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Information about riskrevised

Published on January 14, 2009

Author: aSGuest10548

Source: authorstream.com

Managing the Greatest Risk:Protecting Children in Youth Sports : Sepler & Associates Managing the Greatest Risk:Protecting Children in Youth Sports Fran Sepler Sepler & Associates Saint Paul, MN In This Presentation : In This Presentation Overview of Risk to Kids in Youth Sports Special look at use of internet and related risk Examination of issues faced by boys in youth sports (new this year) Discussion about ways to handle complaints Youth Sports In America : Youth Sports In America More than 10 million children under the age of 16 Supervised by over 1 million adults “Youth sports are a ready made resource pool for pedophiles” 30 Felony convictions in past 18 months In the last week alone : In the last week alone Fayetteville GA basketball referee charged with aggravated assault after trying to knife an assistant coach in front of 7 and 8 year old players MEDINA, Ohio - A youth soccer player was charged with deliberately kicking a goalie in the face seconds after a game, leaving him unconscious and with a broken cheekbone The New Mexico Legislature contemplates aggravating assault charges when directed at a sports official The culture of youth sports needs to be managed : Sepler & Associates The culture of youth sports needs to be managed Risk Management is more than criminal record checks Assumptions : Assumptions Risk to children is real; much of the abuse and exploitation of children in youth sports is preventable If you rely on criminal record checks, you are providing a woefully inadequate approach to risk management To truly reduce risk, the culture of youth sports will need to change Changing the Culture Means: : Changing the Culture Means: Recognizing limits on the authority of the youth coach Setting the bar high on interpersonal conduct Acting in the interest of safety, even when inconvenient Taking responsibility for prevention and detection Who should we worry about : Sepler & Associates Who should we worry about Different risk at different ages and stages The “Child Molester” : The “Child Molester” WHO IS THEIR TARGET? Vulnerable children Unsupervised children (male and female) WHAT IS THE RISK? Surreptitious sexual contact (frottage) Sexual assault, including penetration Soliciting sexual acts/stimulation Violent conduct up through abduction/homicide Protecting Kids : Protecting Kids Teach your children to never go anywhere without a “safe adult.” Help them understand that a “safe adult” is someone that you have identified as such. At soccer related activities, they should stay in groups as much as possible. Identify an adult who will be responsible for supervising children not with their parents during a game. Do not clothe small children in items that identify them by name, either first or last. Protecting Kids, continued : Protecting Kids, continued Approach adults who are watching practices or games who do not appear to be with players/children. Identify yourself and ask them if they are watching a particular player. Children should never be allowed to go unescorted to public restrooms. Never leave a child alone awaiting transportation after a practice or game. Pedophile: Fixated/Seductive : Pedophile: Fixated/Seductive Creates/seeks opportunities for access to children Has tremendous aptitude for identifying children’s needs and vulnerabilities Highly manipulative Generally seeks certain profile of victim(i.e. male, pre-adolescent, appearance type) May initially attain gratification simply by proximity Creates “special” relationships Profile Statements by Pedophiles who have molested kids in sports : Statements by Pedophiles who have molested kids in sports They needed me and I needed them They were so happy when they were with me – I saw how their parents treated them. No one will understand how in love I was with him, and he was with me. No one will ever love him like I did. The coaching relationship is intimate. There was nothing exploitive about caring for a kid. Technology and Desire for Recognition Provide Opportunity to Pedophiles : Technology and Desire for Recognition Provide Opportunity to Pedophiles Proliferation of Web Sites Chat Rooms and E-mail Web Cams Online Yellow Pages Private e-mail accounts and IM capability Club Web Sites : Club Web Sites Password protect any information that facilitates contact directly with children. Do not post pictures of individual athletes. Do not post practice time and places on public board. Avoid “profiles” of children, especially with a great deal of identifying information. Right From the Web : Right From the Web The United Quest Red '89 Athena youth soccer team consists of girls ages 9 and 10 from the northwest metro Atlanta area. We are a brand new team that was selected after three days of tryout sessions in June, 1999. You can click here to view our team roster and a team picture. We play in the top Georgia Youth Soccer Association U-10 (under 10 in age as of July 31, 1999) Athena division. The Athena program consists of girls "select teams" (also called "travel teams") from across Georgia. This week's schedule: First pre-season practice: Sunday, February 6th, 12:15 - 1:45 PM at Chalker Elementary School. We'll scrimmage the boys 10 Reds during the second half of the session. Wear your blue uniforms and wear turf shoes, not cleats. After the practice and scrimmage, we'll meet at 2:00 PM at Christina's house to watch the US Women's team play Norway. Monday: We'll practice from 5:30 - 6:45 PM at United. Wear flats and bring turfs. We'll either use one of the cement courts or one of the fields behind the clubhouse. Thursday: We'll practice from 5:30 - 6:45 PM at United. Wear flats and bring turfs. We'll either use one of the cement courts or one of the fields behind the clubhouse. Sunday: We're going to try to schedule a scrimmage game on Sunday, February 13th against the U-10 boys White team. We should have more information (time and location) by Monday evening. Right from the Web : Right from the Web Spring pre-season practices: We'll start pre-season practices on Sunday, February 6th. Here's the pre-season practice schedule: Sundays: 12:15 - 1:45 PM at Chalker Elementary School - wear turfs Mondays: 5:30 - 6:45 PM at United - wear flats, bring turfs Thursdays: 5:30 - 6:45 PM at United - wear flats, bring turfs Special session, Wednesday, February 23rd: Dave Smith will work with our team on Wednesday the 23rd from 5:30 - 7:00 PM, field to be announced later. If you have a schedule conflict with this date, please contact coach Ward as soon as possible. This is a temporary schedule. We are due to receive our regular practice schedule in mid-February, and it will probably go into effect in late February. (The Canterbury and Noonday fields are closed until then.) We've asked for Monday & Thursday nights again, but we won't know for sure until mid-February. More new photos: (January 8) We've added some more action photos from the regular season and from the Sugar & Spice tournament. Click here to jump to the team picture page. Slide 18: LEAH FROM U-8 MOONSLIDERS Slide 19: Briana FROM THE U-8 PIZAZZ Slide 20: AUSTIN is a U7 Player Example of Material Copied from Web sites : Example of Material Copied from Web sites 1999-2000 Blue Blaze Becky, Dara, Ashley, Maxine, Casey, Kaitlin, Jessica, Renee, Kristin, Amanda, Tracy, Kerry, Marissa, Jessie, Rebecca, Sabrina ****winter practice every Saturday at 9:30 am at the # 6 school****weekly indoor league every other Sunday between 8 am and 11 am****mid week indoor TBA What is the problem with a few cute pictures? : What is the problem with a few cute pictures? Game schedule, time and place published, in one case for 6 months Practice schedule, time and place published First names attached to images Sufficiently young and vulnerable that this puts them at risk Text from a Chat Room : Text from a Chat Room “I am a 24 year old guy who is looking to help some young athletes get a start in life. I have connections with the NBA, and know a lot of the players. No one helped me out, so I want to help you.” (later in message) “ Tell me all about your appearance or send photo……” Later found to be convicted sex offender Why won’t they tell ? : Why won’t they tell ? Threaten to expose them as “gay” Threaten to go on to sibling or friend Enormous self blame Mix drug or pornography use with exploitation -- worry will “get in trouble.” Afraid of being cut, punished or exposed Protection : Protection Check references -- thoroughly. Challenge age group preferences (if adult is non-parent). It is highly recommended in the case of non-parent coaches, that at least one parent be involved in team organization/administration. (i.e. team coordinator, team parent or assistant coach). Question expansion of the coaching relationship into other contacts. Explore the relationships. Establish policies for communication and enforce them. Do not be afraid to ask for information, references or background. Actively give feedback if concerns are raised Identification : Identification “Secrets” between coach and players Coach shows particular, notable, and intense interest in several children Coach gravitates towards children with troubled home lives or poor social acceptance by peers outside of soccer Children who do not keep secrets or challenge coach are described by coach as “outsiders,” or are chided or ostracized Attempts to be isolated with one child Repeated comments about the appeal or attractiveness of a child Child is withdrawing from normal support network Child’s attitude towards activity changes: avoids or gets symptoms Concurrent If you have concerns : If you have concerns Insert a “safety net” into the situation; find an adult to share responsibility. Monitor closely. Document concerns. Ask questions. Let the individual know that you have concerns, and why, being sure to address it from the perspective of concern for THEM. Be present. Involvement of healthy, caring adults is the best form of risk management. DO NOT : DO NOT Jump to conclusions. Use your “gut” for more than an incentive to investigate further. Be conclusive or careless in expressing concerns to others. Pull a child or a coach from a situation that may or may not be an issue. Get help. DO NOT : DO NOT Confuse sexual aggression with sexual orientation. Attempt to act on impressions gained by stereotypes. Sexual Abuse by Known,Trusted Adult : Sexual Abuse by Known,Trusted Adult Intrafamilial or similar dynamic Regressive conduct Impulsive May be associated with drug or alcohol use Serial sexual abuse Mixes nurturance and sexuality Shame and compulsion are common Identifying Issues : Identifying Issues Child's symptoms are most likely to lead to concerns Generally no behavioral indicators on part of offender or behavioral change has plausible basis Symptoms will include depression, avoidance, nightmares, fears, acting out, simulating the conduct, precocious behavior, self-harm, or withdrawal Children fear “telling” will mean loss of loved one, loss of affection, or punishment for them; often think no one will believe them If you have concerns : If you have concerns Normalize your questions by saying “sometimes kids feel . . .” If you are concerned about another parent’s child, tell the parent you are concerned. Make sure channels of communication are open If you are reasonably convinced that there is a problem, contact your local social services intake department to ask for help with how to address it. You may be mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Check your laws locally. Sexual Exploitation : Sexual Exploitation WHO IS AT RISK? Older adolescents and young adults WHAT IS THE RISK? Sexual behavior or romantic involvement becomes part of the terms and conditions for participation Tolerating sexual advances becomes a term or condition of participation A “consensual” relationship begins between coach and player WITH REGARDS TO CONSENT : WITH REGARDS TO CONSENT If such a relationship develops in your club or program, it implies the consent was between the player, the coach and the organization. INDICATORS : INDICATORS Coach discloses intimate or personal feelings/emotions to player Coach seeks personal intimacy with player Coach “courts” player Coach responds in kind to seductive behavior “Special” relationships and secrets: us v. them Coach makes physical contact excessively or disproportionately with one player Openly states appropriateness of “dating” players Quid Pro Quo Harassment : Quid Pro Quo Harassment Player is told or it is implicit that play time, team membership, recommendations, support or other sport-related benefits will be enhanced, improved, or withdrawn or withheld in any manner relative to an intimate or sexual relationship. The Hidden Harassment : Sepler & Associates The Hidden Harassment The Experience of Harassment in Athletics The Research : The Research 125 Youth Athletes All Male 12-16 Years Old Variety of Sports (Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Hockey) Have You… : Have You… Been called names you felt were embarrassing or demeaning? Had references made to or about you that were sexual? Been subject to intimidation or embarrassment that had a sexual element? Had your masculinity or sexuality questioned or demeaned? Been touched sexually? The Answers : The Answers Been called names you felt were embarrassing or demeaning Yes 86% No 14% Called names by Peers (86%) Called names by Coaches (60%) Called names by Spectators (30%) Called names by Opponents (45%) The Answers : The Answers Had references made to or about you that were sexual Yes 65% No 25% Not Sure 10% By Peers 62% By Coaches 20% By Opponents 25% By Spectators 10% The Answers : The Answers Been subject to intimidation or embarrassment that had a sexual element Yes 18% No 78% Not Sure 4% By Peers 16% By Coaches 5% By Opponents 2% By Spectators 2% The Answers : The Answers Had your masculinity or sexuality questioned or demeaned? Yes 78% No 15% Not Sure 7% By Peers 75% By Coaches 40% By Opponents 60% By Spectators 30% Common Behavior : Common Behavior Fag, queer, or other references most common Explicit sexual references as part of insults “What kind of man are you?” statement reported from as early as 6 years How Does the Behavior Make You Feel? : How Does the Behavior Make You Feel? It’s no big deal You have to get kid’s attention somehow It is part of sports You don’t like it but you can’t show it When a guy calls another guy a “fag” it doesn’t mean anything negative -- it’s just a word Two Stories : Two Stories Student A 14 Years Old Coach singled out “You’re a queer and your mother is a dyke” Filed complaint To school judicial board Deemed to not be harassment Student B 16 Years Old Played for same coach for 10 years Complained when his little brother got taunted Twenty students participated in investigation Coach suspended for harassment Common Themes : Common Themes Complainant blamed Family pressured Teammates created greatest pressure Female friends not supportive Not believed Questions to Consider : Questions to Consider Is the behavior harassment? Are the rules different for boys and girls? Are the rules different in sports? Is this an issue of law or values? Prevention : Prevention Let players know that they will be supported for seeking help with anything that makes them uncomfortable as part of their participation Assure that there are multiple avenues of support Exit interviews for any players that leave without explanation Hold coaches to high standards AT EVERY AGE AND FOR EVERY GENDER There is no simple way to analyze the degree of risk : There is no simple way to analyze the degree of risk Ask questions. Gather more data. Avoid gossip and cavalier statements. Assess the conduct and demeanor of the players. Get involved. Parents are the primary advocate for their children : Parents are the primary advocate for their children Parents must be willing to speak up when they have concerns. Speaking with the coach directly is far more important than talking with other parents on the sidelines. Formal risk management is a SECOND line of protection for children. Why Won’t They Tell (parents)? : Why Won’t They Tell (parents)? Community pressure Do not want kids to have to testify Scholarship or team placement issues Concerns about child or family’s reputation Self blame “We were blinded by the winning and the fun we were having” Courage and Commitment : Courage and Commitment Must be willing to speak up Must keep sports achievement in perspective Massachusetts Mom: Five sons abused over ten years -- waited until final son scholarshipped. Coach sentenced to 20 years. Why did she wait “I did what I needed to do for my boys.” Mythbusters : Mythbusters There is no “typical victim” Detection is not intuitive Most kids are confused and bound up by shame -- they do not think of the molester as “hurting” them When You Get A Complaint : When You Get A Complaint Assemble a risk management team to review the complaint Make decisions on the appropriateness of interim (immediate) action Develop a communication plan Decide whether to involve law enforcement Seek legal advice early When You get A Complaint : When You get A Complaint Do not make broad public declarations -- proceed on a “need to know” basis Contact anyone who may have information that will be helpful Limit those who are gathering information to one or two individuals Document all steps you take and what you learn When You Get a Complaint : When You Get a Complaint Make a decision about when and how you will inform the accused Identify existing policies and procedures regarding grievances and appeals Develop a communication plan so questions are answered in the same manner DO NOT PANIC! Five questions to ask coaching candidates : Five questions to ask coaching candidates Why do you coach? What has been positive and negative about your prior coaching experience? Why did you leave your last coaching situation? If I asked each of these people about you, what would they say? Parents of players Players Coaches of your opponents Sepler & Associates : Sepler & Associates Sepler & Associates 651-681-1821 Sepassoc@aol.com Or Sokkerfanatic@aol.com Five things to do to protect yourself from accusations of inappropriate conduct : Five things to do to protect yourself from accusations of inappropriate conduct Avoid being alone with players in non-public settings. Document unusual situations and forward the documentation to your club president or league representative. Do not buy gifts or give money to team members. Let your language set the tone. Avoid profanity, even in conversations that you think are private but may be within earshot of players. Never verbally demean, negatively label or ridicule a child based on appearance, gender, weight, sexual orientation, race or any other identifying characteristic. Five questions parents should ask themselves about their child’s soccer coach : Five questions parents should ask themselves about their child’s soccer coach Do I believe that this coach is committed to protecting my player? Am I willing to raise issues with this coach without fear of reprisal to my player? Does this coach display a healthy limit on his/her interest in the personal lives of his/her players? Does this coach support my role as a parent? Does this coach appear to have respect for each of his/her players, regardless of things such as play time? The ten things your club/program can do to reduce the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children : The ten things your club/program can do to reduce the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children Never fill your coaching slots with a “warm body.” Check background, experience and history of a coach. Do not allow an adult to come, unsolicited, into your club solely to coach children of a particular gender or age. Create a structure where multiple adults share responsibility for the well being of each team. Follow up on players who leave a team without explanation. Minimally, a phone call asking about the reasons is essential. Educate parents about the expectation that they will raise issues to the coach or the club to assure that issues are properly addressed. The ten things your club/program can do to reduce the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children (continued) : The ten things your club/program can do to reduce the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children (continued) Have a strong and strongly enforced rule prohibiting fraternization. Prohibit gift-giving by coaches that is excessively lavish or is not equal amongst the entire team (with the exception of “awards” of nominal value.) If there is concern about the motives of a new or unfamiliar coach, consider asking a more experienced coach to co-coach for a few sessions with the coach, and to mentor the new coach. The ten things your club/program can do to reduce the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children (continued) : The ten things your club/program can do to reduce the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children (continued) Require all team travel to be preceded by a plan for lodging, supervision and other details, and to be signed by all parents and players. No club volunteer should be alone in the front seat of a vehicle with a child who is not part of their family or household. Avoid being isolated with a child, or leaving a child unsupervised. For Further Information : For Further Information Local Law Enforcement (Officer Friendly, McGruff, etc.) Sexual Assault Centers Public Sepler & Associates(651) 642-9449sepassoc@aol.com : Sepler & Associates(651) 642-9449sepassoc@aol.com

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