«Last Revised Rugby Ontario 4/14/2011 RUGBY ONTARIO – CHILD PROTECTION POLICY PROCEDURES MANUAL Table of Contents Introduction Pg 3 Section #1 – ...»
Child Protection Policy
RUGBY ONTARIO – CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Table of Contents
Introduction Pg 3
Section #1 – Recruitment and Selection of Persons Working or Pg 6
Volunteering With Children in Rugby Section #2 – What Are We Protecting Children Against? Pg 8 Section #3 – Responding to Concerns Pg 17 Section #4 – Conduct and Behaviour Pg 24 Section #5 – Glossary of Terms Pg 39 Section #6 – Frequently Asked Questions / General Information Pg 42 Appendix A – Rugby Ontario Child Protection Officer – Job Description Appendix B – Branch Union Child Protection Officer – Job Description Appendix C – Club Child Protection Officer – Job Description Rugby Ontario Child Protection Policy – Procedures Manual Page 2
RUGBY ONTARIO – CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
1.0 Establishing the Basic Facts Once the concerns have been reported, the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer will
establish the basic facts by:
• Conduct an initial assessment of the facts in order to determine the appropriate course of action;
• Consult external agencies such as the police and social work services for advice at any time. This is important because they may hold other important information which, when considered alongside the current concerns builds a significant picture of concern.
2.0 Conduction the Initial Assessment The Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer will conduct an initial assessment. The purpose of the initial assessment is to clarify the nature and context of the concerns. It should determine whether there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused/ harmed, or is at risk of abuse or harm. Every situation is unique therefore guidance cannot be prescriptive.
• Where the established facts support a concern about possible abuse, the initial assessment will not form part of the disciplinary investigation;
• Subject to the nature and seriousness of the situation, if it is not clear at this stage whether a criminal offence may have been committed the club member or volunteer may be approached as part of the information gathering process.
Where the nature and seriousness of the information suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed, or that to assess the facts may jeopardize evidence, advice will be sought from the police before the member of staff is approached;
• An initial assessment of the basic facts may require the need to ask a child some basic, open-ended, non-leading questions solely with a view to clarifying the basic facts. It may also be necessary to ask similar basic questions of other children, or other appropriate individuals.
• Interviewing children about possible abuse and criminal offences are the sole jurisdiction of specially trained police officers and social workers. Questioning of children by those conducting an initial assessment should always be avoided as far as possible. If it is necessary to speak to the child in order to clarify the basic facts best practice suggests that consent from the parent be obtained.
3.0 Potential Outcomes of Initial Assessment
• No further action (facts do not substantiate complaint).
• Situation is dealt with under procedures to manage poor practice; and/or,
• Action under Disciplinary Regulations (by Rugby Ontario).
4.0 Initial Assessment Supports Concerns About Poor Practices and/or Misconduct, But NOT Child Abuse.
The Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer will deal with the situation in line with Rugby Ontario’s Disciplinary Procedures. Pending the outcome of any investigation conducted under Disciplinary Regulation Procedures, precautionary suspension will be considered in all cases where there is significant concern about the conduct of a club member or volunteer towards a child or children.
5.0 Initial Assessment Support Concerns about possible child abuse
Where the initial assessment of information gives reasonable cause to suspect or believe possible child abuse the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer will refer the concerns to the police and/or social work services as soon as possible on the day the information is received.
The Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer will make a written record of the name and position/rank of the social worker or the police officer to whom the concerns were passed together with the time and date of the call, in case any follow up is required.
Referrals to the Police/Social Work Services will be confirmed in writing by the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer within 24 hours. A copy of the Rugby Ontario, Incident Referral Form should be provided to the police/social work services on request.
Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the safety of the child or youth or who may be at risk. The parents of the child or youth involved will be informed as soon as possible following advice from the police/ social work services.
Advice will firstly be obtained from the Police/Social Services Agency about informing the club member or volunteer involved about the concerns. If the advice is to inform the club member or volunteer, they will be told that information has been received which may suggest an allegation of abuse. No details will be given unless advised by the police. All actions will ensure the best evidence is preserved for any criminal proceedings while at the same time safeguarding the rights of the club member or volunteer.
Rugby Ontario and its member clubs will take all reasonable steps to support a club member or volunteer against whom an allegation of abuse has been made.
6.0 Precautionary Suspension Suspension of a club member or volunteer in the initial assessment phase while the investigation is being carried out is not a form of disciplinary action. Formal suspension will be carried out by Rugby Ontario, in accordance with Rugby Ontario’s Disciplinary Procedures.
At the suspension interview, the club member or volunteer will be informed of the reason for suspension (within the confines of sharing information) and given the opportunity to make a statement should they wish to do so.
Notification of the suspension and the reasons will be conveyed in writing to the club member or volunteer in accordance with Rugby Ontario’s, Disciplinary Procedures.
7.0 Disciplinary Actions Following advice from the police, cases that also involve a criminal investigation, will not preclude disciplinary action being taken provided sufficient information is available to enable the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer to make a decision, and that to do so would not jeopardize any criminal investigation.
8.0 False or Malicious Allegations In the exceptional circumstances that an investigation establishes an allegation is false,
unfounded or malicious:
• The club member or volunteer involved will receive an account of the circumstances and/or investigation and a letter confirming the conclusion of the matter. They may also wish to seek legal advice.
• All records pertaining to the circumstances and investigation will be destroyed.
• The Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer will take all reasonable steps to support the individual in this situation.
• In these circumstances Rugby Ontario will review the child’s participation in rugby.
9.0 Media All media enquiries relating to the conduct of a club member or volunteer with regard to children will be referred to the Rugby Ontario, Executive Director, and Child Protection Officer.
SECTION #1 - RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF PERSONS
WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN IN RUGBYRugby Ontario and its member clubs/societies will undertake all reasonable steps to ensure unsuitable persons are prevented from working, or volunteering, with children.
The following recommended procedures will be completed for all positions deemed to be working in a position of authority, or having regular supervisory contact, with children (as defined by the CPP) playing rugby within Ontario.
It is recommended that any advertising used to recruit and select coaches, referees, managers, administrators, trainers, therapists and volunteers working with children
include the following:
• The aims of Rugby Ontario or member club/societies, and where appropriate, details of the particular program/position involved;
• A description of the position, including roles and responsibilities;
• The level of experience or qualifications required (e.g. coaching certification;
qualifications must be verified.
• Details of Rugby Ontario’s, Child Protection Policy;
• Advise persons applying for identified positions that a mandatory Police Record Check [Vulnerable Sector Screening] is required, and must be completed a minimum every two years, or subject to changes in legislation;
Important Note: Avoidance on the part of any candidate to secure adequate coaching/refereeing or other requirements when asked, or to undergo a Police Records Check [vulnerable sector screening], will serve as an indicator that the person is unsuitable for the position, and will not be permitted to work or volunteer with children and youth under Rugby Ontario’s, Child Protection Policy.
Interview and Police Records Check Vulnerable Sector Screening An interview is recommended for club members and volunteers wishing to be involved in working with children. The interview should be carried out according to acceptable protocol and recommendations. See Section 6, for additional information on discussions and interviews with volunteers.
In accordance with Rugby Ontario’s Child Protection Policy, it is mandatory that all persons having regular supervisory contact, or positions of authority, with regards to children on a professional or volunteer basis, undergo a police records check [vulnerable sector screening] prior to working with children. A club member or volunteer will be permitted to take up his/her position only when a copy of their approved Police Record Check is presented to the club or constituent association. The copy of the PRC must be
Every person defined as having regular supervisory contact, or a position of authority,
with children will also have:
• Their qualifications as a coach / official substantiated;
• The expectations, roles and responsibilities of the job clearly defined. [either through formal or informal processes [goal setting, coaching apprenticeship, etc].
• The RO, Child Protection Policy and implementation procedures explained and any training needs established.
The process for obtaining a Vulnerability Sector Screening has changed and all applications now have to go through your local police station ( where you live not work) who will forward to the application to the RCMP for in depth screening.
There will be a charge for this service and the length of time to get a approval/ rejection could be up to eight weeks. The price of this service may vary depending on the area that you live.
All results will be sent to the applicant who will give a copy to their club to keep on file.
Rugby Ontario has the right to request a copy of the approval if deemed nessessary from the applicants club. It is the clubs responsibility to ensure that all coaches are complying Training, Monitoring and Appraisals Checks and monitoring are only part of the process to protect children from possible abuse. Appropriate training will enable individuals to recognize their responsibilities with regards to their own good practice and the reporting of suspected poor practice/concerns of possible abuse. A range of child protection training opportunities will be communicated by Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer periodically to the membership.
On a regular basis or following a particular program/course, all club members and volunteers should be given the opportunity to receive formal [i.e. by means of an appraisal], or informal feedback, to identify training needs and set new goals. Club management should be sensitive to any concerns about poor practice or abuse and act on them at an early stage following the guidelines in this document. The club management should also offer appropriate levels of support through liaison with the RO, Child Protection Officer, to those who report concerns.
Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures Rugby Ontario and its constituent clubs/societies should also ensure that parents, children and youth are aware of the Child Protection Policy and of the complaints and disciplinary procedures contained in this document.
SECTION #2 – WHAT ARE WE PROTECTING CHILDREN AGAINSTRugby Ontario recognizes the responsibility to promote safe practices and to protect children from harm, abuse, bullying and harassment. The following are examples of ways in which children may be abused or harmed, either within or outside the sport of rugby.
All instances of suspected, disclosed or witnessed abuse of a child, must be reported immediately to the nearest Police Services Branch, Children’s Aid Society and the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer. An Incident Report Form should also be completed as soon as possible after reporting the abuse.
No member or volunteer of Rugby Ontario and its member clubs, shall investigate allegations of abuse, or decide whether or not a child has been abused.