SUSPICION OF CHILD ABUSE
STEPS FOR REPORTING:
This is intended as a quick reference for use in a sporting environment and is not meant to be
exhaustive or to replace legal advice. Consult with child welfare, law enforcement and legal
counsel if child abuse is alleged or suspected.
- Child discloses abuse or abuse is discovered with the adult involved in the abuse being
a coach/volunteer or anyone outside the organization.
- These steps would also apply when:
- A peer discloses on behalf of another child
- An adult suspects a child is abused
- Coach/volunteer who receives disclosure:
- Notifies law enforcement and/or child welfare about the incident
- Consults with child welfare about notifying parents; and
- Notifies the supervisor/manager, who in turn notifies the head of the organization.
- Head of the organization/manager suspends coach/volunteer suspected of abuse with or without pay until case is resolved. * (IF THE SUSPECTED PERSON IS THE COACH/VOLUNTEER) If the individual is a volunteer or unpaid staff, consider if the individual should be dismissed from their position immediately.
- A child welfare agency and/or police carry out investigation. Organization should conduct an internal follow-up in consultation with police/child welfare and adjusts internal policies if needed.
?POTENTIAL OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATION:
- A) Substantiated/guilty. Parent/person may be removed from their child. Coach/volunteer is dismissed from his/her position. *
- B) Inconclusive/not guilty+. Seek legal counsel. (If it is the coach under suspicion, then consider if coach/volunteer should be dismissed, with or without severance.)
+ Criminal processes can be complex and lengthy. A finding of not guilty may not necessarily mean that the abuse did not occur. Consult with a lawyer.
- • Document the outcome of the investigation on the incident report form.
- Document the results of the internal follow up.
*NOTE: Seek legal guidance prior to suspension and/or dismissal.