Child Protection

The issue of child abuse is a complex problem within society which can have a large impact on all areas of society. This includes participation in sport and recreational activities. Protecting children from abuse is a responsibility that we must all undertake as members of MetroStars Soccer Club.

Football South Australia (Football SA) and North Eastern MetroStars Inc (MetroStars) are committed to fostering an environment where children feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential. A child safe and child friendly environment minimises the risk to children from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological harm and/or neglect.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) provides a comprehensive Membership Protection Policy (MPP), which Football SA and all affiliated associations are required to implement. The MPP aims to ensure that every person involved in our sport is treated with respect, dignity and is safe and protected from abuse. In addition, Football SA has produced Child Safe Environment Requirements that all affiliated associations (including MetroStars) are required to comply with.

Football SA Child Safe Environment Requirements

Lodging a Compliance Statement.

All clubs that provide services to children and young people Under 18 years of age must lodge a Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement with the Department of Human Services to confirm appropriate child safe environment policies and procedures are in place.

A single compliance statement on behalf of all clubs and affiliated associations will be submitted by Football SA. This compliance statement stipulates that all affiliated clubs and associations implement and abide by the child safe environment policies and procedures.

Working with Children Checks (WWCC)

South Australia has introduced stronger, more effective and transparent screening laws for people working or volunteering with children. The new laws mean that, from 1 July 2019, everyone working or volunteering with children must have valid child-related screening.

These changes were recommended as part of South Australian and Federal Royal Commissions, to help keep children safe in our communities.

The Working with Children Checks (WWCC) will replace all other child screening checks including the National Police Certificates. Football SA stipulates that any person that holds a ‘Prescribed Position’, as outlined below, involving a person Under 18, must have a WWCC;

A prescribed position is:

  • All people who have contact with children or work in close proximity to children and are not directly supervised;

  • Manage or supervise volunteers or paid staff that work with children;

  • Have access to records in relation to children.

A person is not required to have a WWCC if they;

  • Work for SA Police or the Australian Federal Police;

  • Work in the same capacity as a child;

  • Don’t work with children for more than seven days (consecutive or not) in a calendar year*;

  • Live interstate, have a current child-related check from your home state, and are working at an organised event in South Australia lasting no more than 10 consecutive days;

  • Are under the age of 14.

*The seven-day exclusion does not apply if the person is involved with an overnight activity (e.g. end of season camp) or has close contact with children with disability.

MetroStars implements the Football SA policy relating to WWCCs.

Mandated Notifiers

The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 makes it a legal requirement for certain people to report a reasonable suspicion or incidences of abuse or neglect. This obligation is known as mandatory notification and a penalty may stem from an individual’s failure to comply. Notifications must be made to the Department for Child Protection Child Abuse Report Line on 13 14 78.

Mandated notifiers are an employee of, or volunteer in, a government or non-government organisation that provides health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, childcare or residential services wholly or partly for children.

These people:

  • Are engaged in the actual delivery of those services to children, or

  • Hold a management position in the relevant organisation the duties of which include direct responsibility for, or direct supervision of, the provision of those services to children.

Based on the above definition, coaches, trainers, managers, any person that is providing services to children and leaders within the club are required by law to report abuse or neglect of children.

Implementing the Football SA Child Safe Environment Requirements

In order to implement the Football SA Child Safe Environment Requirements, MetroStars is required to:

  • complete a compliance form to assist the Football SA to submit its Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement to the Department for Education on behalf of all affiliated clubs and associations;

  • link to the Football SA child safe environment processes and procedures from its website;

  • ensure that information relating to WWCCs is presented to members and that all required volunteers have a WWCC;

  • appoint and train a Child Safe Officer;

  • interview and seek references for volunteers being appointed by MetroStars;

  • ensure that all MetroStars volunteers are registered through the PlayFootball Registration System and that they enter their WWCC information during the registration process;

  • provide all volunteers with an induction session and information pack relating to their role at MetroStars;

  • ensure all volunteers are provided with a Code of Conduct and access to all other Football SA policies including the FFA Member Protection Policy;

  • undertake a risk assessment of MetroStars’ facilities and practices to identify any potential risks to the safety of children and address those risks (including by maintaining a register of actions);

  • engage with children and young people so that they can have a say on issues that impact their involvement;

  • ensure that all MetroStars club members are aware of the process to raise a grievance within in the club; and

  • build and maintain a commitment to providing a child safe environment which is embedded in MetroStars’ culture to ensure that MetroStars is a safe and welcoming place for children and young people.

For more information, please visit https://dhs.sa.gov.au/services/community-and-family-services/child-safe-environments.

Child Safe Officer

Name: Lisa Darrell
Email: childsafe@metrostars.com.au

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