Youth Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy & Procedures
As a youth-serving organization, Tennessee Heat considers the safety and well-being of the youth in our programs a top priority. We prohibit abuse and strive to proactively address reports of this type of conduct, even if it means that someone will be embarrassed or upset. We want to hear about problems or concerns, and we will strive to act on them in a fair way in accordance with our policies.
We will report suspected abuse to the proper law enforcement agencies.
Policy and Procedures:
Tennessee Heat has adopted the following Policy and Procedures in an effort to provide a safe environment for our coaches, athletes, and their families.
- The Coach Recruitment process shall include the following:
- Volunteer Application – Every coach and volunteer working with youth must complete our organization’s written application that sets forth appropriate background information and requires disclosure of any prior claims or allegations of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct.
- Background Check – All current and potential coaches will be subject to a background check, including appropriate inquiries regarding any previous record of sexual abuse or other unlawful activity. This background check will be updated at least every two (2) years for each coach.
- An Abuse Prevention Orientation shall be conducted annually.
- A Board Member will review this policy with coaches and volunteers each year. Coaches should forward this information to their athletes’ parents as well.
- The Positive Coaching Alliance/Kidpower video Protecting Youth Athletes from Sexual Abuse will be shown and the companion information sheet, “Protecting Youth Athletes from Sexual Abuse: Key Actions for Parents and Coaches,” will be distributed to every coach, volunteer, and parent.
- Prohibited Behavior
- Use of degrading language or behavior. Coaches are also responsible for stopping disrespectful behavior between team members, including sexual harassment.
- Threatening or intentionally inflicting physical injury upon anyone, especially a minor. Coaches are also responsible for stopping threatening behavior by players.
- Committing any sexual offense against a minor, or engaging in any sexual contact with a minor.
- Making any sexual advance, or engaging in other verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature with a minor.
- Non-related one-adult/one-child interaction except in an emergency where following this policy would be dangerous to the child. In an emergency situation, the coach or volunteer must contact a representative of the organization to inform him or her of this contact and the reason for it. If a child is receiving individual instruction or working with a private coach, this activity must be in a public setting rather than behind closed doors.
- Reporting of Suspected Child Sexual Abuse
- A member of the Board of Directors or other official representative (the Board liaison for each sport) will be designated to receive reports of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct. This representative will promptly notify the proper law enforcement agencies.
- All coaches, volunteers, parents, and program participants are directed to report any incident of abuse or suspected abuse that they witness or that is reported to them to the designated representative of the Board of Directors. Note: This does not preclude individuals from reporting abuse or suspected abuse to the proper law enforcement authorities.
- The designated representative will keep other Board members fully informed.
- Should a suspected incident of abuse be reported, the coach/volunteer in question may be temporarily suspended from duties while an investigation takes place.
- The Board of Directors, when appropriate, shall communicate reports of child sexual abuse to the league members. The confidentiality of any who makes such a report will be protected.