At Knoxville Football Club, we are committed to the safety of our players. We believe every child has a right to participate in a safe environment. To promote a safe environment, our Club has adopted, and is fully committed to, the Code of Conduct adopted by United States Youth Soccer and by the Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) as its Policy 3. All board members, coaches and families in our Club should be familiar with this Code of Conduct, a copy of which can be found here: TSSA Policy 3
Preventing and Reporting Sexual Abuse of Minors
A new federal law entitled “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” was recently enacted by Congress and is being implemented by youth sports organizations across the country, including our Club. Under this new law, any adult in our Club who interacts with our youth athletes has a legal duty to report child abuse or suspected child abuse. While that legal duty only applies to persons who interact with the youth members of our Club, all parents and volunteers in our Club should report child abuse or suspected child abuse. If an adult who interacts with youth athletes suspects that child abuse has occurred, the adult must report the suspected abuse within 24 hours to the appropriate persons listed below. The legislation defines child abuse as physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child.
Reporting to Proper Agencies
Suspected child abuse by any adult associated with our Club or in connection with any Club activity should be reported to the following:
Club Risk Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tennessee Department of Children's Services: 1 (877) 237-0004
Knox County Sheriff: (865) 215-2243
Tennessee State Soccer Risk Manager: Don Eubank email@example.com or Hans Hobson firstname.lastname@example.org
US Center for SafeSport https://safesport.org/Report-a-concern or 312-528-7004
Additional State Law Requirements
These obligations are in addition to any state law requirements that an individual may have in a particular jurisdiction. Under Tennessee law, all adults have an obligation to report child abuse to the hotline for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services listed above.
Other Forms of Abuse
The TSSA Code of Conduct clearly provides that all types of abuse, including bullying, harassment and hazing, are violations of the Code of Conduct, whether such actions would constitute child abuse under federal or state law. For example, harassment of a youth referee is a clear violation of the Code of Conduct, which could result in the suspension or expulsion of a player or family from TSSA and Club activities.
Club Training on Child Abuse
The new federal law referenced above also imposed several other obligations on our Club. They are as follows:
· The Club must comply with the reporting requirements discussed above that are applicable to all adults that interact with the youth members of our Club.
· The Club must establish reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between our youth members and adults during Club activities. To do so, the Club will follow, and has educated our coaches and managers to follow, the policies of the Code of Conduct, which are intended to limit such interactions. The policies limit electronic communications between coaches and players, among other limitations.
· The Club must offer and provide training to the adults in our Club who have regular contact with minor athletes as to the prevention and reporting of child abuse. All board members, coaches and managers in our Club are undergoing training provided by the TSSA to accomplish this.
· The Club cannot, and will not, retaliate against any person who reports suspected child abuse.