line exists between what is and what is not sexual maltreatment. In these cases careful consideration of the contextual element of the power relationship is essential, including the respective ages and the developmental levels of those involved and the nature of the relationship.
3. Child Protection Legislation
3.1 The protection of children from abuse and neglect is legally the responsibility of both the Family and Children’s Services and the Police departments, under the Child Welfare Act 1947 and Community Services Act 1972.
3.2 The key responsibilities of these agencies include reporting and investigating cases of child abuse and providing for the protection of victims.
3.3 “All individuals and organisations which have regular contact with children, including families, have a responsibility for the welfare of those children. The responsibility cannot be confined to those organisations with specific legislative obligations for their care and protection” (The Wood Royal Commission, 1997).
3.4 Western Australia does not have mandatory reporting legislation.
3.5 WAFDA is not compelled to advise on suspected cases of child sexual maltreatment. However, in the best interests of the child concerned and within a ‘duty of care’, the WAFDA will refer suspected cases to the Department of Child Protection.
4. Do You Suspect Abuse?
4.1 If you suspect that a child or youth is a victim of abuse from a WAFDA member you should:
- make direct and confidential contact with a member of the WAFDA Executive Committee.
- consult with them on how to proceed and to make a formal report.
- anonymous claims of abuse or breaches of the Code of Conduct and policies are to be taken seriously and must be
- immediately reported to the WAFDA Executive Committee for investigation.
5. Options for Further Action by the WAFDA
5.1 When a claim of abuse is raised with the WAFDA Committee the Committee at their discretion may take some or all of the following actions:
- The suspected victim and other family members may be asked to approach their local GP to obtain a referral to professional support services and medical specialists.
- Report the matter to the Child Abuse Unit (WA Police Service).
- Report the matter to the DCP.
- Consider suspension or cancellation of the perpetrator’s membership.
5.2 There are occasions where the Child Abuse Unit may need to be called in as soon as possible in order that the evidence is not tainted, accused are not tipped off and stories corroborated, etc before the police arrive.
5.3 The Child Abuse Unit is quick to sort out the frivolous allegations from the serious, saving everyone a lot of hassle. You have suspicion on reasonable grounds:
- When a youth tells you they have been abused.
- When someone else tells you a youth has been abused.
- A youth tells you they know someone who has been abused (often they are referring to themselves).
- You observe a youth member’s behaviour and or injuries etc, and your knowledge of the youth leads you to suspect abuse.
- You observe a member’s abuse of another member.
6. What to Do
6.1 If you suspect a child has been abused follow these procedures:
- ensure the youth is safe (if they are in your care)
- maintain the safety of other youth members in accordance with the Code of Conduct
- obtain and document the following:
- the youth’s name, age and address
- your reason for suspecting abuse (e.g. Observation, injury, information)
- your assessment of danger posed to the youth including information pertaining to the alleged perpetrator
- what arrangements, if any, exist for the immediate protection of the youth
- what involvement, if any, other agencies have in dealing with the suspected member protection issues
7. Member Protection Policy Statement
7.1 The WAFDA is committed to providing an environment that is safe for participation in Flying Disc Sports. The WAFDA will not abide the criminal act of child sexual maltreatment, which occurs when a child (defined as a person under the age of 18 years) has been exposed or subjected to sexual behaviours or acts which are exploitative and / or inappropriate to his or her developmental level. Such behaviour involves a wide range of sexual activities which exploit children and includes forcing, tricking, bribing, threatening or pressuring a child into sexual activity.
7.2 This Child Protection Policy conveys a message to all members and prospective members, responsible for Flying Disc Sports activities, particularly those involving members under 18 years of age, about minimising risk exposure. Managers, coaches, officials, leaders, trainers and management personnel have a responsibility to provide safeguards to the well-being of those under the age of 18 years (youth).
7.3 The abuse of youth members, by WAFDA members or by external sources, is not acceptable and the WAFDA encourages all incidents of such abuse as described above to be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities.
8. Code of Conduct
The WAFDA endorses the following Code of Conduct for those responsible for activities involving persons under the age of 18. As a member you should meet the following requirements in regard to your conduct during Flying Disc Sports activities.
8.1 A Manager will:
- agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.
- be responsible for the overall welfare and well-being of team members and officials when travelling with a team.
- maintain a ‘duty of care’ towards team members and an accountability for the management of the team.
8.2 A Coach / Trainer will:
- agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.
- be responsible for matters concerning the coaching, training and development of players
- maintain a ‘duty of care’ towards others and an accountability for matters relating to training and competition
- ensure that any physical contact with others is:
- appropriate to the situation
- necessary for the person’s skill development
- provide a safe environment for training and competition
8.3 An Official / Administrator will:
- agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.
- be fair, considerate and honest with others
- operate within the rules of the WAFDA
- be professional in their actions. Their language, presentation, manner and punctuality should reflect high standards
- resolve conflicts fairly and promptly through established procedures
- maintain strict impartiality
- maintain a safe environment for others
- show concern and caution towards others
9. Protective Measures
The protective measures below apply to those members who undertake the delivery or supervision of youth activities in their capacity as managers, coaches, trainers, officials, administrators, etc. These are responsible positions in the organisation and as such those in these roles must adopt the following risk minimisation measures to protect themselves from any misconceptions about their behaviour in performing their designated roles.
9.1 Do not engage, or allow others to engage, in any of the following:
- abusive initiation ceremonies
- sleeping in closed quarters with youths without a second adult representative, parent, etc
- aggressive, physically distressing or sexually provocative activities
- sexually suggestive comments about or to a youth
- inappropriate or intrusive touching of a youth
9.2 Maintain an ‘open door’ policy when conducting briefings, meetings and assemblies of members. Invite all youths, parents, friends and other leaders to participate, particularly when performing interviews, transporting youth members and conducting excursions.
9.3 Male and female adults or parents must accompany youths when undertaking Flying Disc Sports activities away from home and especially overnight.
10. Rights and Responsibilities
The organisation’s members, youth and adult, reserve certain rights as members and carry with them certain responsibilities.
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