Does your school or nonprofit serve young athletes? If so, you need to make some urgent changes to comply with the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. The law went into effect immediately on February 14, which means organizations that serve youth athletics need to comply now.
This Federal legislation sets aggressive standards that all youth sports organizations must meet, including programs offered by local leagues, churches, schools, camps and nonprofits.
To be compliant, organizations need to make mandatory reporting changes, implement consistent prevention training and meet prevention policy requirements.
All organizations that have contact with youth athletes are required to make the following changes:
- Widen the net on child sexual abuse reporting: Schools and nonprofits need to recognize that the list of mandatory reporters now includes any adult who is authorized to interact with a minor amateur athlete at an organization’s facility or event. As determined by state and federal law, all adults at some organizations are required to immediately report suspicions of abuse to the U.S. Center for Safesport and the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
- Provide and require mandatory prevention training: All adult members of amateur sports organizations that come in contact with youth athletes are required to take training on prevention and reporting of child abuse that is provided by the organization. Training must be consistent and compliant with the new legislation.
- Add new prevention policy requirements: Reasonable procedures must be implemented that limit one-on-one interactions between minor amateur athletes and adults without being in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult.
Need more information on reporting? Bolton’s Education Practice Group has some insight on how schools—and nonprofits—should handle high-profile incidents:
These changes present challenges for youth sports organizations that often rely on volunteers. It is important for youth sports organizations to understand these new requirements, take advantage of available resources and take action to comply.
Many insurance companies who specialize in underwriting school risk provide resources to help your school establish or revise existing policies and offer compliant training, either at no cost or for a reduced fee.
If your insurance company does not offer this, there are a number of non-insurance organizations that specialize in this area that can assist you.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you need a list of these resources.
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