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SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE

Everyone who plays AFL has the right to Be Safe, Feel Safe, Play Safe.

The Australian Football League (AFL) is committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who participate in AFL Football at any level through activities, programs, services and /or use of facilities by fostering a culture where children and young people feel safe and welcome. Everyone who plays AFL has the right to Be Safe, Feel Safe, Play Safe.

AFL

To help support children, young people, families as well as coaches, umpires and those who deliver and support community football, the AFL has created a suite of resources and useful links to help foster a safe and welcoming environment.  

Situations where people simply feel uncomfortable at the club (or around certain people) right through to the worst-case scenario are things that every Committee and Club volunteer at local sporting clubs must take very seriously. Having any role at any grassroots footy club is important to help people enjoy their time whilst involved in a footy club and being connected within the community. If someone doesn’t feel safe however, it is a terrible situation.  

Keeping Children and Young People safe is the number one priority we have as a community – and nothing is different at footy clubs (even for senior footy clubs). Failing to at least try to keep kids safe whilst connected to our clubs in inexcusable.  

As a result, we have provided a wealth of information to help clubs navigate the complexity associated with this critical topic. Don’t be daunted by the range of information provided. Simply checking out the website is a good start. Remember - any action you take is better than taking no action. 

Check out the links below for policies, editable templates, posters and fact sheets to help you educate your community about Safeguarding Children and Young People. 

The following are example of things said by people involved in local sporting clubs:

This sort of thing only happens to poorly run clubs”  
(Fact: This is incorrect) 

“We know & trust our people”  
(Fact: You need to still be very careful) 

“We’ve never had an issue before”  
(Fact: You could have had an issue that has yet to be raised or could have one tomorrow) 

“We make sure that people get their appropriate checks - which is all we can really do”  
(Fact: This is only a small step in the process) 

“We’re run by volunteers, so we can’t be expected to be on top of all this stuff”  
(Fact: A volunteer led club still has obligations to do what it can to keep people safe) 

If we identity a possible risk and something happens, we will be liable” 
(Fact: The more action that the Committee takes to seek to prevent a situation, the less likely it is to occur ... and the better position a club will be in to defend itself 

These recorded webinars are designed to assist clubs and their members to understand what their responsibilities are in relation to safeguarding Children and Young People<

Safeguarding Community Football Education Session #1 - Overview

AFL Victoria Child Safe education session that outlines standards, club obligations & resources available (63 mins)

Session #2 - Q&A Session

Helping community clubs prepare for the introduction of new Child Safe Standards, this Q&A session runs through questions and queries when implementing the new Standards at club level. (44 mins)

Session #3 - Club and Committee Safeguarding Responsibilities

Information and resources to support Clubs and Club committee members understand their responsibilities on how to keep kids safe (57 mins)

Session #4 - Game Day Personnel

Safeguarding education awareness for Game Day Personnel on how to create safe and welcoming environments for children and young people at club level. (56 mins)

Session #5 - Families and Community

Information and education for children, young people, their families and community on what club's are required to do to help create safe, inclusive and welcoming environments for all young participants. (47 mins

Session #6 – New standards

AFL Victoria Child Safe education webinar that focuses on the new Child Safe Standards answering all your questions and queries on implementation at League and Club level. (66 mins)

Safeguarding Webinars Supporting Documents:

Document Name Arabic Chinese Simplified Tagalog Vietnamese Hindi Dinka
Child Safety Posters DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Abuse in Footy DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Expectations of Adults in Footy DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Raising Safety Concerns DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Transporting Children and Young People Guidelines DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Young People - Abuse in Footy DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Flagging Unsafe Behaviours in Footy DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Young People's rights and responsibilities DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 
Young People safe and unsafe behaviours in footy DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD  DOWNLOAD 

Child Safe Standards (Commission for Children and Young People)  
The Child Safe Standards require organisations involving children to have policies, procedures and practices to keep them safe.

Child Safe Organisations
As part of the Child Safe Organisations project, the Australian Government commissioned the National Children’s Commissioner to lead the development of National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Cultural Safety and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
This resource is intended to support organisations engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

eSafety Commissioner – staying safe online
This campaign raises awareness of the new Online Safety Act 2021, which protects Australians from serious online abuse.

Play by the Rules - Let Kids be Kids campaign
Let Kids be Kids is a national campaign that addresses poor sideline behaviour - largely at junior sport.

National Office for Child Safety - Child Friendly Complaints Information
Speaking up is important. It can make a difference. Adults should always listen, answer your questions and treat you with respect. 
 
Child Safe Sport - Play by the Rules
Safe and enjoyable sport and recreation experiences are the right of every Australian child. The PBTR Child Protection and Safeguarding online training course is free and suitable for players, volunteers, coaches, officials and administrators in sport. 
 
Child Safe Sport — Vicsport
New Child Safe Standards are coming to better protect children and young people from abuse. The Victorian Government has announced that the new Standards will commence on 1 July 2022, giving organisations time to plan, prepare and comply.

Kids Helpline | Phone Counseling Service | 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free (even from a mobile), confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14
National charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation
Support for young people with mental health, physical health (including sexual health), alcohol and other drug services, as well as work and study support. 

1800RESPECT
Confidential information, counseling and support service.

Blue Knot Foundation
Blue Knot provides information and support for anyone who is affected by complex trauma.