Kids at soccer training

"Children have a right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account”. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12

To help safeguard children your club must ensure they participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously. 

  • Children’s views matter – ask children about what would make them feel safe
  • Act on children’s views and addresses their concerns
  • Have a child friendly complaints process – make it easy for children to raise concerns
  • Consult children before important decisions are made and tell them how the information they provide will be used

Here are some practical ways to involve children and young people in your sport:

  • Set up a child/youth advisory group - get regular input from kids on a range of club matters, including safety 
  • Have in place child friendly complaints processes. Develop these with input from children and families
  • Provide child-friendly ways for kids to give feedback or raise concerns eg. suggestion box, social media surveys
  • Identify youth leaders - children like talking to friends and peers, so train and support certain young people to be contact points
  • Run small group face-to-face chats with children, to talk about safety and other aspects of being involved in your club eg., at the start of each season and then again during, to see how things are going
  • Use child-friendly communication eg., venue signs with pictures and simple instructions.

What we hope to hear from children

If your club is doing a good job safeguarding children, and involving children and young people well, here’s what we’d hope to hear them say:

  • “I get to have a say in what happens to me.”
  • “I know how I should be treated and how adults should behave towards me.”
  • “If I tell the adults who work here that I feel unsafe they will believe me and do something about it.”
  • “The adults who work here know who I am, what I’m good at and what I need help with, what I like and what I don’t like.”
  • “Adults and other children should not hurt or bully me and if they do, something will be done about it.”
  • “The adults around me are making sure that I am safe.”
  • “The people who care about me can check that the organisation is doing the right thing.”
  • “Adults in the organisation do the right thing and I can trust them.”
Source: NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian Principles of a Child Safe Organisations

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