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Hockey closes the gap on childsafe risks

Hockey closes the gap on childsafe risks

Significant effort has been put in by Hockey SA to improve processes and reduce childsafe risks.

As part of sustainability funding from the Office for Recreation and Sport, Hockey SA have put significant effort in to changes to improve processes and reduce childsafe risks.

Hockey SA CEO Andrew Ellis said, “it has been a concerted effort over an 18 month period involving all staff, the Board and many discussions with member clubs and associations. Activities have included awareness raising in forums, training and updating governing documents including procedures.”

It started with a gap assessment completed by management which was reviewed with the Board that established the priorities over 2016/17.

In the first half of 2016, Hockey SA staff ran nine different forums for member clubs/associations based on the childsafe training material available on the ORS website. Importantly, eight of these forums were in regional areas where club leaders also attended.

Hockey coaches already undertake working with children’s checks, and they have also required that coaches, managers and house parents for state teams undertake the child protection online training through Play By The Rules. Staff have attended Child Safe Officer training from ORS, and encouraged many of the Hockey SA members to do the same.

Given Hockey SA's obligations to submit a childsafe compliance statement for the whole of the sport, consultation with members in 2016 led to Affiliation Terms being formalised and adopted across the organisation at the start of season 2017 which embedded childsafe requirements in to expectations of member clubs and associations.

Hockey SA are now in the final stages of this project with an updated childsafe procedure going to the Hockey SA Board in June ahead of rolling out to members. Ellis said, “these improvements would not have been possible without input from ORS and in particular Jane Bartlett whose knowledge in this area added significantly to our work.