CARP SafeSport

 

California Adaptive Rowing Programs Participation Protection Policy

 

INTRODUCTION

CARP is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for athletes’ physical, emotional and social development and to ensuring that it promotes an environment free of misconduct.

Our policies and procedures require athletes, staff members, and/or volunteers (herein “participants”) to report abuse, misconduct and violations of its Participant Safety Handbook. To do so, athlete, staff members, and/or volunteers (volunteer coaches, parent chaperones, referees, other volunteers) should have a basic understanding of what constitutes misconduct and how to recognize it.  Misconduct in sport includes:

  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Emotional misconduct
  • Physical misconduct, and
  • Sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse

 

CARP educates its participants about its protection policies by:

  • Informing participants about our policies and procedures relevant to prevention
  • Asking participants to review and agree to our policies and procedures before proceeding with the process
  • Requiring participants to sign a document acknowledging review of our policies and procedures

 

Any participant who has been banned by another sport organization, as temporarily or permanently ineligible, must self-disclose this information. A failure to disclose is a basis for disqualification for potential participation.

In the event a person serving as a staff member, contractor or volunteer (1) is arrested, (2) pleas or (3) is convicted for a non-traffic offense after beginning his/her association with CARP, he or she has an affirmative duty to disclose such information immediately to the CARP Program Director and/or Board of Directors.

If, during the course of employment or participation in CARP’s program, a staff member or volunteer is accused, arrested, indicted or convicted of a criminal offense against a child, it is the duty and responsibility of the staff member or volunteer to notify an immediate supervisor, the CARP Program Director, or a member of CARP’s Board of Directors.

 

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK POLICY

All staff and coaches will be asked to undergo a criminal background check to participate in CARP activities. Through this criminal background check, CARP will utilize reasonable efforts to ascertain past criminal history of a participant.  As part of its criminal background check, CARP will, at a minimum and without limitation,

(1) perform a national search of state criminal repositories and

(2) perform a search of state sexual offender registries

 

Information that could disqualify a participant includes, but is not limited to, arrests, pleas of no contest and criminal convictions—especially if the underlying criminal behavior involved sex or violence.

No decision will be made on an individual’s eligibility for work as a new staff member, contractor and/or volunteer if they have a pending court case for any of the potentially disqualifying offenses until the pending case concludes. If, however, during the case’s pendency, the organization undertakes an independent investigation and conducts a hearing, any determination may be used to disqualify the individual.

Notice of findings will be provided to the designated contact of CARP that submitted the application.

The criminal background check report will return a “red light” or “green light” score. A green light score means that the background check vendor located no records that would disqualify the applicant.  A red light finding means the criminal background check revealed criminal records which suggest the applicant “does not meet the criteria” and is not suitable for organization employment or volunteer assignment.  

Individuals who are subject to disqualification under a red light finding may challenge the accuracy of the reported information reported by the criminal background check vendor.

If an individual receives a red light finding and wants to contest CARP’s decision not to accept his or her participation based on the red light finding, the individual may request a hearing before CARP’S Review Panel. The Review Panel will consist of: President, Vice President, and Program Director.

The Review Panel will communicate its finding to the individual. If the individual disagrees with the finding of the Review Panel, he or she may request an appeal with USRowing’s SafeSport Office. A decision rendered by USRowing shall be final and binding on all parties.

If any discretion is exercised in the application of this policy, it shall be exercised in a uniform manner so that substantially similar convictions and circumstances result in substantially similar treatment of applicants.

Criminal background checks will be refreshed as required by law, for staff members and/or volunteers who are 18 years of age or older and perform services for CARP.

Even if an applicant passes a criminal background check, other factors may disqualify an applicant. An individual may be disqualified and prohibited from providing services for CARP if the individual has:

  • Been held liable for civil penalties or damages involving sexual or physical abuse
  • Been subject to any court order involving any sexual or physical abuse, including but not limited to domestic order or protection
  • A history with another organization (employment, volunteer, etc.) of complaints of sexual or physical abuse
  • Resigned, been terminated or been asked to resign from a position - paid or unpaid - due to complaint(s) of sexual or physical abuse; or
  • A history of other behavior that indicates they may be a danger to participants in CARP

 

PARTICIPANT PROTECTION POLICY

In the event that any staff member or volunteer observes inappropriate behaviors (i.e., policy violations), suspected physical or sexual abuse, or misconduct, it is the personal responsibility of each staff member and volunteer to immediately report his or her observations to an immediate supervisor, a CARP administrator or a member of CARP’s Board.

Staff members and volunteers should not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse allegations as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Complaints and allegations will be addressed under CARP’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedure.

CARP recognizes that the process for training and motivating athletes will vary with each coach and athlete, but it is nevertheless important for everyone involved in sport to support the use of motivational and training methods that avoid misconduct.

This Policy applies to

  • Staff members and volunteers,
  • CARP’S athletes, and  
  • Participants’ family members and guests

 

Participants shall refrain from all forms of misconduct, which include:

  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Emotional misconduct
  • Physical misconduct
  • Sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse

 

as defined in the USRowing SafeSport policy found at http://usrowing.org/Safety/SafeSport.aspx.

It is a violation of this Participant Protection Policy if a staff member and/or volunteer knows of misconduct, but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the athlete(s), participant(s), staff member, and/or volunteer.

Although these policies are designed to reduce sexual abuse and other misconduct, it can still occur.

Staff members, volunteers and participants of CARP shall follow the reporting procedures set forth in CARP’s Reporting Policy. CARP does not investigate suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse, or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations, as a condition of reporting suspicions or allegations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

Violations of the Athlete Protection Policy shall be reported pursuant to our Reporting Policy and will be addressed under our Disciplinary Rules and Procedure.

Appropriate physical contact between athletes and coaches, staff members, contractors or volunteers is a productive and inevitable part of sport. Athletes are more likely to acquire advanced physical skills and enjoy their sport participation through appropriate physical contact. However, guidelines for appropriate physical contact reduce the potential for misconduct in sport.

 

APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL CONTACT

CARP adheres to the following principles and guidelines in regards to physical contact with our participants:

Physical contact – for coaching, consolation and celebration – is allowed if contact permission has been explicitly given. If physical contact is needed for immediate safety purposes, the safety of the participant will override consent.

Prohibited forms of physical contact, which shall be reported immediately under our Reporting Policy include, without limitation:

  • Physical contact meant to discipline, punish or achieve compliance
  • Continued physical contact that makes a participant obviously uncomfortable, whether expressed or not
  • any contact that is contrary to a previously expressed personal desire for decreased or no physical contact, where such decreased contact is feasible in a competitive training environment.

 

VIOLATIONS

Violations of this policy must be reported to a supervisor, CARP administrator, or member of the Board and violations will be addressed under our Disciplinary Rules and Procedure.  Some forms of physical contact may constitute child physical or sexual abuse that must be reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

REPORTING PROCEDURE

CARP will take a report in the way that is most comfortable for the person initiating a report including an anonymous, in-person, verbal or written report.  Regardless of how you choose to report, it is helpful to CARP for individuals to provide, at a minimum, (1) the name of the complainant(s); (2) the type of misconduct alleged and the name(s) of the individual(s) alleged to have committed the misconduct.

Individuals reporting physical or sexual abuse or other misconduct may complete an Incident Report Form. Information on this form may include:

 

1)  the name(s) of the complainant(s)

2)  the type of misconduct alleged

3)  the name(s) of the individual(s) alleged to have committed the misconduct

4)  the approximate dates the misconduct was committed

5)  the names of other individuals who might have information regarding the alleged misconduct

6)  a summary statement of the reasons to believe that misconduct has occurred

 

CARP will withhold the complainant’s name on request, to the extent permitted by law.

A copy of CARP’s Reporting Form can be found at on the website’s SafeSport page and at the boathouse.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY, ANONYMOUS REPORTING AND BAD-FAITH ALLEGATIONS

To the extent permitted by law, and as appropriate, CARP will keep confidential the complainant’s name on request, not make public the names of potential victims, the accused perpetrator or the people who made a report of physical and sexual abuse to the authorities. 

CARP recognizes it can be difficult for an athlete, volunteer, friend or family member to report an allegation of misconduct and strives to remove as many barriers to reporting as possible. Anonymous reports may be made:

  • by completing the Reporting Form without including their name
  • through email, texts or notes left for a CARP administrator

 

However, anonymous reporting may make it difficult for CARP to investigate or properly address allegations.

All suspicions of child physical or sexual abuse will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. CARP, its staff members and/or volunteers do not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. As necessary, however, CARP may ask a few clarifying questions of the minor or person making the report to adequately report the suspicion or allegation to law enforcement authorities.

Regardless of outcome, CARP will support the complainant(s) and his or her right to express concerns in good faith. CARP will not encourage, allow or tolerate attempts from any individual to retaliate, punish, allow or in any way harm any individual(s) who reports a concern in good faith. Such actions against a complainant will be considered a violation of our policy and grounds for disciplinary action.

A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violations that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith is prohibited. Such reports will be considered a violation of our policy and grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.

 

HOW REPORTS ARE HANDLED

CARP addresses internally alleged policy violations and misconduct – bullying, harassment, hazing, emotional, physical and sexual – that are not reportable under relevant state or federal law. Staff members and/or volunteer must report policy violations and misconduct to an immediate supervisor, CARP administrator or member of CARP’s Board.

CARP may also investigate allegations of child physical or sexual abuse that are reportable, if such investigation does not interfere with any ongoing criminal investigation or prosecution for abuse. Such allegations may include:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Abuse reported outside the relevant statutes of limitation
  • Allegations of abuse that were reported to authorities, but: (a) legal authorities did not press criminal charges; (b) criminal charges were filed, but not pursued to trial; or (c) the alleged offender was acquitted at trial

 

 

NOTIFICATION

Following CARP’s notice of a credible allegation that results in the removal of an employee, coach or other volunteer, CARP may consider the circumstances in which it will notify other participants.  In CARP’s discretion, as appropriate, and after consultation with counsel, CARP may notify its staff members, contractors, volunteers, parents, and/or athletes of any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse or other criminal behavior that (1) law enforcement authorities are actively investigating; or (2) that CARP is investigating internally.  Advising others of an allegation may lead to additional reports of child physical or sexual abuse and other misconduct.

 

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

While CARP endeavors to provide support and guidance to participants on a day-to-day basis, it is also important for CARP to have a formal procedure for disciplinary action to address alleged violations of its policies and other inappropriate behaviors, which is consistent with CARP’s Bylaws and Constitution.  

This Policy is used to address the following allegations against staff members, athletes, participants and/or volunteers.

CARP recognizes that there are varying levels of misconduct. In all cases, CARP’s disciplinary procedures and actions will be proportionate, reasonable and applied fairly and equally.

On receipt of an allegation, CARP will determine in its discretion the appropriate steps to address the conduct based on several factors, including (i) the age of the complainant or victim, (ii) the age of the accused and (iii) the nature, scope, and extent of the allegations.

CARP’s disciplinary response will depend on the nature and seriousness of the incident and in extreme cases, misconduct will result in immediate summary dismissal, provided that the accused individual shall be advised of their right to a hearing. If the accused individual is a minor, CARP will contact his or her parents or guardians.

 

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Sanctions for violations of the Participant Protection Policy will be proportionate and reasonable under the circumstances. In addition to day-to-day guidance, CARP may take the following disciplinary actions, without limitation:

  • Inform the individual’s direct-line supervisor or, in the case of a youth participant, the youth’s parent or guardian
  • Provide the individual with guidance, redirection and instruction
  • Temporary suspension from participation
  • File a formal incident report
  • Issue a verbal warning
  • Issue a written and/or final written warning
  • Implement a limited access agreement
  • Provide informed supervision, where at least one staff member is informed of the allegation and is instructed to vigilantly supervise the accused participant or stakeholder in his or her interactions with the program and/or organization
  • Engage in restorative practices, i.e., creation of a respectful and safe dialogue when a misunderstanding or harm has occurred
  • Suspend or terminate employment, membership, or right to participate

 

On receipt of a credible and specific allegation of child abuse or other serious misconduct (e.g., physical and sexual abuse as defined in our Participant Protection Policy), CARP may immediately suspend or terminate the accused individual to ensure participant safety.

Regardless of outcome, CARP will support the complainant(s) and his or her right to express concerns in good faith. CARP will not encourage or tolerate attempts to retaliate, punish or in any way harm any individual(s) who report(s) a concern in good faith. Such actions will be grounds for disciplinary action.

Any individual who alleges misconduct under the Participant Protection Policy that, upon review, is determined to be malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith will be a violation of our Participant Protection Policy. Bad-faith allegations may also be subject to criminal or civil proceedings.

 

RESPONDING TO INTERACTIONS

While CARP has a formal reporting policy, staff members and volunteers should be prepared to respond immediately to inappropriate or harmful behavior, potential risk situations and potential boundary violations.

Staff members and volunteers will redirect inappropriate behaviors to promote positive behaviors, confront inappropriate or harmful behaviors, and report behaviors if necessary.



 
Reporting Form

CARP strongly encourages the reporting of misconduct. CARP appreciates your willingness to report inappropriate behavior.

Section I:

This section is about the individual you are reporting. Please provide as much information as possible.

1.  Name of Individual you are reporting (First & Last):

 Comments:

 

2.  Age or Approximate Age:

3.  Gender:                                                          Male                      Female

4.  Position(s) this individual holds or held (please circle all that apply):

 Head Coach / Assistant Coach / Employee / Volunteer / Official / Other / Not sure

Comments:

 

 

Section II:

This section asks questions about the incident or incidents you are reporting. Please provide as much specific information as you are able.  

  1. Type of Offense:
  2. Where did the incident(s) take place? (City, State and any other available location information):

 

  1. Please Describe what happened (including... who, what, when, where):

 

 

 

 

Section III:

This section is for information about the victim or victims. If you are the victim and wish to remain anonymous, you may do so. In that case, please enter only your age, city, state, and Club affiliation.

10.  Name:

Comments:

 

11.  Age (or approximate age):

12.  Club affiliation (if any):

12. Contact information (if available to you):

15.  Gender:                                                         Male    Female

 

Section IV:

Your Information: You may remain anonymous if you wish. However, providing your information is vastly helpful to a swift and effective investigation. A person reporting alleged misconduct should not fear any retribution and/or consequence when filing a report he or she believes to be true.

16.  Name:

17.  Phone Number:

18.  Email Address:

19.  Club Affiliation (if any):

20.  Relationship to victim (if any):

                Self                         Parent/Guardian              Other family member                       Friend or acquaintance

                Club member, coach or volunteer             Other or prefer not to say

 

Section V:

Other Information

21.  If you have any other information that you feel would be helpful to an investigation of the alleged offense you have reported, please enter it here:

 

 

 

A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violations that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith is prohibited. Such reports will be considered a violation of our Participant Safety Handbook and grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also b
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