«Last Revised Rugby Ontario 4/14/2011 RUGBY ONTARIO – CHILD PROTECTION POLICY PROCEDURES MANUAL Table of Contents Introduction Pg 3 Section #1 – ...»
• Information posted on RO and member club websites must never include personal information that could identify a child [e.g. home address, e-mail address, telephone number]. All contact must be directed to Rugby Ontario or the appropriate member club. Credit for achievements by a child should be restricted to first names [e.g. Tracey was Player of the Year 2002].
• Children must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner. Children should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress, other than when depicting an action shot within the context of the sport. Attire such as tracksuits or t-shirts may be more appropriate.
• Information about specific events or meetings [e.g. coaching sessions] must not be distributed to any individuals, other than to those directly concerned.
• Any concerns or enquiries about publications or the internet should be reported to the appropriate member club or Rugby Ontario Child Protection Officer.
Cell Phones Text messaging is a quick and easy way to communicate with others and is a popular and often preferred means of communication with children. Club members and volunteers must be aware that intimidating, bullying or even abusive messages can be discreetly sent by text. Information sent in this way, even where well-meaning, could be misinterpreted.
Club members / volunteers must consider whether it is necessary and appropriate to hold the cell phone numbers of children. The general principle is that all communications with children should be open, transparent and appropriate to the nature of the relationship.
Consequently, contact should always be made at the phone number the parent has provided on the child’s behalf. Good practice would include agreeing with children and parents what kind of information will be communicated directly to children by text messages or email.
This information should only be “need to know” information such as the last minute cancellation of a training session.
The following good practice is also required:
• the cell phone numbers of children will be carefully stored and access will only be provided to those who need access for a legitimate reason
• club members / volunteers must never engage in personal or sensitive communications with children via text message
• all concerns about the inappropriate use of text messaging should be reported to the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer
Cell Phones with Camera / Video Capability
There have already been a number of cases where children have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transit images through cell phones. The use of cell phones in this way can be very difficult to monitor. The procedure for the use of photographs, film and video should be observed in relation to the use of cell phones as cameras / videos. Particular care is required in areas where personal privacy is important [e.g. changing rooms, bathrooms and sleeping quarters]. No photographs or video footage should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy.
All concerns about the inappropriate use of cell phones to record photographs or video footage should be reported to the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Officer, and will be dealt with accordingly. This may include the concerns being reported to the police.
SECTION #5 – GLOSSARY OF TERMS Child For the purposes of this policy the words “child” will be used to refer to any person under the age of 16 (sixteen) or any person between the ages of 16 and 18, where the person, due to developmental, mental or physical incapacity is, or appears to be, unable to protect himself or herself.
Child Abuse Abuse can be categorized into four basic areas: sexual, physical, neglect and emotional. Each area is clearly defined in Section 2 of this document.
Child Protection Officer A position within Rugby Ontario whose responsibility involves the development, planning, implementation, application and review of the Child Protection Policy and procedures within the Rugby Ontario.
Concern A suspicion or belief that a child might be in need of help or protection.
For the purpose of these guidelines can also include a suspicion or belief that the conduct of an adult or another child is actually or potentially harmful towards another child.
Consent Permission or agreement.
Disclosure In this context, the act of a child (or adult) making information about abusive or harmful experiences known to others. In many cases the child will have been keeping the information secret.
Duty of Care To be negligent someone must first have been in circumstances which
created a duty of care to ensure the reasonable safety of another person. For example:
coaches have a duty to players, directors have duties to members of an organization, and tour managers have duties to those participating on a trip. A duty of care is owed to anyone who we can reasonably foresee will be affected by our actions. See also Standard of Care.
Harassment The act of causing worry or torment to another person.
Harm Includes, but is not restricted to, physical harm. Actions or behaviours by others which have a detrimental effect on a child’s physical and emotional health and well being. This means that “harm” would not only cover the deliberate infliction of physical or emotional harm but also where harm resulted, or might have resulted, from a degree of carelessness or neglect which amounted to misconduct.
Negligence In general terms, negligence refers to behaviour or action which falls below a ‘reasonable’ standard of care. Canadian law requires that we behave in a particular manner so that others are not exposed to an unreasonable risk or harm. It is widely accepted that there is a certain amount of risk in many sport activities and, such is risks are knowable, foreseeable and acceptable. What is unacceptable in sport is behaviour which places others in a situation of unreasonable risk or danger. Any action is deemed
negligent when all four of the following conditions are met:
Misconduct Unacceptable or improper behaviour Parents Those who have parental rights and responsibilities in relation to the child. For the purpose of these guidelines it also covers common law relationships, care-givers, guardians, co-habitees and others who have the primary responsibility for the care of the child.
Policy A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by Rugby Ontario.
Poor Practice In the CPP context can be described, but is not limited to:
• Behaviour or practices which are contrary to the behaviours or practices set out in the Code of Conduct.
• Behaviour which is not in keeping with professional standards or leadership as defined by the sport of rugby.
• Practices which, if not challenged, result in risks to the safety, development and welfare of children or a group of children.
• Behaviour which fails to meet the required standard of performance or conduct where the shortfall is of a minor nature.
Position of Trust All adults who work with children are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by the parents, the sport and the child. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in a position of power and influence by virtue of their role. In rugby, most adults in a position of trust recognize that there are certain boundaries in the coach/volunteer–player relationship which must not be crossed.
Prevention To stop something from happening or developing Racism Conduct, words or practices which disadvantage or advantage people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be subtle or overt, intentional or unwitting and occur at different levels: individual, cultural or institutional.
Rights Entitlements enshrined in treaties, legislation or regulation.
Risk Exposure to harm or hazards.
Risk Assessment The process of identifying hazards and who might be affected by them and determining what action needs to be taken to reduce and manage the hazard.
Standard of Care: Part of the definition of negligence, standard of care is difficult to define precisely because it is always influenced by the risk inherent in the surrounding circumstances. Thus, the duty to act responsibly remains constant, but the specific behaviour required to meet the standard of responsibility will change with the circumstances. The standard of care in any given circumstance is influenced by four
1. Written Standards – government regulations, laws, standards voluntary guidelines, policy and procedural documents, and organizations risk management plan, etc.
2. Unwritten standards – common practices of the sport that may not be written, but are known and accepted. [i.e. yelling a ‘heads up’ when a ball is going into the spectator section of a match].
3. Case Law – these are court decisions about similar fact situations prior decisions may act as a guide or precedent for future decisions where the circumstances are similar.
4. Common Sense – this means simply doing what feels right, or avoiding what feels wrong. Common sense is the sum of your knowledge – trusting your commend sense is always a good rule of thumb.
Statutory Responsibilities A responsibility enshrined in treaty, legislation, and/or regulation.
Welfare The health, happiness and fortunes of a person or group. Action or procedure designed to promote the basic physical and material wellbeing of people in need.
Volunteer Someone offering services in an unpaid capacity for an organization.
Vulnerable Exposed to being harmed or attacked.
SECTION #6 – INFORMATION/FAQ’S & FORMS
GUIDELINES ON COMPLETING POLICE RECORD CHECK FORMSPlease read these notes before completing a Police Records Check form.
Who must complete the Police Record Check Form?
It is the policy of Rugby Ontario to require all persons who are seeking to work on a professional or volunteer basis in positions that involve regular supervisory contact, or positions of authority with children in a rugby environment to submit an approved police records check for vulnerable sector screening.
Where can I obtain a Police Records Check (PRC) form?
Police Record Check forms are generally available at your nearest Police Services Station. Upon completion, and submission of the form in person to the police, you may also be asked to provide identification so that the personal details you provide can be verified.
Once the police have completed the required background check, they will mail the form to your home address. Please make a copy so that it may be kept in a secure manner on file with the rugby club or constituent association.
Additionally, you can complete a Police Records Check with CCCI, a private firm with
whom Rugby Ontario has developed a strategic partnership. Information at:
www.cccinc.ca Who gets to read the Police Records Check form?
The Police Records Check should be completed by you, and delivered in person to the nearest police station. Only police authorities doing the necessary background checks will be able to read your PRC form.
What happens to the Police Records Check Form after the background check has been completed?
The Police Records Check, once competed by the authorities, is mailed to your home address. You should then bring a copy of the form to the Child Protection Officer or other designated official on the club, regional or provincial organization for a copy to be kept on confidential record
Are there any persons who are ‘exempted’ from a Police Records Check?
Currently, Rugby Ontario recognizes that persons in some professions, who may also take part in children’s and youth rugby, may be exempted because of the standard of requirements for their jobs.
What happens if I do not wish to complete a Police Records Check Form?
In accordance with our child protection policy and procedures you will not be allowed to work or volunteer in any position that directly involves working with children within Rugby Ontario and its member clubs.
SUGGESTED INTERVIEW / DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR PERSONS WISHING TO WORK OR
VOLUNTEER WITH CHILDREN IN RUGBYInterviews are a two way process of gathering information. The best way to do this is to ask questions that seek to explore a person’s previous experiences, their attitudes and to look at how they have used those experiences and their awareness of attitudes.
Questions that allow for simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer should be avoided. The following suggested questions will help you to plan the interview/ discussion and should be built around other information gathering questions. The questions are accompanied by the sorts of words and phrases that interviewers might look for in a good candidate.
• Assume a leadership role in the development, application, promotion and review of the RO Child Protection Policy and procedures, and will report to the Rugby Ontario, Board of Directors through the Risk Management Committee Chair, as required through the Secretary of the Board;
• Chair, the Rugby Ontario, Child Protection Disciplinary Panel, ensuring prompt, confidential and fair processes for the evaluation and monitoring of decisions that are taken;
• Act as the official Rugby Ontario contact for club members, volunteers, parents, and children regarding all matters pertaining to the protection of children and youth;
• Assist branches and clubs who wish to implement a Child Protection Officer position in their area;
• Establish and act as the official Rugby Ontario contact with local statutory agencies and coordinate the maintenance of records of reported cases, actions taken, ensuring prompt access to all necessary information;