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Safe Haven

Safe Haven - Child and Volunteer Protection

Region 1422  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.

-- Training

  1. All coaches, referees, other volunteers who work directly with children, and the CVPA shall be trained and certified before working with children in accordance with 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. To validate each attendee’s training and certification, and to ensure that the coaches and referees are registered with AYSO, records of training or certification course attendance will be maintained in eAYSO or through the submission of properly signed rosters of attendees sent to AYSO Programs Department. Instructors should always keep copies of their rosters.
  4. Only AYSO certified and registered instructors are authorized to lead courses and clinics.
  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. 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 to a friend’s or relative’s house. No child shall 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. The recommended supervision ratio should be 1:8 or less; 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 players).
  4. 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:
    • Touching should be in response to the need of the child, not the need of the adult.
    • Touching should be with the child’s permission.
    • Resistance to touching must be respected.
    • Touching must never include the breast, buttocks, or groin.
    • Touching should be done in the open, not in private.
    • Touching should have a brief, limited duration.
    • A child’s comfort level with touching is influenced by factors such as age, developmental stages, social and emotional well-being, life experiences, gender, etc. all of which change over time.