Approved and submitted: January 2016
Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Children and Youth
NYAA welcomes everyone and is committed to helping individuals and families enjoy athletics.
We also recognize that today’s society is not immune from the painful reality of child abuse. We understand the
devastating damage done to a child's growth when abused within an academic or athletic setting. As an organization, we must take intentional measures to protect our children.
This policy is designed to provide safety and openness: to provide protection for our children while maintaining an atmosphere that welcomes all. By providing many sports with supervisory responsibilities and screening requirements, we are striving to meet the needs of today’s youth. By developing and implementing safety procedures and precautions, we are trying to ensure that the growth and development of our children is not disrupted by the preventable evil of child abuse.
This policy will:
• Establish a procedure for reducing the risk of child abuse which is consistent with the law;
• Establish minimum guidelines for educating our members and staff about child abuse;
• Establish a procedure for reporting and responding to allegations of abuse
• Do everything reasonable to assure a healthy and safe environment where everyone can enjoy athletics.
This comprehensive plan presents procedures for Screening, Supervision, and Response.
These procedures are the minimum necessary precautions for protecting children. NYAA will endeavor to monitor updates and recommendations by the NYAA Board of Directors and may modify these procedures.
“NYAA”: The Northwestern Youth Athletic Association, PO Box 7, New Tripoli PA 18066. www.nyaatigers.org.
“Adult”: a person 18 years of age or older or out of high school.
“Child”: any person under the age of 18 or still in high school
“Staff Person”: any person employed, appointed by or volunteering with the NYAA as a coach or director.
“The Two-Adult Rule”: a standard that requires that at any NYAA activity there will be at least two UNRELATED adults present. Two related people may serve together, but a third person should be present as well. This may include the presence of an adult “roamer” who moves in and out of rooms/activity areas.
“Children's Activity”: any activity or program sponsored by NYAA in which children are under the supervision of staff persons.
“Child abuse”: as defined under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law means any of the following:
(I) Any recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes non-accidental serious physical injury to a child under 18 years of age.
(ii) Any act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes non-accidental serious mental injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.
(iii) Any recent act, failure to act or series of acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.
(iv) Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate medical care, which endangers a child's life or development or impairs the child's functioning.
“Crisis Management Team”: a group of individuals to include the parents, legal counsel, medical, psychological or counseling representative and others as deemed necessary. This group shall be a standing group appointed as needed by the NYAA Board of Directors, and the NYAA President or Legal Council will act as the point of contact (contact information via www.nyaatigers.org).
SCREENING PROCEDURES & Background Check Info (for coaches & volunteers):
The State of Pennsylvania passed new legislation requiring any adult applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer who will have direct contact with children to obtain background checks/clearances. The new requirements are effective July 1, 2015. If you are a Northwestern Youth Athletic Association (NYAA) Volunteer in any capacity, you are required to obtain the following clearances every 60-months:
Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (PSP)
Child Abuse History Clearance from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (Child Abuse).
A fingerprint based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history- if the volunteer has lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last ten years. Volunteers who are not required to obtain the FBI Clearance because they have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past ten years must swear or affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service.
Outlined below, you will find the cost of the clearances:
Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Criminal Record Check: $0.00 (or reimbursable)
Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Child Abuse): $0.00 (or reimbursable)
FBI Criminal Background check through PA Dept. of Human Services: $27.50 (reimbursable by NYAA)
If you work/volunteer for a school district, human services organization, etc., and already have the required clearances and they are less than 60-months old, you do not have to complete this process until within 60-months of the date of the most recent clearance. If you previously obtained clearances but they are more than 60-months old, you have until July 1, 2016 to complete the process.
While volunteers will be responsible for completing and paying for the clearances up front, NYAA will reimburse/credit volunteers when they provide proof of the required clearances. This new process will replace all other background check processes previously required by NYAA and its leagues. NYAA will not reimburse for clearances already secured for other jobs or volunteer services and that pre-date this notification of June 1, 2015.
The Child Abuse, PSP and FBI clearances can all be applied for and paid for electronically. The FBI clearance also requires a fingerprint submission. Once all clearances are obtained, you will receive certificates that you MUST provide copies to NYAA for compliance to the requirement as well as for reimbursement/credit. All NYAA Volunteers are asked to begin the clearance process before the start of a season as it could take several weeks to secure all the required clearances.
Please go to the following websites to complete the clearance process:
Information on the new requirements pertaining to Child Abuse Clearances can also be found at www.KeepKidsSafe.PA.gov.
These clearances are required for ALL NYAA volunteers.
Volunteers need to provide certificates of clearance, to their respective sport Director.
NYAA, due to the State requirement, will reimburse/credit all volunteers who provide proof that they have secured the required clearances/affidavits.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Executive Board
The second step to providing a place of safety for children is conscientious and intentional supervision. These procedures are designed to reduce the possibility of abuse to children and to protect persons from unwarranted accusations. These are minimum standards. Each sport may adopt more stringent standards as necessary.
• Minimum supervisory standards include the “Two-Adult Rule.” The “Two-Adult Rule” standard not only helps provide a safe environment for the children, it also provides volunteers with more encouragement, creativity, and flexibility.
• Each room or enclosed space, when applicable, where activities are held shall have a window in the door or the door shall be left open. All sports should occur in open view.
Once an incident of child abuse occurs or an allegation is made, it is crucial that it be dealt with speedily and in a clearly outlined manner. The person who observes alleged abuse or to whom such abuse is reported shall report the incident immediately to the staff person in charge of the children's activity. The staff person in charge of the children's activity in which the alleged abuse was observed or disclosed shall obtain necessary information such as the name of the alleged victim and his/her address and family information.
If the allegation is against a NYAA staff person or if it occurred in the course of an NYAA activity, the staff person in charge of the activity will contact the NYAA Board who will mobilize the Crisis Management Team. The Crisis Management Team will then make the initial contact with the Pennsylvania Childline & Abuse Registry (1-800-932-0313). The staff person will also contact the Child's guardian(s) immediately and an in-person meeting arranged as soon as practical. (A 24-hour time frame suggested for reporting).
If the allegation concerns activities or persons outside any relationship to an NYAA related event or activity, the staff person will contact the NYAA Board who will mobilize the Crisis Management Team. The Crisis Management team will then make the initial contact with the Pennsylvania Childline & Abuse Registry (1-800-932-0313). An example of this would be a child telling a coach about abuse by a relative during the prior year. (24 hour maximum time frame suggested for reporting)
Persons who are the objects of the report shall refrain from all coaching, staff or other volunteer activities until the incident report is resolved. NYAA Board members will take responsibility for informing the person they are to be removed from coaching, staff or volunteer activities and inform them of steps to be taken in the investigation. In any removal of a person from any coaching, staff or volunteer activities, care should be taken to handle this in a discreet manner, recognizing that an investigation is still being conducted.
A quick, compassionate and unified response to an alleged incident of child abuse is expected. All allegations will be taken seriously. In all cases of reported or observed abuse in a sport, the entire organizational arm of that activity shall be at the service of all official investigating agencies.
The NYAA Board President, or his/her designee, is the only person authorized to make statements to representatives of the media. All requests for statements should be directed to the NYAA Board President. Training in how to handle media requests should be a regular part of staff training. A spirit of cooperation in helping the media find the “official spokesperson” is often helpful.
Thank you for your support!
Northwestern Youth Athletic Association