Purpose
As our society increases its awareness of the problems associated with child abuse, organizations involved with America 's youth must work diligently to provide them with a safe environment and to help our member clubs deal with the issue of child abuse. In August of 1994, the USYSA approved the KidSafe Risk Management Program and charged each state with the responsibility of developing a formal, written program to help prevent child abuse and molestation. Mass Youth Soccer implemented its version of KidSafe. In 2002 the Massachusetts enacted legislation that made criminal background checks on volunteers working with youth mandatory, MGLC 6 Section 172 H.

Mass Youth Soccer Position
Mass Youth Soccer and its members will not knowingly allow any person convicted of a crime of violence, physical abuse, sale of illegal substances, or has any other convictions that would indicate a pattern of behavior that would have a detrimental effect on children to be placed in a position that would involve direct contact with children.

Applicability
This policy shall apply to the following :

  1. Coaches 
  2. Assistant Coaches 
  3. Administrators  (including employees of the Mass Youth Soccer and its affiliates) 
  4. Other Volunteers 

The Program
The program will consist of the following parts: 

  1. Establishing written guidelines for the handling of this information.
  2. Helping our members to identify and deal with child abuse.
  3. Establishing Mass Youth Soccer Guidelines for appropriate behavior.

Gathering Information Concerning Volunteers -- Procedures
Each organization will be responsible for properly registering all adult volunteers with Mass Youth Soccer. By volunteering, the adult now consents to a background check. Every Individual must complete a CORI Background Information Form and submit same to Mass Youth Soccer.

  1. Coaches
  2. Assistant Coaches
  3. Administrators  (including employees of the Mass Youth Soccer and its affiliates)
  4. Other Volunteers

All individuals will have a criminal background check. If the decison is made to investigate an individual further, Mass Youth Soccer will:

Notify the individual in writing of potential adverse action:  provide a copy of cori background report; Inform the individual of exactly which portion of the background report appears to make him/her ineligible; provide the individual a copy of the Massachusetts Criminal History System Board's information concerning the process in correcting the criminal record; and provide the individual an opportunity for a hearing to dispute the accuracy or relevance of the background report and any other relevant information; inform the individual in writing of decision of the Kids Safe committee.  The Mass Youth Soccer KidSafe Committee will be the final arbiter on what is an acceptable or unacceptable criminal history.

Reporting Instances of Child Abuse
Suspected instances of child abuse are extremely sensitive in nature. A great deal of care should be exercised in reporting suspected cases of child abuse.  Because of the serious consequences of child abuse it is Mass Youth Soccer's policy to report child abuse whenever it is suspected. Since child abuse can be difficult to identify without proper training, child abuse or suspected child abuse should only be discussed with the proper authorities. If you are uncertain about whether to report abuse, please contact the State KidSafe Coordinator at the Mass Youth Soccer Office.

If a child confides in you that he or she has been the victim of abuse, do not panic or overreact if the child confides in you. Do not criticize the child for confiding in you. Finally, respect the child's privacy.

If the child is in imminent danger, and you feel that you need to offer immediate assistance, you should contact the local police department. The police departments have the expertise to handle an emergency or crisis situation involving children.

If the child does not appear to be in any immediate danger, you should call the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) at PHONE # 800-792-5200. DSS will assign a social worker to investigate and determine what course of action is in the best interests of the child.