Wolves Abuse Prevention Policies
On February 14th, 2018, the President signed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act which is aimed at protecting amateur athletes** from sexual abuse.
** Under the law, an amateur athlete is any child or minor under the age of 19 in Nebraska.
The Law has a three-pronged approach:
- Any adult interacting with amateur athletes in the program has a duty to report abuse and or suspected abuse within a 24 hour period. EVERY adult is a mandatory reporter.
- The statute of limitations is extended for up to 10 years after a victim realizes he or she was abused.
- Limits an athlete under the age of 18 from being alone with an adult who is not their parent.
Legislation is available for download by clicking the link below: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/534
What else is important to know about this Law?
There are additional and more specific requirements for several categories of youth sports providers listed as ‘Applicable Entity’ within the Bill. Those listed under this category include:
- National Governing Body (NGB) – Such as the United States Soccer Federation
- Amateur Sports Organization (sanctioned by NGB) – Such as Nebraska State Soccer and Member Affiliates (Clubs and Leagues)
- Amateur Sports Organizations (NOT sanctioned by NGB) – Such as YMCA, Church Leagues, Municipal Leagues, Independent Recreation Leagues, Camps, all others
See the U.S. Center for SafeSport fact sheet: https://www.safesport.org/files/details/78
What are the requirements for NGB-Affiliated Clubs such as Metro Wolves Soccer?
Reporting – all organizations must have a mechanism that allows a complaint to be easily reported for a reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse/neglect, within a 24 hour period of awareness. Federal regulations state that reports should be made to a) local law enforcement and b) local/state child protective services , c) US Soccer, and d) the US Center for SafeSport. EVERYONE is a MANDATORY REPORTER.
Wolves follow Nebraska State Soccer’s Mechanism for Reporting
(Everyone listed below MUST be contacted when physical or sexual abuse is suspected)
- Local Law Enforcement – Call the local police either where you live or where you suspect the abuse took place.
- Sarpy County Division of Children and Family Services: (402) 595-1258
Note: Wolves Soccer Club is based in La Vista, Sarpy County, Nebraska. If you wish to report something to another county please find the appropriate contact information or have Sarpy County DCF refer you accordingly.
- State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. 800-652-1999.
- Wolves Club Risk Manager Contact Information: Call 402-708-8442 or email SafeSport@MetroWolvesSoccer.com.
- Nebraska State Soccer Risk Manager – (402) 596-1616
- National Governing Body (NGB) US Soccer Integrity Hotline Number – (312) 528- 7004
US Soccer – https://www.ussoccer.com/integrity-hotline
US Center for SafeSport – https://www.safesport.org/report-a-concern
For other forms of misconduct such as emotional abuse, bullying, hazing, or harassment please contact the club per below.
– Wolves Club Risk Manager Contact Information Call 402-708-8442 or email SafeSport@MetroWolvesSoccer.com.
Request a Review/Hearing with the Board of Directors – Wolves’ policy is to document and address any misconduct within the club. The decision of the Board of Directors will be sent to the State Risk Manager for further action if appropriate for Wolves staff, or if non-Wolves staff is involved.
Wolves Policies and Procedures – Wolves policies and procedures aimed at PREVENTING one-on-one interactions between a minor athlete and an adult.
This applies to:
- Adults at any facility under the jurisdiction of Wolves Soccer Club, such as indoor or outdoor practice or game facilities
- Adult members of the club who have regular contact with players who are minors (including, but not limited to, coaches, assistant coaches, and other trainers)
- Adults authorized by the Club to have regular contact or authority over players who are minors (including, but not limited to, team managers, tournament, camp, or event workers)
- Wolves Board Members and Other Staff (paid or volunteer)
- All categories above shall be collectively referred to as Participating Adults
OBSERVABLE AND INTERRUPTIBLE
- One-on-One interactions between minors and an Adult (who is not the minor’s parent or legal guardian) at any Wolves facilities are permitted, if they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult. Generally, this means another adult can see and hear what is going on.
- Isolated, one-on-one interactions between minors and an Adult (who is not the minor’s parent or legal guardian) are prohibited, except under emergency circumstances.
- This applies to practices, training sessions, and any meetings. If a one-on-one meeting takes place (such as a performance review), it must adhere to the observable and interruptible criteria. If such a meeting takes place in an office or other indoor venue, the door to the office must remain unlocked and open. If there is a choice of meeting rooms, the meeting must occur in an office with windows, if available, with windows, blinds, and/or curtains remaining open during the meeting.
- If such a meeting with a minor player involves a mental health care professional, a closed door meeting may be permitted to protect patient privacy. Written consent from the parent or legal guardian must be obtained by the mental health care professional and provided to the Club in advance. In such a case the door(s) may be closed but must remain unlocked, and another adult must be informed that the closed-door meeting is occurring and must remain nearby for the duration of the meeting.
Social Media and Electronic Communications Policies:
- All electronic communications originating from participating adults to minor athletes must be professional in nature.
- If a participating adult needs to communicate directly with a minor athlete via electronic communications, another participating adult or the minor’s parent or legal guardian must be copied on all communications.
- If a minor athlete communicated to the participating adult privately first, the participating adult should respond to the minor athlete with a copy to another participating adult or the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
- A participating adult communicating electronically to multiple minor players or the entire team will copy another participating adult.
- Minor athletes may “like”, “friend’, “follow” or otherwise interact with the organization’s official social media sites. Wolves will monitor our social media sites and remove any inappropriate postings. Parents or legal guardians of minors who make inappropriate posts will be notified.
Social Media and Electronic Communications Prohibitions:
- Participating Adults are not permitted to communicate privately via electronic communications with minor athletes, except under emergency circumstances.
- Participating Adults are not permitted to “private message”, “instant message”, “direct message”, or send photos via Snapchat, Instagram, or other online platforms to minor athletes privately.
- Participating Adults are NOT permitted to maintain social media connections with minors (unless they are the minor’s parent or legal guardian). Such adults are not permitted to accept new personal page requests on social media platforms from minor athletes and if there are any existing connections with minor athletes when the Participating Adult joins the Club, they shall be discontinued.
Request to Discontinue
Parents or Legal Guardians may request in writing that their child not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by the Club or any of the Club’s participating adults. Wolves will abide by such requests unless there is an emergency.
- Wolves Soccer Club does not arrange for local travel for any player, parent or guardian.
- Participating Adults who are not also acting as a legal guardian, shall not ride alone in a vehicle with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency circumstances, and may only drive with at least two other minor athletes or another adult at all times, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s parent or legal guardian in advance of each instance of local travel.
- Wolves strongly encourages parents / legal guardians to pick up their minor athlete first and drop off their minor athlete last in any shared travel or carpool arrangements.
- Wolves Soccer Club generally does not arrange for team travel to out of town events. In the event that a team wishes to use Wolves’ non-profit status to secure a favorable financial deal for such travel, the Club will provide the appropriate information but each team will remain responsible for arranging and paying for all team travel.
- When only one Participating Adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor athlete must have their parent’s or legal guardian’s written permission in advance for each competition to travel alone with the Participating Adult.
- By registering a minor athlete with Wolves Soccer Club, a parent or legal guardian agrees to all team travel policies.
- Participating Adults who travel with Wolves Soccer teams will be registered in the state soccer system and will have passed all background and screening requirements of Nebraska State Soccer and Wolves Soccer Club.
- Parents and Legal Guardians should review the parent information on child abuse prevention before providing consent for their minor athlete to travel alone with a Participating Adult. Contact the Club if you need help finding this information.
- Participating Adults shall NOT share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangements with a minor athlete (unless the adult is a parent, legal guardian, sibling, or otherwise related to the minor athlete).
- During team travel, when doing room checks, attending team meetings, and/or any other activities, two-deep leadership and Observable and Interruptible environments should be maintained.
- Team meetings shall not be conducted in a hotel room.
See also the Nebraska State Soccer Associations’ Athlete and Player Participation Safe Guidelines on the state soccer website.
An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties including fines and up to one (1) year in jail.
Prevention Training – Under US Soccer’s SafeSoccer Framework, Wolves Soccer Club and Nebraska State Soccer provide consistent training to adult members who are in contact with amateur athletes who are minors. Commencing with 2019, and mandatory per U.S. Soccer by September 1, 2019, all adults involved with Wolves Soccer (coaches, trainers, team managers, and club staff) must take an initial Abuse Prevention Training course and then an annual refresher each year of participation. The course is offered online at no cost through the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
Prohibition of Retaliation – It is the policy of Wolves Soccer that no individual, or their family members, shall be retaliated against in any way for reporting suspected abuse.