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Child Safety at MFCC - Touching

 

Dear Maccabi FC Caulfield,

As you know, our updated Child Safeguarding plan is awaiting approval by Football Australia.

The Club Committee wishes to draw to your attention a specific issue, that of physical contact (touching) with children in training or matches.

Although no complaints have been made, concerns have been raised of either members, volunteers, or staff being involved in the physical act of moving a child into position on the field. We note that in the Sports Integrity Australia booklet, the following guidance is given:

  • ·    Seek a child’s permission to touch or interact when demonstrating an activity.

  • ·    Check that physical contact is acceptable to a particular child. Even nonintrusive touch may be inappropriate if a child who indicates they do not wish to be touched.

  • ·      Respect and respond to signs that a child is uncomfortable with touch.

 

It is important for all participants to follow these guidelines (which reflect what participants are being taught at school to expect from adults), even if they seem impractical, and can be easily adopted through raising the issue before training commences. For example, you might get the team together and have a conversation such as:

"During training, I may give you instructions to move to a certain position on the field. If you are not listening to my instructions, I may need to physically move you to that position. If you are not comfortable with me moving you, please let me know. But it's important to always listen to my instructions, so we won’t need to have this conversation again. Are we all clear? Any questions?"

Through such a thoughtful discussion, you can avoid the possibility of innocent behaviour provoking a complaint. We are very conscious of protecting all our participants and the club from any misunderstandings in the future.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to either the Integrity Officer, Greg Hurvitz, of the club or the President, Kevin Milstein.

Thank you for your time and have a great and worry-free season ahead.

PS. Please note that this does not apply to Maccabi Little Striker groups as they are surrounded by parents at all times and nothing can be misconstrued.

This applies to teams U8 - U18, in other words only to children (under 18 years old) and not to adults. 

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