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Spiny Norman
22-07-2008, 07:57 PM
Hi all,

Hopefully all of you in VIC are aware that by 30/6/2010 all clubs must be compliant with the Working With Children Act. Other states will doubtless have their own rules/regulations in respect of protecting children, reporting of abuse cases, etc (worth looking into if you haven't already!).

I have been preparing a number of new policies and procedures which should be suitable for adoption by other clubs (cut-n-paste for VIC clubs, some mods needed for other states). They will be available in a couple of days time on the Croydon Chess website (www.croydonchess.com).

Reason for this thread is firstly to make you aware of these new resources, but also to ask a few pointed questions of other administrators here.

Q. What are you doing in respect of training your committee members in respect of their legal responsibilities and liabilities? e.g. Is your committee a healthy body that is driving growth and innovation in your club, or just a "must have" compliance burden that drives you mad?

Q. If I were to put on some seminars, for free, to provide committee members with some basic training on these responsibilities and liabilities, would you be interested in attending (i.e. would you bring your whole committee along)?

Q. Its my intention to add some basic training on how to implement a child protection policy. Would this also be of interest?

Q. I have been looking at the ACF insurance scheme and noted that it seems to be just a public liability policy. That's excellent as a start, however I am also looking to see whether other components such as Directors and Officers Cover and Child Molestation Cover could be added relatively inexpensively (perhaps this would require a change to a new insurer though). So ... is this all just a big yawn ... or are you interested to learn about such things (and how you might end up in the poo if there is an abuse incident and you don't have the right cover in place)?

Spiny Norman
23-07-2008, 05:45 PM
I'm a tad surprised that nobody seems to be interested ... yet ... anyway, just a note to say that our updated:

POLICY - Child Protection; and
POLICY - Complaints Handling

are now published on our website (http://www.croydonchess.com/Policies and Procedures.page) (n.b. they may be subject to further minor changes, but are 99% good to go).

Kevin Bonham
23-07-2008, 09:19 PM
Was there another thread like this a few years back? I remember noticing your extremely thorough documentation before.


That's excellent as a start, however I am also looking to see whether other components such as Directors and Officers Cover and Child Molestation Cover could be added relatively inexpensively (perhaps this would require a change to a new insurer though).

What does the first of these cover? And concerning the second, in what sort of cases is a club liable for which insurance would remove the liability?

Under "ethical" in the Child Protection Policy I would be tempted to add something covering inappropriate conversations about "mature" themes in general - especially alcohol, drugs etc. At one tournament I had to bite my tongue in a hurry when a player who I think was about twelve wanted to talk to me in a cheery fashion about something to do with hangovers (forget the exact details).

CameronD
23-07-2008, 09:39 PM
Chess is extremely different from other sports in regards to juniors. Most other sports entirely separate juniors and adults so that only a handful of adults have the responsibility. i never played a game/sport when i was a minor that involved adults except for coaches or other parents, never mind playing them.

I was a junior liason officer for another sport and had classes for 12 juniors and i was the only adult with contact with them. Whereas chess, most clubs have juniors playing adults each week, the same in weekend tournaments. The club losses a lot of control as most adult with contact doesn't have a blue card or clearences/approval from the club.

Ideally, juniors and adults would be entirely separated till at least the age of 16. Exceptional juniors playing up would have heavy supervision for the safety of the junior and adults at the venue. Most clubs really dont know anything about their adult membersd, they just pay and get a game.

Garvinator
23-07-2008, 10:56 PM
Chess is extremely different from other sports in regards to juniors. Most other sports entirely separate juniors and adults so that only a handful of adults have the responsibility. i never played a game/sport when i was a minor that involved adults except for coaches or other parents, never mind playing them.

I was a junior liason officer for another sport and had classes for 12 juniors and i was the only adult with contact with them. Whereas chess, most clubs have juniors playing adults each week, the same in weekend tournaments. The club losses a lot of control as most adult with contact doesn't have a blue card or clearences/approval from the club.

Ideally, juniors and adults would be entirely separated till at least the age of 16. Exceptional juniors playing up would have heavy supervision for the safety of the junior and adults at the venue. Most clubs really dont know anything about their adult membersd, they just pay and get a game.
Any adult working with children must have a blue card. So basically this means any adult in a position of responsibility for children and has regular contact with children.

So other adult competitors do not have to have blue cards as they are not in a position of authority.

Spiny Norman
24-07-2008, 07:37 AM
Was there another thread like this a few years back? I remember noticing your extremely thorough documentation before.
Yeah, I was a bit of a stickler for doco back then, and even more so now. Having worked in the church administration scene for the past 5 years, once gets to see some of the very worst of administrative practices, and also the fallout from that lack of attention to good policy and procedure. :(


What does the first of these cover?
Directors and Officers cover would typically protect Committee Members of an Association, so that if a lawsuit arose, the insurance company would step in an provide legal advice, pay for settlements/fines (if necessary), so that the individuals are not personally financially at risk.


And concerning the second, in what sort of cases is a club liable for which insurance would remove the liability?
Sexual Molestation Cover is needed because almost all insurance companies in Australia specifically exclude such risks from their other policies (e.g. Directors and Officers Cover usually specifically excludes liabilities arising from Sexual Molestation claims). It would protect Committee Members from financial liabilities arising from child abuse claims (i.e. civil claims). Whether it provides any other benefits, I don't know.

I'm nowhere near an insurance expert, but that's my basic understanding of the landscape. I don't know whether its financially feasible for our club to get this extra cover, but I'm going to find out.

The best protection is of course to have:
-- good policies and procedures; and
-- well trained Committee Members, Leaders and Volunteers

Preventing abuse from occurring in the first place is the objective. The insurance is a backstop so that committee members have no reason to fear being in their role and working with the kids. Its not uncommon for me to hear "maybe we ought to drop our junior program". But that would kill the chess club ... eventually ... I strongly believe we need to be 'creating' the next generation of players.


Under "ethical" in the Child Protection Policy I would be tempted to add something covering inappropriate conversations about "mature" themes in general - especially alcohol, drugs etc. At one tournament I had to bite my tongue in a hurry when a player who I think was about twelve wanted to talk to me in a cheery fashion about something to do with hangovers (forget the exact details).
Good suggestion Kevin ... thanks, I'll have a look at that.

Spiny Norman
24-07-2008, 07:45 AM
Any adult working with children must have a blue card. So basically this means any adult in a position of responsibility for children and has regular contact with children.
So other adult competitors do not have to have blue cards as they are not in a position of authority.
BTW, gg, you're right ... but only from a QLD perspective!

This is one of the really awkward things ... all the Child Protection legislation is state-specific ... so "Blue Card" means something within the context of QLD associations (i.e. clubs) who have people supervising children ... but doesn't apply anywhere else.

In VIC, there is the Working With Children Act ... and there is a Working With Children check that is mandatory for people working with children (being gradually phased in now).

In other states, there are other rules. e.g. mandatory reporting, which applies to certain categories of employees/volunteers, but not to others, and varies considerably state-to-state.

For our club, we are taking the view that we will voluntarily adopt mandatory reporting (i.e. to police and to state government child welfare people), even though we are not required to do so under VIC laws.

This area is a minefield. I have heard talk of a national scheme, but who knows how long that might take to organise? But it would be much better if it were national, so that they could take the best components of various state schemes and adopt them more widely (e.g. mandatory checks such as Blue Card or a police check, mandatory reporting, etc).

Ian Rout
24-07-2008, 09:06 AM
Ideally, juniors and adults would be entirely separated till at least the age of 16.
Arguably so, but not for the reason under discussion. Let's not get carried away. Adults and children in a chess tournament or club are in no closer proximity than those in a shopping centre, cinema or church. In fact typically less.

Garvinator
24-07-2008, 12:40 PM
Arguably so, but not for the reason under discussion. Let's not get carried away. Adults and children in a chess tournament or club are in no closer proximity than those in a shopping centre, cinema or church. In fact typically less.
And at a chess tournament, at least the people in a position of authority are aware of the names of the children and usually who their parents are or who is acting as guardian for a group of children.

Watto
24-07-2008, 02:01 PM
Chess is extremely different from other sports in regards to juniors. Most other sports entirely separate juniors and adults so that only a handful of adults have the responsibility. i never played a game/sport when i was a minor that involved adults except for coaches or other parents, never mind playing them.
...
Ideally, juniors and adults would be entirely separated till at least the age of 16. Exceptional juniors playing up would have heavy supervision for the safety of the junior and adults at the venue. Most clubs really dont know anything about their adult membersd, they just pay and get a game.
I can’t see how it would be ideal at all to entirely separate juniors and adults until the age of 16. One of the special and unusual things about the chess scene is the mix of adults and juniors. Over the chessboard they meet as equals. Away from the board there’s a lot of goodwill out there and people do look out for each other; friendships lasting many years have been formed by adults advising and helping out juniors (and vice versa). Enforced widespread separation for some sort of nebulous ‘safety’ issue seems to me to be a curtailment of freedom, an artificial hindrance to good competition and a real shame from a social point of view.

If adults are working with children, in positions of authority, it’s a different matter... it makes sense to regulate that.

george
24-07-2008, 09:13 PM
Hi Watto,

I couldnt agree with you more. The recent Freytag tourney would have been the lesser if there were not that stack of children playing some in their first tournament.

It was nice to see IM's analysing chess in the noisy analysis room and being surrounded with children , watching and learning.

kindest Regards

ElevatorEscapee
26-07-2008, 02:18 AM
I'm a tad surprised that nobody seems to be interested ... yet ... anyway, just a note to say that our updated:

POLICY - Child Protection; and
POLICY - Complaints Handling

are now published on our website (http://www.croydonchess.com/Policies and Procedures.page) (n.b. they may be subject to further minor changes, but are 99% good to go).

Yes, somewhat interested here.. .but please don't be a "tad surprised" if several days pass between your initial communique and a receiving a response! ;)