STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
Active Gymnastics is committed to ensuring that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children is maintained at all times whilst under our duty of care. Every individual bound by our policy must always place the safety and welfare of children above all other considerations. Any individual involved in the instruction, management or coaching of a club member under the age of 18 years will be asked to undergo screening procedures, including a Working With Children Check.
DEFINITIONS & POLICY COVERAGE
Child abuse relates to children at risk of harm, often by those they know and trust. Children may be harmed by verbal and/or physical actions, along with not being provided basic care.
Child abuse takes many forms. It is not limited to, but may include:
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Emotional abuse; and/or
Active Gymnastics will not employ/engage an individual to coach or supervise a child under the age of 18 years without conducting a Working With Children Check or other relevant checks on that person.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Active Gymnastics has a responsibility to ensure the reporting of discrimination, harassment or child abuse. Such anti-social behaviour is not tolerated within our program.
Disciplinary action will be taken by Active Gymnastics against anyone who:
- Is found to be in breach of this Policy;
- Retaliates against an individual who has reported a breach of this Policy; and/or
- Is found to have made a frivolous or vexatious complaint.
Discipline will depend on the severity and circumstances of the case. It may involve an apology, counselling, suspension, dismissal or another form of action.
COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURE
Regarding a Policy breach, Active Gymnastics handles complaints seriously, sensitively and confidentially. It is the prerogative of a complainant to proceed with or dissolve a complaint.
Should a complaint arise, Active Gymnastics encourages the complainant to consider the following options:
- Approach the individual creating the problem and ask him/her to cease the behaviour;
- If the behaviour continues, or it is not possible to approach the person, contact either:
- A coach or manager;
- The club’s Member Protection Contact Officer; or
- The club Director or the GWA Member Protection Contact Officer.
If the complainant decides to proceed, the matter will be referred to a relevant authority for investigation.
Active Gymnastics recognises the need for communication boundaries. Individuals employed by Active Gymnastics must:
- Be aware of their communication style and how their actions may be interpreted;
- Be aware that not all children will understand an action, request or behaviour in the same manner;
- Explain in front of all children their method of instruction;
- Use positive and age-appropriate language when talking to and in the presence of children;
- Ensure feedback is linked to performance and is not of personal nature;
- Ensure all physical contact with children is relevant and appropriate to the development of skills required for the activity;
- Seek permission to touch when development of the skill is required;
- Not engage in intimate relationships with individuals under the age of 18 years;
- Avoid unaccompanied/unobserved activities (ie. Being alone with a child);
- Understand and comply with all relevant policies;
- Understand and comply with child protection legislation in WA;
- Seek out opportunities to enhance their knowledge of child protection; and
- Keep coaching skills and accreditation up to date.
COACHING CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Active Gymnastics is aware that coaching or working with children with special needs may require more frequent physical contact and touch as a means of meeting the duty of care to them. Touch may be an agreed form of
communication between a child, their parent and coach. A coach and others may need to be more vigilant and thoughtful in their physical interactions and different approaches may be required. However, the basic practices and information outlined previously remain applicable to all children.
Sporting organisations, coachers and others owe a duty of care to protect children from harm. Whilst the way this duty is met may differ across group, the duty itself remains constant.
Active Gymnastics is aware that different cultures have different attitudes and traditions surrounding the concept of appropriate touch. It is important that coaches and others appreciate culturally specific expectations regarding
CHILD PROTECTION OUTSIDE THE GYM
If you suspect a child may be at risk from child abuse outside of the gym environment, please inform a manager of your concerns. If the manager believes this to be serious, further authority will then be contacted.