Child Safety Policy

Purpose

This policy demonstrates the strong commitment of the rowers, coaches and volunteers of the Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club to the safety of children and young people under the age of 18 at the club, and to provide an outline of the policies and practices the club has developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse. 

Commitment to Child Safety

All children who are a part of Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and Wendouree Ballarat has a zero tolerance to child abuse. Wendouree Ballarat aims to create a child safe and child friendly rowing environment where children feel safe and have fun and the club's activities are always carried out in the best interests of the children.

Application of this Policy

This policy applies to all individuals involved in our organisation including, but not limited to:

  • Administrators
  • Coaches
  • Officials
  • Participants
  • Parents
  • Spectators.

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 abuse;
  • 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

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 Wendouree Ballarat is committed to reducing the risk of occurrence.

Children’s Rights to Safety and Participation

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club encourages children and young people 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.

Valuing Diversity

We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. To achieve this we:

  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families;
  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families;
  • welcome children with a disability and their families and act to promote their participation; and
  • when needed seek appropriate volunteers from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Recruiting  volunteers

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club takes the following steps to ensure best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of volunteers:

  • Conduct referee checks on all volunteer coaches who join the club
  • Require police checks and Working with Children Checks for coaches and administrators
  • Our commitment to Child Safety and our screening requirements are included in our club handbook and online policy statements.

Supporting volunteers

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club seeks to attract and retain the best 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 volunteers, all of whom receive training on the requirements of the Code.

Reporting a child safety concern or complaint

Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club has an appointed Member Protection Officer with the specific responsibility for responding to any complaints made by members, parents or children. Our complaints process is outlined in Rowing Australia’s Member Protection Policy. In 2017/2018, Alicia Ivory is the club's Member Protection Officer.

Risk Management

We recognise the importance of a risk management approach to minimising the potential for child 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 and young people. For example, this should be a consideration when:

  • using change room facilities;
  • using accommodation or overnight stays;
  • travel; or
  • physical contact when coaching or managing children. 

Reviewing this policy

This policy will be reviewed every year and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from children, parents, carers and volunteers involved in the Club.

This document was developed using and adapting content from: The Commission for Children and Young People, Child Safe Policy (2016).


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