Working with Children Policy

Croydon Ranges takes the safety of the public seriously.  We have a Working with Child policy to set clear ethics about appropriate behaviour when children are participating in activities within the club.

Maintain Appropriate Boundaries

Coaches and other personnel in positions of authority should maintain clear:

Physical Boundaries

  • Use drills to develop fitness, never as punishment
  • Only use physical contact that is appropriate for the development of a particular skill
  • Work within sight of others at all times

Emotional / verbal boundaries

  • Use positive feedback on performance, not negative feedback about the person
  • Be encouraging and avoid put-downs

Social Boundaries

  • Attend sport-related events such as sponsorship and fundraising event, celebrations and annual meetings but do not socialize with athletes outside sporting functions

Sexual Boundaries

  • Do not have sexual relationships with athletes you are coaching
  • Do not touch athletes in ways likely to make the feel uncomfortable

Minimize physical contact

Generally physical contact with players/participants should be to:

  • Develop sport skills
  • Give sports massage
  • Treat an injury
  • Prevent or respond to an injury
  • Meet specific requirements of the sport

All physical contact be personnel should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Physical contact should be appropriate for the development of a sport skill/s
  • Permission from the player/participant should always be sought
  • Player/participants should be congratulated or comforted in public, not in an isolated setting

Avoid being alone with a child

To protect both yourself and a child from risk:

  • Do not isolate yourself and a child and avoid being alone with any particular child
  • If a child approaches you and wants to talk to you privately about a matter, do so in an open area and in the sight of other adults (e.g. other coaches, officials or parents/guardians)
  • Before going into change rooms knock or announce that you will be coming in. Try to have at least one adult with you in a change room with children

Maintain control – avoid losing your temper

Adopt positive language and behaviour. Avoid any language that could intimidate or set a poor example.

If you find yourself losing your temper with children, you should seek support in learning how to manage children’s behaviour, or consider whether you have the patience to work with children.

Some ideas to assist with maintaining control include:

  • Setup some basic rules at the beginning of the season such as ‘be nice but firm’, ‘be fair’, ‘follow instructions’, ‘have a go’, and ‘no put downs’.  Make children aware that these are the rules.  ‘Nice but firm’ avoid creating problems of ambiguity as it makes it clear where and adult stands in relation to the child. ‘Being fair’ is also important because of the strong message it sends to young, impressionable children
  • Give positive messages
  • Have a ‘time out’ area for children and young people who are not behaving. This should be simple such as an agreed ‘T’ sign with the hands that children know means to go to time out for two minutes
  • Adopt a card system to express concerns with a child’s behaviour rather than becoming verbally agitated. For example, a yellow card is a warning, two yellow cards means time out for two minutes, and a red card could mean the child misses the next week’s game

Make sure parents are clear about collection of their children

Parents need to be responsible for the collection of their children from practice and games. A list of actions that could help include:

  • Have a register of parent/guardian emergency contact numbers and make sure coaches/officials have access to a phone
  • Letting children and parents/guardians know practice and game times, when parents/guardians can expect to collect their children, and that it is not your responsiblity to transport children home if parents are delayed
  • Asking the second to last child and parent/guardian to wait the coach/offical and the child
  • Getting parents to collect their children from the club room (e.g. if the club room contains other people)
  • If there are other people at the ground or facility, wait for the parent/guardian closer to those people. In the meantime try to make contact with the parent/guardian
  • Avoid the risk of being alone with a child by having a parent/guardian or support person assist you with the training. Require that person to wait until all children have left