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Safeguarding Children in Sport

Parents can take comfort from moves to protect kids in sport from abuse - ABC News Breakfast Thursday 7 September, 2017

Safeguarding children in sport - ASC Podcast
Australian Childhood Foundation CEO Joe Tucci talks about the strategic work ACF's doing with ASC in the child safeguarding space.

ASC designing child safeguarding framework for sport, September 2017

 

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has announced plans to develop a national child safe sport framework, including advisory toolkits for national sporting organisations, to enhance consistency to child protection measures in sport.

ASC CEO Kate Palmer announced the plans during National Child Protection Week and said the framework would evolve from the National Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategy, through the collaborative efforts of a number of State Departments of Sport and Recreation (SDSRs), the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) and the ASC.

“The National Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategy has already looked at the broad spectrum of child safety policies and procedures across a number of sports, which gives us a good benchmark of information,” Palmer said.

“I congratulate the 43 national sporting organisations who voluntarily took part in this assessment process over the 12 months because it demonstrates a collaborative approach to the extremely important issue of child safety in sport.

“The transparent and frank way in which sports have worked with the ASC and ACF gives us clarity and confidence that sports have the right policies and procedures in place to protect child safety.

”The ASC with its partners are committed to this being an ongoing process so that the policies and procedures on child safety in sport remain relevant and robust at all times.”

The National Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategy will see the development of a child safe sport framework for sports which will: 

• build a commitment to child safety;
• increase the education and awareness of issues pertaining to child abuse; and
• engage parents and children in the continuous development of policies and procedures. 

The ASC is developing a child safe sport toolkit to assist sports in the development of child safe sport frameworks. 

 

Background

At a Play By The Rules national forum in 2012 national sporting organisations (NSO) identified child protection in sport as a top priority for the sector. To begin work in this area, the  Australian Sports Commission (ASC) engaged the services of the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) in 2014 to complete a blueprint report which looked at the capacity of sport to protect children and young people from abuse, harm and exploitation.

Following the blueprint report and with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, the ASC is committed to do more work in this area. The ACF is now working with the ASC on developing the National Safeguarding Children in Sport Strategy (NSCSS) which aims to:

  • enhance the collective culture across all Australian Sports to safeguard children and young people
  • explore strategies and a best approach for how all staff, management and volunteer members of Sports across Australia can better safeguard and respond to children and young people into the future.   

NSCSS Working Group
Representatives from NSOs, state and federal governments and experts in the area of child safeguarding make up the working group and their role is to oversee the development and implementation of the second stage of NSCSS, to provide guidance and direction to the NSCSS to ensure the needs and realities of the sports sector are adequately reflected.

Next steps
Stage Two of the NSCSS will include the establishment of a broader strategic framework for NSOs to achieve greater levels of child protection within their sport. The NSCSS will be underpinned by practical tools and resources to assist local sporting clubs, parents and young people.

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Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.