PART A – MEMBER PROTECTION
A7: POLICY POSITION STATEMENTS
7.1 Child Protection Policy
Every person and organisation bound by this Policy must always place the safety and welfare of children above all other considerations.
The ABF acknowledges that our staff and volunteers provide a valuable contribution to the positive experiences of our juniors. The ABF aims to ensure this continues and to protect the safety and welfare of its junior participants. Several measures will be used to achieve this, such as:
(1) prohibiting any form of abuse against children;
(2) providing opportunities for our juniors to contribute to and provide feedback on our program development;
(3) carefully selecting and screening people whose role requires them to work with, have regular contact with, or direct and unsupervised contact with children (Screening Procedures are outlined in Part B of this Policy);
(4) ensuring our codes of conduct, particularly for roles associated with junior sport, are promoted, enforced and reviewed;
(5) providing procedures for raising concerns or complaints (Complaints Procedure is outlined in Part A8 of this Policy); and
(6) providing education and / or information to those involved in our sport on child abuse and child protection.
The ABF requires that any child who is abused, or anyone who reasonably suspects that a child has been or is being abused by someone within our sport, to report it immediately to the Police or relevant Government agency and an MPIO. Descriptions of the sorts of activity which may be abuse are in the Dictionary at Part A11.
All allegations of child abuse will be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially. A person will not be victimised for reporting an allegation of child abuse and the privacy of all persons concerned will be respected. Our procedures for handling allegations of child abuse are outlined in Part C4 of this Policy.
If anyone bound by this Policy reasonably suspects that a child is being abused by his or her parent/s, they are advised to contact the relevant Government department for youth, family and community services in their State or Territory.
7.2 Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy
The ABF aims to provide a sport environment where all those involved in its activities are treated with dignity and respect and without harassment or discrimination.
The ABF recognises that all those involved in its activities cannot enjoy themselves, perform to their best, or be effective or fully productive if they are being treated unfairly, discriminated against, or harassed because of their sex, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, race, age, disability, homosexuality, sexuality, transgender, religion, political belief and / or industrial activity.
The ABF prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination not only because it is against the law, but because it is extremely distressing, offensive, humiliating and / or threatening and creates an uncomfortable and unpleasant environment.
Descriptions of some of the types of behaviour which could be regarded as harassment or discrimination are provided in the Dictionary at Part A11.
If any person feels they are being harassed or discriminated against by another person or organisation bound by this Policy, please refer to the Complaints Procedure outlined in Part A8 of this Policy. This will explain what to do about the behaviour and how the ABF will deal with the problem.
7.3 Sexual Relationships Policy
The ABF takes the position that sexual relationships between coaches and adult athletes that they coach should be avoided. The ABF takes the view that such relationships, while not necessarily constituting unlawful harassment, can have harmful effects on the individual athlete involved, on other athletes and coaches and on the sport’s public image. Such relationships tend to be intentionally or unintentionally exploitative because there is usually a disparity between coaches and athletes in terms of authority, power, maturity, status and dependence. The ABF’s policy position is similar to other organisations who disallow professionals such as teachers, doctors and counsellors, to have sexual relationships with their clients or students.
Should a sexual relationship develop between a coach and athlete, the ABF will investigate whether any action against the coach is necessary. Factors that may be relevant to consider are the age and maturity of the athlete relative to the coach, the financial or emotional dependence of the athlete on the coach and the likelihood of the relationship having any adverse impact on the athlete and / or other athletes. If it is determined that the sexual relationship is inappropriate, action may be taken to stop the coaching relationship with the athlete. Action may include; transfer, a request for resignation, or dismissal from coaching duties.
In the event that an athlete attempts to initiate an intimate sexual relationship, the coach must take personal responsibility for discouraging such approaches, explaining the ethical basis for such action. The coach may wish to approach an MPIO or complaints officer, or other designated person if they feel harassed.
The law is always the minimum standard for behaviour within the ABF and therefore sex with a child is a criminal offence.