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Safeguarding children

All sporting organisations have a responsibility to provide safe environments for children and young people, ensuring they are safe from abuse and protected from people unsuitable to work with children.

In NSW the Working With Children Check (WWCC) is a legal requirement for those in child related work, paid or voluntary.

However, it is very important to understand that safe environments for children and young people go way beyond the WWCC. Criminal records checks are an important tool, but can't identify people who have not previously been caught or are yet to offend.

There are also a wide range of unacceptable behaviours children may encounter in sport - such as verbal abuse, pressure, overtraining, bullying and many more. The WWCC will not prevent these - good organisation policy and practice can.

Sporting organisations must work to safeguard children and ensure their experience in sport is positive and enjoyable at all times.

What club committees should do

Contact your state or national body and find out what’s already in place for your sport, including member protection and child protection policies and any child safe guidelines.

Get step by step advice on how to become a child safe organisation from the Office of the Children’s Guardian, such as:

  • Develop Child Safe policies
  • Have a Child Safe code of conduct
  • Ensure effective staff recruitment and training
  • Understand privacy considerations
  • Have a plan for managing risk
  • Encourage children and young people to participate
  • Effectively deal with complaints about behaviours towards a child
  • Attend child safe training.

Have committee members and volunteers undertake child safe training with the Office of the Children’s Guardian. Play by the Rules also offers free online training in child-protection.

More information

The Office of the Children’s Guardian Facebook page can keep you up to date on the latest child-safe rules and training.

The Clearinghouse for Sport connects people in sport to a world of ideas, experience and knowledge.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has produced guidelines on elements of Child Safe organisations.