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Wilmington Area Soccer Club

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WASC Policy on Youth Athlete’s Health, Safety and Welfare

 

WASC Values

WASC is a club established to provide public educational soccer development and competition for youth under nineteen years of age within the territory of Lawrence County PA, Mercer County PA, and primarily in Wilmington Area School District.

In fulfilling its purpose, WASC is committed to a culture within the PA West Association that embraces all individuals with compassion, civility, and respect.  WASC fosters a positive and safe learning and playing environment.

In order to fulfill our commitment to foster a safe learning and playing environment, all participating members and the individuals affiliated with WASC, including players, coaches, administrators and volunteers shall adhere to the WASC Code of Conduct consistent with various federal and state laws.

Scope of the Policy

The contents of this Policy apply during all activities involving youth athletes at all levels to prevent behavior that adversely affects those involved with our sport.

This Policy provides minimum expectations and outlines conduct that PA West Soccer expects its participating organizations to follow.  WASC also requires its employees, participants, and volunteers to adhere to the same expectations through the enforcement of these policies.

Purpose

The WASC Policy on Youth Athlete’s Health, Safety and Welfare is intended to provide direction consistent with U.S. Soccer Bylaw 212, whereas, Organization Members are required to, among other obligations, 1) comply with applicable law and, in particular, the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (the “Sports Act”); 2) if the member recruits, trains, fields or funds soccer players, establish a risk management program to promote the safety and protect the welfare of participants; and 3) adopt policies prohibiting sexual abuse.  Effective February 14, 2018, Public Law 115-126, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “SafeSport Act”), amends the Sports Act, and requires WASC (as such term is defined in the SafeSport Act, 36 U.S.C. § 220530(b)) to:

·       Comply with SafeSport Act’s reporting requirements and prohibit retaliation against any individual who makes a report (36 U.S.C. § 220530 (a)(1));

·       WASC prohibits one-on-one interactions between an amateur athlete who is a minor and an adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at a facility under the jurisdiction of WASC (36 U.S.C. § 220530(a)(2))

·       WASC will offer and provide consistent training to adult members in regular contact with minor amateur athletes and, subject to parental consent, to members who are minors, regarding prevention and reporting of child abuse (36 U.S.C. § 220530(a)(3))

 

 

WASC Prevention Policies

Policy Regarding One-on-One Interactions

The majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated in isolated, one-on-one situations.  By reducing such interactions between children and adults you reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.  However, one-on-one time with trusted adults is also healthy and valuable for a child.  Policies concerning one-on-one interactions protect children while allowing for these beneficial relationships.

This policy applies to:

·       Adults at a facility under WASC jurisdiction

·       Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors

·       An adult authorized by WASC to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor

·       WASC staff and board members

·       Collectively, Adults

Observable and interruptible:

·       One-on-One interactions between minors and an adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at any facility are permitted, if they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult.

·       Isolated, one-on-one interactions between minors and an adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at any facility are prohibited, except under emergency circumstances. 

Meetings:

·       Meetings between adults and minors at any facility may only occur if another adult is present, except under emergency circumstances.  Such meetings must occur where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from another adult. 

·       If a one-on-one meeting takes place in an office, the door to the office must remain unlocked and open.  If available, it will occur in an office that (if available) has windows, with the windows, blinds, and/or curtains remaining open during the meeting.

 

 

Meetings with mental health care professionals:

If a mental health care professional meets with minors at any facility, a closed-door meeting may be permitted to protect patient privacy- provided that (1) the door remains unlocked, (2) another adult is present at the facility, (3) the other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring, and (4) written legal guardian consent is obtained by the mental health care professional, with a copy provided to our organization.

Individual training sessions:

Individual training sessions between adults and minors are permitted at any facility if the training session is observable and interruptible by another adult.  The adult must obtain the written permission of the minor’s legal guardian in advance of the individual training session.  Parents, guardians, and other caretakers must be allowed to observe the training session.  Permission for individual training sessions must be obtained at least every six months.

Monitoring:

When one-on-one interactions between adults and minors occur at any facility, adults will monitor these interactions.  Monitoring includes:  knowing that the one-on-one interaction is occurring, the approximate planned duration of the interaction, and randomly dropping in on the one-on-one.

Out-of-program contacts:

Adults are prohibited from interacting one-on-one with unrelated minor athletes in settings outside of the program (including, but not limited to, one’s home, restaurants, and individual transportation), unless parent/legal guardian consent is provided for each out-of-program contact.

 

Massages and Rubdowns

PA West Soccer Association, WASC and all other member organizations must comply with the following policies:

This policy applies to:

·       Adults at a facility under the jurisdiction of WASC

·       Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors

·       An adult authorized by WASC to have regular contact with, or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor

·       Staff and board members of WASC.  All individuals listed above to which this policy applies shall be referred to collectively as “Adults”.

 

Licensed, certified professional:

·       Any massage or rubdown performed by an Adult on a minor athlete at any facility or a training or competition venue is prohibited unless such Adult is a licensed massage therapist.

·       Any massage or rubdown performed at any facility or a training or competition venue by a licensed professional must be conducted in open and interruptible locations.  Any massage of a minor athlete must be done with at least one other adult present and must never be done with only the minor athlete and licensed massage therapist in the room.

·       Even if a coach is a licensed massage therapist, the coach shall not perform a rubdown or massage of an athlete under any circumstances.

Written consent:

Written consent by a legal guardian shall be provided before providing each massage or rubdown on a minor athlete.  Parents must be permitted to be in the room as an observer.

 

Locker Rooms, Rest Rooms and Changing Areas

PA West Soccer Association, WASC and all other member organizations must comply with the following policies:

This policy applies to:

·       Adults at a facility under the jurisdiction of WASC

·       Adult members who have regular conduct with amateur athletes who are minors, or any child under the age of 18

·       An adult authorized by WASC to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor

·       Staff and board members of WASC

·       Collectively, Adults

Use of recording devices:

Use of any device’s (including cell phone) recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras in locker rooms, rest rooms, changing areas, or similar spaces at any facility is prohibited.  Exceptions may be made for media and championship celebrations, provided that such exceptions are approved by WASC and two or more adults are present.

Undress:

Under no circumstances shall an unrelated Adult at any facility be undressed (disrobed or partial or full nudity where private body parts are exposed) in front of minor athletes.

Isolated one-on-one interactions:

·       At no time are unrelated Adults permitted to be alone with a minor in a locker room, rest room, or changing area when at any facility, except under emergency circumstances.

·       If WASC is using a facility that has access to a single set of such facilities, we will designate times for use by Adults, if any.

Monitoring:

Our organization regularly and randomly monitors the use of locker rooms, rest rooms, and changing areas at facilities under our jurisdiction to ensure compliance with these policies.

Non-exclusive facility:

If our organization uses a facility not under its jurisdiction (for, e.g., training or competition or similar events) and the facility is used by multiple constituents, Adults are nonetheless required to adhere to the rules set forth here.

 

Required Clearances

In accordance with Act 15 of 2015 revising Pennsylvania Act 153, WASC, along with PA West Association requires that coaches/volunteers/referees/employees shall be qualified by providing copies of current PA State Police Criminal Record Check and PA Child Abuse History Clearance.  Additionally, individuals who have not lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the past 10 years must provide a copy of a current FBI Criminal Background Check; individuals living in Pennsylvania continuously for more than 10 years must complete a notarized residency verification affidavit in leu of the FBI Criminal Background Check.  This policy applies to all individuals age 18 and older; further, those under the age of 18- who are employed as a coach, referee, or other position must also comply with the requirements of the state law but are granted an exception to the FBI Criminal Background Check requirement and may have their parents complete an affidavit attesting the child hasn’t been arrested for the commission of any of the exclusionary crimes.

All clearances must be obtained from the sources designated by the Commonwealth of PA.  If any adult on behalf of WASC falls under the category of coach/volunteer/referee for a travel team, clearances must be uploaded into the PA West Soccer Online Risk Management system to be reviewed by the Executive Board designee.  Clearances may also be delivered to the PA West Soccer office for review.  If any Adult on behalf of WASC falls under the category of coach/volunteer/referee for an in house, non-travel team, clearances must be delivered to the Risk Management Officer of WASC. 

U.S. Youth Soccer’s Risk Management policy requires completion of new clearances every other year.  PA West Soccer will recognize clearances as being valid for two years from date of issuance.

Findings

Coaches/volunteers/referees/employees with no findings will be designated “eligible” to coach/volunteer/referee/work.  Coaches/volunteers/referees/employees will be designated “under review” until such time as the uploaded clearances can be reviewed.  Positive findings will be designated “ineligible” and the coach/volunteer/referee/employee will be notified.

Individuals disqualified will be provided the opportunity to provide evidence to disprove the findings provided by the designated provider.

 

No person shall be permitted to coach/volunteer/referee/be employed by WASC if the report of criminal history record information indicates that the applicant has been convicted within the last 5 years regarding any of the following offenses:

1.      Criminal homicide, aggravated assault, harassment and stalking, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, incest, concealing the death of another person, endangering the welfare of children, prostitution and related offenses, obscene/unlawful sexual material or performances, corruption of minors, and sexual abuse of children.

2.      Any offense related to the Act of April 14, 1972 known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.”

3.      Any offense related to firearms/weapons related to a felony conviction.

4.      Any alcohol related offense including driving under the influence resulting in a felony conviction.

5.      Any out of state or federal offense similar in nature to those crimes set forth in 1, 2, 3, or 4 above.

At the conclusion of the five (5) year period defined above, such individual may apply.  It shall be within PA West Soccer’s discretion to allow or disallow such individual to coach/volunteer/referee/be employed by WASC when falling under PA West sanction.  WASC shall use discretion to allow or disallow a person falling under the Future’s Play programs.  Such determination shall be made on a case by case basis.


 

Conduct Expectations

WASC Mission Statement

The mission of WASC is to inspire a lifetime passion for the game of soccer for ‘kids’ of all ages developing them as people and players.

WASC provides for educational development and competition at all levels of play.  WASC strives and devotes its mission to providing for a fair, safe and nondiscriminatory competitive environment for participants, parents, fans, coaches and referees of all ages and backgrounds.  As a condition of affiliation and to further our mission, all participating administrators, coaches, volunteers and parents will be held responsible for all inappropriate conduct incongruous with and that adversely affects the reputation and mission of WASC and its affiliates.

Respect for Others

The following actions committed by any coach, player, administrator, or volunteer within the WASC community are inconsistent with WASC values.

1.      Abuse:  verbal comments that demean or defame.

2.      Harassment:  unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that embarrasses or shows hostility or ridicule towards another person.

3.      Bullying/Hazing:  the use of physical or verbal aggression with the intention of hurting another person.  An act that intimidates, embarrasses, or ridicules including but not limited to:

a.      Verbal abuse, such as derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets;

b.      Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family;

c.       Verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating, or humiliating nature;

d.      Unwelcome physical contact, such as pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, punching, assault, or the threat of such conduct, or damage to personal property;

e.      Inappropriate electronic communication, such as the use of electronic mail, text messaging, or other forms of social media in a threatening or humiliating manner.

Bullying and hazing can occur through one isolated incident or through a pattern of repeated incidents.  Such actions are unwelcome and pose a risk to the health and safety of the WASC community. 

4.      Discrimination:  Discrimination, or adverse treatment of an individual based on race, religion, gender, or other protected status is a violation of the policies set forth in this statement of values.

5.      Disruptive/disorderly conduct:  intentionally or recklessly infringing upon the rights, privacy, or privileges of another person or group of people.  This includes conduct that disturbs the peace at meetings, events, games, and other formal gatherings.  This includes but is not limited to excessive noise, drunkenness, or public nuisance as defined by state law.

6.      Harm, threats of harm, or other dangerous behavior.

7.      Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

8.      Property Damage:  destruction, damage, littering, or vandalism of any property, including the use of phone lines, networks or other properties.

9.      Respect for the Property of Others:  the attempted or actual theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, possession of stolen property or vandalism of any property.

10.  Unauthorized Entry or Use:  unapproved entry, access to, presence in, or use of a facility or grounds without verbal or written permission by an authorized official or representative. 

11.  Violation of Law:  any violation of federal, state, or local law.

Use or Possession of Certain Substances

WASC strictly prohibits the distribution, consumption and/or handling of alcohol, narcotics and any other dangerous substance or related paraphernalia.  WASC also prohibits unauthorized carrying of weapons and/or illegal firearms at any WASC sanctioned match, event, training session or any other activity related to the WASC.  Any person attending a WASC sanctioned event and who violates this policy will face immediate eviction from the event and possible further sanctions and actions if required by a WASC acting official.

Use of Social Media

Social media and networking sites are communication tools that help people connect and communicate with groups and individuals.  WASC supports members’ use and participation in online communities as a means of communication, learning, and networking; however, WASC community members may be disciplined for personal use of social media when usage is in violation of other WASC policies.

Because social media is a dynamic and ever-changing medium, the following guidelines have been developed to help WASC staff and members navigate online opportunities while following association policies and protecting the personal and professional reputation. 

Generally

·       Organizations and individuals should be honest about their identity

·       Organizations and individuals should be respectful, professional, and courteous in posting and communicating.

·       Organizations and individuals should maintain the confidentiality and privacy of others.

 

 

Personal Sites

·       Individuals should be clear that they are sharing their personal views and are not representing WASC or a participating organization.

·       Individuals must not use the logo, marks, or images of WASC or participating organizations on a personal site, without proper authorization.

·       Individuals are personally and legally liable for what they post on their own sites and on the sites of others.  Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous, or obscene.

·       Individuals should consider whether a post today might create concerns in the future.  Individuals should use good judgement when posting messages and photographs of themselves and others on sites.

WASC community members should use care in posting material and photographs that have been authorized.

Minor athletes who become adult athletes

A minor athlete who reaches the age of maturity is not subject to Prevention Policies in their capacity as an athlete, and when interacting with Youth Participants who are 16 or older.  When capacity as an athlete, and when interacting with minor athletes 15 or younger, all Prevention Policies shall be in effect.  Should a minor athlete reach the age of maturity and then obtain a position that presents a potential power imbalance, such as becoming a coach, the individual is subject to Prevention Policies.

Professionalism and Ethics

WASC expects professionalism and ethical conduct for its Board, Committees, Staff, and affiliated members.  These expectations support optimal performance and provides an environment that embraces all individuals and actions with compassion, civility and respect. 

Professionalism demonstrates excellence, honesty, respect, integrity, compassion, and accountability in all efforts, including honesty and respect for all members.   While WASC provides a competitive environment on the playing field providing the opportunity to learn; accepting and overcoming challenges; growth as a player and individual; and adherence to long established standards of sportsmanship, WASC members are expected to model, promote and advocate a strong and visible culture of professionalism and ethics.  Our members are responsible for establishing and maintaining a welcoming and respectful environment where every individual is valued and honored.

It is WASC’s expectation that all administrator’s, coaches, players, and volunteers will conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner during any and all interactions, on and off the field, with opponents, as well as the public.

 

Training

WASC will offer and provide training to fulfill the SafeSport Act requirements for coaches, participating adults, volunteers, board members and subject to parental consent, youth participants.

Initial Training for Adults:  Core Center for SafeSport Training

Pursuant to USOC and U.S. Center for SafeSport Policy, and as contemplated by the SafeSport Act, WASC shall require employees, board members and participating adults to complete consistent training concerning child abuse prevention.  Required training will be made available by WASC and consist of either

1.      the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Core SafeSport Training (on-line or in-person) and as applicable, follow-up refresher course training; or

2.      similar training deemed equivalent by choice of WASC, and as applicable, follow-up refresher course training

All continuing adult participants shall receive initial training no later than September 01, 2019, and any New adult participants, effective no later than September 01, 2019, must receive initial training upon the earlier of:

·       Before regular contact begins with a minor amateur athlete, and

·       Within the first 45 days of taking on a role which gives access to Youth participants.

WASC may provide alternative training to the Core SafeSport Training, at the discretion, risk and responsibility of club officers.  Any comparable training offered by WASC will not refer to such training as “SafeSport” training, but by a separate title. 

PA West Soccer and WASC requires all coaches/volunteers/referees/employees to complete the abuse awareness training program provided by the US Center for SafeSport.

Enrollment guidance

Enrollment in this program requires the proper access code in order to access the online training from the US Center for SafeSport.  Individuals may obtain the access code and the URL for the online training via the PA West Soccer website’s Risk Management page, or the WASC website under the Clearances page. 

Once on the SafeSport website, when prompted please select ‘US Soccer’ as your NGB and enter the access code.  You will complete a confirmation process to activate your SafeSport account.  Once activated you will be able to complete the initial training course.  This course will take 90 minutes.

Upon completion, save a copy of your certification and upload it into your PA West Soccer Admin Record through the PA West Soccer Risk Management portal.  If you are not covered under PA West, but under our WASC Futures Play program, you will need to deliver a copy of your certification to the Risk Management Officer of WASC. 

Refresher Course(s) for Adults

In addition to the initial training, a refresher course is required on an annual basis effective the calendar year following the completion of the initial training.  The U.S. Center for SafeSport’s official refresher course is available as of October 01, 2018.

Training for Youth Participants

WASC shall- subject to parental consent- offer and provide training annually to Youth Participants regarding the prevention of child abuse.  WASC will record:

·       A description of the training(s)

·       The date the training(s) was offered and given

·       A description of how the training(s) was offered and given.

US Center for SafeSport is currently working to develop this course.  More information should be available in mid-2019.

 

Anti-Discrimination Statement

Discrimination, or adverse treatment of an individual based on race, religion, gender, or other protected status is a violation of the policies set forth in this statement of values.  Discriminatory harassment on such a basis is strictly prohibited.  “Protected Status” is defined as an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, creed, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability/physical ability, or other legally protected classification.

Harassment

Harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or other member of the WASC community, including third parties, because of a protected category.  Harassment constitutes a form of discrimination if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from participation in a WASC activity or affiliated organization’s activity.

Examples of such harassment may include, but are not limited to, jokes or pranks that are hostile or demeaning with regard to a person’s protected status or have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive, or offensive training or playing environment.

 

Statement Against Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, non-consensual sex, sexual exploitation, and stalking are forms of sex discrimination that deny or limit a WASC community member’s ability to participate in WASC programs/activities or affiliated member’s programs/activities.

1.      Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, visual, or digital conduct of a sexual nature when:

a.      Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s participation as an employee, volunteer, or participation;

b.      Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as a basis for performance evaluation, participation qualification, advancement opportunities, or employment decisions affecting the individual;

c.       Such conduct is sufficiently severe and pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning, playing, or working environment.

2.       Sexual Assault includes physical acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because they are below the minimum age of consent, or because they are incapacitated due to the use of drugs, alcohol, or for any other reason.  Sexual assault includes non-consensual sexual contact, or such contact with an individual that is under the age of consent.

a.      Sexual penetration without consent:  Any penetration of the sex organs or anus of another person when consent is not present; any penetration of the mouth of another person with a sex organ when consent is not present; or performing oral sex on another person when consent is not present.  This includes penetration or intrusion, however slight, of the sex organs of another person or by an object or other part of the body.

b.      Sexual contact without consent:  Knowingly touching or fondling a person’s genitals, breasts, thighs, groin, buttocks, or knowingly touching a person with one’s own genitals, breasts, or buttocks, when consent is not present.  This includes contact done directly or indirectly through clothing, bodily fluids, or with an object.  It also includes causing or inducing a person, when consent is not present, to similarly touch or fondle oneself or someone else.

c.       Statutory rape:  Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent under the laws of the state in which the incident occurred.

3.      Sexual Exploitation includes taking sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of oneself or a third party without consent.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following actions (including when they are done via electronic means, methods, or devices):

a.      Sexual voyeurism, or permitting others to witness or observe the sexual or intimate activity of another person without that person’s consent;

b.      Indecent or lewd exposure, or inducing others to expose themselves when consent is not present;

c.       Recording any person engaged in sexual, private, or intimate activity in a private space without that person’s consent;

d.      Distributing personal sexual information, images, or recordings about another person without that person’s consent, even if the images or recordings were obtained with consent;

e.      Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining another person for the purpose of sexual exploitation;

f.        Inducing incapacitation in another person with the intent to engage in sexual conduct, regardless of whether sexual misconduct actually occurs; and

g.       Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person.

4.      Stalking:  Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for their safety or the safety of other; or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress.  Stalking includes conduct that occurs via electronic communications, including social media (i.e.- cyberstalking).

Consent

Consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual assault has occurred.  Consent must be informed, freely given, and mutually understood.  Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.

·       If coercion, intimidation, threats, or physical force are used, there is no consent.

·       If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.  Warning signs of when a person may be incapacitated due to drug and/or alcohol use include: slurred speech, falling down, passing out, and vomiting.

·       If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.

·       If a person is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, there cannot be consent.

·       Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

·       If consent is withdrawn at any time and for any or no reason, there is no consent.  A person who initially consents to sexual activity can withdraw consent to any sexual activity that occurs after they initially consent to sexual activity.

·       Simply being in a romantic relationship with someone does not grant or imply consent to any form of sexual activity.

·       Effective consent cannot exist when there is a disparity in power between the parties (i.e.- coach/player, administrator/coach)

Prohibition on Consensual Relationships and Sexual Activity Between Participating Clubs’ Administrators/Coaches and Participants

WASC recognizes that learning environments, shared passions, activities of special interests such as sport often create productive, natural, positive, and healthy interpersonal relationships among members.  WASC appreciates that members of our community often develop deep and lasting personal bonds that are mutually meaningful.  WASC does not seek to restrict or prohibit the development of positive and constructive relationships among our members.

However, when individuals engage in relationships that become romantic or sexual in nature there is the potential for conflicts when the individuals are of unequal position of power or status within the organizational structure.  The power inequities in these relationships can create inherent and unavoidable risk, including conflicts of interest, favoritism, and exploitation.

With this in mind, WASC strictly prohibits consensual romantic or sexual relationships and sexual activity of any nature between staff and participants not meeting the age of consent.

Mandatory Reporting and Designated Responsible Official of Child Abuse and Neglect

WASC designates all adults the role of “mandatory reporter” of suspected child abuse or neglect.  Both Pennsylvania’s Child Protection Act and the United States’ Act for SafeSport require individuals to report to law enforcement any suspected child abuse or neglect.

All individuals involved in WASC activities are required to report the suspected activity to law enforcement and file a subsequent report to the designated Risk Management Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting

Process

WASC will properly and expediently address all reports of misconduct involving participating and affiliated individuals of WASC, either minor or of a criminal nature and in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations.

When possible, WASC will settle minor infractions or disputes quickly and fairly without prejudice.  In certain circumstances, WASC shall conduct an internal review of an allegation of misconduct.  Such review will be conducted in a manner that observes basic principles of fairness for all parties involved.

When conducting disciplinary proceedings, WASC will provide due process as outlined in US Soccer Bylaw 701.

In all hearings conducted by WASC under Soccer Bylaw 701, the parties shall be afforded:

1.      Notice of the specific charges, claims, or alleged violations in writing and possible consequences if the charges, claims, or alleged violations are found to be true;

2.      Reasonable time between receipt of the notice of charges and the hearing within which to prepare a defense;

3.      The right to have the hearing conducted at a time and place so as to make it practicable for the respondent to attend;

4.      A hearing before a disinterested and impartial panel;

5.      The right to be assisted (including by counsel) in the presentation of one’s case at the hearing;

6.      The right to call witnesses and present oral and written evidence and argument;

7.      The right to confront witnesses, including the right to be provided the identity of witnesses in advance of the hearing;

8.      The right to have a record made of the hearing if desired;

9.      A timely written decision containing findings of fact and with reasons for the decision, based solely on the evidence of record and;

10.  Notice of any substantive and material action of the hearing panel in the course of the proceedings;

No communication is permitted between a party and any person involved in making its decision or procedural determination except to provide explanations involving procedures to be followed.

 

 

 

Reporting Encouraged

WASC seeks to support an environment that encourages individuals to report misconduct with the knowledge they are protected from retaliation.  Not all assertions of misconduct may rise to the level of violation.  Nonetheless, WASC recommends that members report incidents where they feel an individual’s conduct or language may be in violation of the laws, bylaws, or policies, is harassing in nature, is contributing to a hostile environment, or is lacking the degree of professionalism and civility expected of all our members. 

Reporting may be made anonymously without fee or other cost.  WASC prohibits retaliation against individuals making good faith reports of misconduct. 

Reporting process when physical or sexual abuse is suspected:

All entities below MUST be contacted within 24 hours when physical or sexual abuse is suspected:

1.      Local Law Enforcement:  911 or police department non-emergency number

2.      PA ChildLine: 1-800-932-0313

3.      WASC Risk Manager: Melissa Hogg, [email protected], 724-854-2036

4.      State Risk Manager- Tim McCoy, [email protected], 412-856-8011.

5.      National Governing Body (NGB)- US Soccer

6.      US Soccer Integrity Hotline Number: 312-528-7004

7.      US Soccer: https://www.ussoccer.com/integrity-hotline

8.      US Center for SafeSport: https://www.safesport.org/report-a-concern

Other forms of misconduct such as emotional abuse, bullying, hazing, or harassment must also be reported to:

1.      WASC Risk Manager:  Melissa Hogg, [email protected], 724-854-2036

2.      WASC President for board review: Melissa Headlee, [email protected],

724-730-4583

Depending upon severity of reported allegation of bullying, hazing, or harassment, WASC will handle each allegation in accordance with US Soccer law.

Grievance Process

Violations of policy will be subject to an appropriate grievance process that is materially free of bias and conflicts of interest, to address allegations of misconduct following the report or complaint of misconduct.  The right to appeal a final decision rendered by WASC is in the rights of the defendant.  A disinterested individual or body shall review this grievance pursuant to U.S. Soccer Bylaw 701.

 

Statement Against Retaliation

Retaliation is inconsistent with WASC’s values.  Retaliation is any adverse action, threat of adverse action, or pressure to unduly influence an individual by or on behalf of a person or group against another person or group in response to someone reporting an alleged violation or safety concern, or otherwise reporting or participating in a review of such an allegation in good faith.  WASC and its community will take immediate, swift, and strong action against retaliatory actions up to and including removal from WASC and PA West Soccer.

Privacy

WASC will keep the identity of a reporter(s) confidential except with those who “need to know” of the report for it to be promptly addressed.  Confidentiality on the part of WASC helps protect the privacy interests of any impacted parties and reduces risk that related statements might be interpreted to be retaliatory or defamatory. 

Other Resources:

1.      Bully Prevention:  https://www.stopbullying.gov/

2.      LBGTQ Safe Space Kit:  https://www.glsen.org/safespace

3.      Abuse Prevention Systems:  https://abusepreventionsystems.com/

4.      RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network): 800-656-HOPE (4673)

5.      National Domestic Violence Hotline:  800-799-SAFE (7233)

6.      Love is Respect (Teen Dating Violence):  https://www.loveisrespect.org/                Hotline:  866-331-9474

7.      Pittsburgh Action Against Rape:  https://paar.net/

8.      Crime Victim Center of Erie County:  http://www.cvcerie.org/

9.      Centre County Women’s Resource Center:  https://ccwrc.org/

10.  Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape:  https://pcar.org/help-pa/locations

11.  AFSP-Western Pennsylvania:  https://afsp.org/chapter/afsp-western-pennsylvania/  Hotline:  800-273-8255

 

SafeSport Act:

Https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5bb3a6cd8d9740440aff1c54/t/5bd1cbf18165f56b0fa0c61a/1540475889592/BILLS-115s534enr.pdf

PA Child Protection Act:

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/uconsCheck.cfm?yr=2015&sessInd=0&act=15