Swan City SC takes our role with your children very seriously. Our number one priority is to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of our players and members. We have zero tolerance for abuse in all youth soccer teams, programs, or activities. It is the responsibility of every coach, employee, and volunteer to participate in the effort to create a safe environment for all soccer participants.
* Adapted from the United States Youth Soccer Association Code of Conduct
“SCSC” Activity includes Swan City SC club and our registered members registered through the United States Youth Soccer Association, Florida Youth Soccer Association, or US Club Soccer. SCSC activities include but are not limited to - the National Championship Series, (State, Regional, and National), National President Cup Series (State, Regional, and National), Florida Club League, as well as regional competitions/leagues, National League, Olympic Development Programs and State Association soccer related activities that qualify any coach, assistant coach, team trainer, team manager, team treasurer, referee, or any other individual over the age of 18 affiliated with SCSC who has direct or indirect contact or influence on a youth player who seeks risk management certificate within the State Association shall qualify as an activity.
REPORTING ABUSE OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE
Given Swan City SC’s zero tolerance for abuse, SCSC encourages a culture of communication regarding matters that place athletes at risk.
SCSC supports and encourages a culture of communication related to the abuse or suspected abuse of athletes. If you see or suspect inappropriate interaction with or between athletes, it is your responsibility to report the inappropriate interaction to a coach, supervisor, team official, club administrator, or other designated SCSC representative.
Because sexual abusers ‘groom’ athletes for abuse, it is possible that a coach or volunteer may witness behavior intended to ‘groom’ a child for sexual abuse. “Grooming” behavior related to children includes, but is not limited to, befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. Players and parents are encouraged to report ‘grooming’ behavior, any policy violations, or any suspicious behaviors to a supervisor, team official, club administrator of SCSC, or other designated SCSC representative.
All reports of inappropriate behaviors or suspicions of abuse will be taken seriously and will be reported, in accordance with SCSC Policies and state law, to law enforcement, Child Protective Services, or other appropriate agency.
HOW TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT
Who is required to report child abuse?
All SCSC staff, coaches, and any other adults who are authorized to interact with minor athletes at a facility under the jurisdiction of SCSC MUST REPORT any suspected child abuse/neglect, including sexual abuse, WITHIN 24 HOURS of being made aware of the suspected abuse.
Failure to report suspected child abuse is subject to criminal penalties.
What is required?
All individuals who are required to report must report suspected child abuse to EACH AND EVERY entity pertaining to the specific case listed below:
RESPONSE TO REPORT OF ABUSE
When a report of abuse or neglect occurs, team or Club representatives will take the necessary and appropriate action to ensure a safe environment for the person at risk. Moreover, SCSC will not retaliate against anyone that reports any issue of abuse or neglect.
PROHIBITED PHYSICAL CONTACT
Prohibited forms of physical contact include, without limitation:
- Asking or having a minor athlete sit in the lap of a coach or volunteer;
- Lingering or repeated embrace of a minor athlete that goes beyond the criteria set forth for acceptable physical contact;
- Slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, or any other physical contact meant to discipline, punish or achieve compliance from a minor athlete; (e.g., “butts up” game)
- “Cuddling” or maintaining prolonged physical contact with a minor athlete during any aspect of training, travel, or overnight stay;
- Playful, yet inappropriate contact that is not a part of regular training, (e.g., butt pats, tickling, or wrestling-type “horseplay”);
- Continued physical contact that makes a minor athlete obviously uncomfortable, whether expressed or not;
- Any contact that is contrary to a previously expressed personal desire by the minor athlete for decreased or non physical contact, where such decreased contact is feasible in a competitive training environment.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at any SCSC Activity and will not be tolerated. Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to the victim. SCSC is committed to providing a safe, caring, and friendly environment for all participants. If bullying does occur, incidents, incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Any minor athlete who is aware of bullying behavior is expected to tell a coach, team official, SCSC Administrator, or other SCSC representative.
Objectives of SCSC’s Bullying Policy and Action Plan:
- To clearly communicate that SCSC will not tolerate bullying in any
- To define bullying and give minor athletes, coaches, volunteers, and parents a suitable understanding of those behaviors that constitute ‘bullying’.
- To make it known to minor athletes, coaches, and volunteers that a policy and protocol exist should a bullying issue arise.
- To clearly communicate how to report bullying.
- To communicate to minor athletes, coaches, volunteers, and parents that SCSC takes bullying seriously, and will immediately investigate and address all reports of it.
Harassment is the repeated pattern of physical and/or non-physical behaviors that
- Are intended to cause fear, humiliation, or annoyance;
- Offend or degrade;
- Create a hostile environment;
- Reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority, or power over an individual athlete or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or mental or physical disability; or
- Any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state
Examples of harassment prohibited in SCSC Activities include, without limitation:
Hazing is defined as coercing, requiring, forcing or willfully tolerating any humiliating, unwelcome or dangerous activity that serves as a condition for
- An athlete joining a group;
- An athlete being socially accepted by a group’s members; or
- Any act or conduct described as hazing under federal or state
Hazing does not include group or team activities that are meant to establish normative team behaviors or promote team cohesion.
Examples of hazing prohibited in SCSC include, without limitation:
- Requiring, forcing, or otherwise requiring an athlete to consume alcohol or illegal drugs;
- Tying, taping, or otherwise physically restraining an athlete;
- Sexual simulations or sexual acts of any nature;
- Sleep deprivation, otherwise unnecessary schedule disruption or the withholding of water and/or food;
- Social actions (e.g. grossly inappropriate or provocative clothing) or public displays (e.g. public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule;
- Beating, paddling or other forms of physical assault; and
- Excessive training requirements directed at a particular athlete or group of athletes.
Activities that fit the definition of hazing are considered to be hazing regardless of an athlete’s willingness to cooperate or participate.
Behaviors that include
- Hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, choking, or slapping a minor athlete or participant;
- Throwing at or hitting a minor athlete with objects including sporting
Behaviors that include
- Making negative or disparaging comments about an athlete’s disability, religion, skin color or ethnic traits;
- Displaying offensive materials, gestures, or symbols; and
- Withholding or reducing playing time to an athlete based on his or her disability, religion, skin color, or ethnic traits.
WILLFULLY TOLERATING MISCONDUCT
It is a violation of SCSC’s Policies, if a coach, volunteer, or participant knows of misconduct, but takes not action to intervene on behalf of the minor athlete(s). All forms of misconduct should be reported to a coach, team official, SCSC Administrator, or other designated SCSC representative.
PEER-TO-PEER SEXUAL ABUSE
Approximately 1/3 of all reported sexual abuse occurs at the hands of other children or minors. Parents and players are encouraged to report peer-to-peer sexual abuse.
Whether sexual interaction between athletes constitutes ‘sexual abuse’ depends on the existence of an aggressor and whether there is an imbalance of power between the parties (e.g. an age difference between the athletes, disparity in size o,r the existence of a physical or intellectual disability). If you have concerns that interaction between minor athletes may constitute sexual abuse, report the interaction to a coach, team official, SCSC's Administrator, or other SCSC representative.
PARENTAL CONTACT AND INVOLVEMENT
Parents of minor athletes will be contacted if their athlete becomes ill, injured, or has a severe disciplinary problem while participating in an SCSC Activity.
Any non-consensual physical contact, obscene or profane language or gesture, or other threatening language or conduct directed towards any player, official, parent, or SCSC personnel having any connection to SCSC is strictly prohibited.
Officials and players will be treated with respect during all SCSC events. While coaches are permitted to question an official regarding a call, coaches, parents, players and spectators are not permitted to disparage, ridicule, or otherwise engage in threatening or harassing conduct toward an official or player. Only coaches or their designees are permitted to give direction to players during games and/or practices.
Physical restraint will be used only when necessary to protect the child or other children from harm. When physical restraint is administered, the situation must be immediately documented in writing to the Technical Director.