CUFC Welfare Policy

Chestermere United FC acknowledges its responsibility to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all of our players.   We take the welfare of our young people and all members seriously and are committed to protecting them from physical, psychological, emotional and sexual harm.  This is the responsibility of all adults involved in soccer and CUFC expects all of its members to share in this important responsibility.

CUFC encourages understanding, tolerance and acceptance of the diversity within our Club and community.  Our programs, events and Club culture are open to people of all cultural, ethnic, racial, faith and religious backgrounds, all ages (except where programs do not exist for an age group), and all gender and sexual orientations.  We value equality and inclusion of all people and we welcome people with disabilities, but acknowledge that we are not able to accommodate all needs within our programs.  When we are not able to meet a player’s requirements, we will do our best to recommend an alternative organization.

CUFC has a strict Code of Conduct that all members are required to understand and abide by.  Members are expected to remind each other of the details of this Code when necessary.  

All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.  Players and other CUFC members are encouraged to report concerns to a coach or other CUFC official as soon as possible.

Club personnel, including coaching staff, MUST understand what their duty of care is toward children and young people.  Any suspicions of abuse or ill-treatment, along with any supporting details, MUST be reported to the Club immediately.

CUFC will assess all reports and ensure that any issues are addressed, including by referring to the appropriate agencies as required.  Serious allegations will be reported to the local police authorities and/or Child Protective Services.

It is important that the rights of the child and the person about whom a complaint has been made are protected.  All information will be treated in a sensitive manner.  Sharing information with others on a “need to know” basis in order to protect a child is not a breach of confidentiality. The welfare of the child supersedes other considerations; therefore, guarantees of confidentiality cannot be given.  

The CUFC Reporting Procedure is to detail an issue to the player’s coach first.  This should be in the form of a CUFC Incident Report Form or can be a verbal report, an e-mail, or a written report.  When this is not possible, the issue should be reported (in one of these forms) to another coach or Club official.  Coaches and Club officials who receive a report about an issue MUST immediately deal with minor matters at the team level and report more serious matters, repeated problems, or anything that cannot be dealt with at the team level, to the Club.  These matters cannot be ignored.  The Incident Report Form is available on the CUFC website  Click here for the Incident Report Form.  Coaching staff and Club officials MUST use the official CUFC Incident Report Form to submit reports to the Club.

Anonymous complaints, while not the ideal way to deal with issues, should be reported to the Club and will be assessed like other reports.  A report of each such incident and the results of the assessment and any actions taken should be recorded in a written report.  Suspicions should be treated in the same manner  as an anonymous complaint to ensure that a situation does not fall through the cracks. Suspicions MUST be followed up to either remedy the situation or to correct any misinformation that is circulating.

CUFC will work in partnership with young people, their parents/caregivers, any other involved members, and the appropriate organizations to protect and take care of our members, especially young people.

If a child is U10 or younger, a parent/caregiver MUST remain at all activities, or MUSTarrange for another known adult to be responsible for the child if they cannot remain.

If a child is U12 or older, parents/caregivers MUST ensure that there are team staff members present at the designated time and location before leaving their child, and they MUST be present at least 5 minutes before the end of a practice or game.  Players MUST be allowed to perform cool-down and finish team discussion before expecting to leave.

All practices, games and other team events require at least two adults present for the duration.  At least one of these adults must be the same gender as the players.  (i.e. A girls’team requires at least one adult female to be present at all times.)  If two coaches are not able to attend an event, then arrangements must be made ahead of time for a parent to fulfil this role.  In the case of a game, a “bench parent” can be present, without a coach’s identification card, with the team on the bench to ensure that there is a same-gender adult.  In the case of a practice, if there are not two adults, with at least one being the same gender as the players, then the practice must be cancelled.

NOTE TO TEAM STAFF:

Players MUST NOT be unsupervised at any time when in attendance at a CUFC practice, game or event.

Adults MUST NOT, at any time, be placed in a situation where they are alone with a child, other than their own.

NO child is to go anywhere alone.

If a team staff member provides a ride for a player to or from a game, practice or event, parental permission MUST have been attained ahead of time, by text, e-mail or signed written note.  The player MUST NOT ride in the front seat and must wear a seatbelt at all times.

It is recommended that an additional individual be present in the vehicle during the journey.

Coaches MUST wait until all players have been collected from practices, games and events before leaving the venue.  Two people MUST remain with the player, at least one being an adult and one the same gender as the player.  For more information on dropping off and picking up players, please see the CUFC Code of Conduct.

Comforting and congratulating players are important parts of the relationship between coaches and players and can involve appropriate and public physical contact.  Any touch should be in response to the child’s needs, not the adult’s, and should take place in a public environment with the permission and understanding of the player.  The age and ability of each player should be taken into consideration.  For example, older children are capable of doing more for themselves and need less physical assistance by coaching staff.  The intention to congratulate or comfort the player should be made clear to them and a player’s discomfort or rejection of physical contact must always be respected.  Touch must always be limited to “safe” areas of the body.

In the case of injury, the player’s comfort and dignity are priorities.  Only the injured areas should be uncovered and private areas of the body should be covered.  Injuries should be treated in the presence of others; players are not to be alone with anyone.  With the exception of minor injuries, like cleaning and bandaging a scrape, only individuals qualified in First Aid or in treating sports injuries should attempt to treat an injury.  If there is any question about the nature of an injury, the player should be referred to qualified medical personnel.

DO NO FURTHER HARM.

Coaching staff will ensure that the physical playing environment is hazard-free to prevent injury, and to ensure that players are healthy before playing.  This includes appropriately removing injured players from practices and games, and requiring medical clearance for injured players returning to play.  Players MUST NOT be carried off of the field by a coach.  They should be able to safely WALK off of the field on their own or aided by others.  See the CUFC Code of Conduct for more information.

Physical ability will be taken into consideration when coaching players.  Part of training will be to improve strength, stamina, balance and agility to develop better, safer players.  Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) MUST always be considered when planning sessions and games to give each player what is required for individual growth.

CUFC recommends the all team staff complete CPR and First Aid training.  CUFC also encourages team staff to attend seminars and other information sessions relevant to protecting young people, such as suicide awareness, mental health, self-harm, etc.

Players’ emotional and social well-being are also important and coaching staff will address any issues that arise.  Players are encouraged to inform their coaches, or another CUFC official, of any problems that they encounter and/or need assistance handling.  When coaches are not able to remedy problems at the team level, they will inform the Club and follow up to ensure that the issue has been handled, including participating in the solution, as needed.  When coaches have not addressed an issue to the satisfaction of the player and/or parents involved, then the player and/or parents should inform the Club, so that a resolution can be reached.

CUFC strives to keep coaching, player interactions, and all communications positive in approach and will not tolerate discrimination, intimidation, name-calling, or any other negative interactions.

All incidents of bullying must be reported to coaching staff, or another CUFC official when needed, so that it can be stopped immediately.  See CUFC Anti-Bullying Policy for more information.

Each role within the Club has a detailed Role Description to make expectations clear.  CUFC staff and volunteers are interviewed and chosen to fit the Club’s needs with priority given to child safety considerations.  This includes Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) checks and references. Final hiring decisions will be made by the CUFC Executive Director.  

The goal is to prevent people with a history of relevant and significant offending from having the opportunity to influence policies or practices and from having contact with young people. This is to prevent direct sexual or physical harm to young people, and to minimize the risk of “grooming” victims within soccer.