While child safety needs to be everyone’s responsibility, sport club committees must take the lead and put some important foundations in place.
Here are 6 steps to help get you started:
Club leaders must be firmly committed to creating a child safe organisation and consider:
- You are working towards a child safe culture at your club
- Think well beyond Working with Children Checks – creating a child safe club requires many strategies
- Add child safety as a regular meeting agenda item straight away, to ensure regular discussion and accountability
- Train club leaders on child safety
2. Appoint a child safe ‘champion’
Building a child safe organisation requires ongoing proactive work in many areas including recruitment, policies, culture, education, managing complaints and much more. In busy sport club environments, it can be difficult to get the work done unless someone drives it. Consider:
- Appointing a child safe officer or similar and/or
- Establishing a child safe steering group or sub committee.
Finding child safe expertise is important. Look for club members with backgrounds in teaching, childcare, law enforcement, risk, HR or safety. Like you would seek volunteers with accounting skills to manage club finances – look for experts to create your child safe club.
3. Understand the 10 Child Safe Standards
Club leaders must fully understand the 10 Child Safe Standards. The Standards provide you with a framework for creating a child safe organisation. Useful resources to help:
- Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) - Guide to the Child Safe Standards
- OCG training workshops
- Office of Sport Child Safe Sport workshops
- Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Standards self-assessment
- AHRC Standards online training
Also go to our tips on practical ways clubs can meet the Standards.
4. Talk to your peak body
Understand what your peak body – regional, state or national level – already has in place when it comes to child safety. May peak bodies have existing policies, procedures and training your club may be required to follow. Some have staff or key child safe contacts that may be able to help you.
5. Current situation and risk review
Take stock and review what your club already has in place to keep children safe. It is also important to:
- Undertake a child safe risk assessment. To help: OCG risk resources
- Ensure you fully understand the various child safety related laws in NSW
6. Action plan
Develop an action plan for how your club will work towards each of the 10 Child Safe Standards. Keep it simple, but clearly outline tasks, roles and responsibilities to stay on track.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Standards self assessment is a useful tool to help you consider each Standard, and how to work towards them.
These 6 steps are just a start.
Creating a child safe organisation is an ongoing, comprehensive approach your club needs to keep working on.