This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the committee and volunteers of the Altona Swimming Club (ASC) to child safety and to provide an outline of the policies and practices the Club has developed to keep everyone safe from harm, including abuse.
COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY
All children who are a part of the Club have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and the Club has a zero tolerance approach to child abuse. The Club aims to create a child safe and child friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun and the Clubs’s activities are always carried out in the best interests of the children.
APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY
This policy was developed by the Club Committee in collaboration with coaches, volunteers and children in our Club.
This policy applies to all individuals in our organisation (paid and unpaid) including, but not limited to
All of the people to which this policy applies have a role and responsibility in relation to child protection. They must all:
. Understand the indicators and risks of child able
. Appropriately act on any concerns raised by children; and
. Understand and follow all applicable laws in relation to the protection of children and reporting or management of child safety concerns.
Child abuse can take a broad range of forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect.
People to whom this policy applies need to be aware that child abuse can occur whenever there is actual or potential harm to a child and these are circumstances that the Club is committed to reducing the risk of occurrence.
CHILDREN’s RIGHTS TO SAFETY AND PARTICIPATION
The Club encourages children to express their views about their safety. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children who use our services to “have a say” about things that are important to them.
We teach children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children or their parents raise with us.
. Our Club has a robust leadership group of swimmers, in captains and swim captain positions. We have periodic meetings to listen to and act on children's needs and ideas.
. Our Club has a dedicated committee of parent volunteers whose priority it is to promote and encourage participation and enjoyment of swimming in a safe environment.
We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices.
To achieve this we aim to
. Promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families.
. Promote the the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families.
. Welcome children with a disability and their families.
. Seek appropriately trained staff from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Altona swimming Club has and has had many swimmers of various backgrounds and abilities participate successfully in our sport. The aim is to treat all equally and assist where necessary with special needs.
Certification and recognitions from local council has been achieved for our disability inclusion practises.
Swimmers are encouraged to participate in annual charity swims, developed initially by our Club, to promote and help various community members and swimmers with special needs.
This is an area of ongoing education and development, aim to appoint committee member to further this cause.
RECRUITING STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
The Club takes the following steps to ensure best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of staff and volunteers:
. Liaison with coaching service providers to ensure interview and referee checks on all staff and volunteers.
. Require working with children checks for all committee members and coaches.
. Our commitment to child safety and our screening process requirements are included in all advertisements and as part of the induction process for new staff or volunteers.
Our Club records and annually reviews working with children checks for all committee and coaches.
SUPPORTING STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
The Club seeks to attract and retain the best staff and volunteers.
We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated.
We have developed a Code of conduct to provide guidance to our staff and volunteers, all of whom will receive training on the requirements of the code.
We recognise the importance of a risk management approach to minimising the potential for abuse or harm to occur and use this to inform our policy, procedures and activity planning.
In addition to general occupational health and safety risks we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children. To reduce the risk of child abuse occurring, adults to whom this policy applies should avoid direct, unsupervised contact with children. For example this should be considered when:
. Using change room facilities
. Using accommodation or overnight stays
. Travel or
. Physical contact when coaching or managing children.
Refer to risk management assessment and policy.
REVIEWING THIS POLICY
This policy will be reviewed every two years and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from children, parents, carers, coaches and volunteers involved in the Club.