Regions and clubs have many responsibilities: strengthen sport, extend opportunities to participate, and instill the values of fair play, respect and hard work. Creating conditions that promote the performance and well being of athletes is a fundamental component of these goals, which require effective policies and monitoring, as well as the collaboration and collective energy of our entire sport community.
SafeSport developed these materials and resources to help organizations create a culture that encourages safety, openness and disclosure. By implementing appropriate policies and procedures, regions and clubs can fulfill their obligations to coaches, athletes and parents. Although every sport and organization is different, this information can serve as a starting point for designing an effective plan.
These resources provide information on child protection,
abuse prevention and ways to seek help.
Safe 4 Athletes
Advocate for athlete welfare
Darkness to Light
To empower people to prevent child sexual abuse
Global nonprofit leader in teaching positive, practical personal safety skills to protect people of all ages and abilities from bullying, molestation, abduction and other violence, and to prepare them to develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Kidpower makes it FUN not SCARY.
Your Life, Your Voice
24/7 Hotline: 800-448-3000
Resources for children, teens and young adults dealing with depression, abuse or contemplating suicide
Information on bullying, including who is at risk, prevention and responding, and the laws in each state to prevent bullying and protect children
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Comprehensive information and resources to protect children
Stop It Now!
Preventing sexual abuse of children by helping take action before it starts
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
Staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a professional crisis counselor
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Information on laws and policies that designate the groups of professionals that are required to report cases of suspected child abuse and neglect. Includes summaries of laws for all U.S. states and territories.
Positive Coaching Alliance
PCA is a national nonprofit works to provide all youth athletes with a positive and character-building youth sports experience
Resource site for sports parents with a wide variety of youth sports topics including health, safety, nutrition, psychology and sports parenting
One of the challenges of addressing misconduct in sport is the multitude of variables and components that contribute to a healthy setting. But before a club can develop an effective strategy, it needs to define the risks it faces across at least three areas:
- The sport
- The amount of physical handling required for coaching
- The sport’s professionally accepted training methods
- The extent of youth involvement (including youth athletes, referees, officials, and support staff)
- Where training and competition take place
- Travel away
- How the athletes and/or team travels
- Whether there are any special needs within the group
- The ages of the athletes and other sport participants
- Whether there is mixed-gender participation
- Whether there are mixed-age groupings
- The sport-specific opportunities (e.g., locker rooms and changing areas) for misconduct to occur
Once a club has engaged in the hard work of developing and implementing its plan, the next step is for all participants to understand the policies and know what actions to take. With the sheer number of individuals involved in sport programs, minimizing the incidence of misconduct in sport is truly a team effort. Each group – from coaches and staff to parents and athletes – has an important and unique role to play.