In 2018, Congress passed The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the SafeSport Act). The legislation is aimed at preventing and reporting child abuse in youth sports by expanding the categories of “mandatory reporters” and requiring organizations to provide enhanced training. MYSA requires all of its adult members to complete the training and follow the reporting guidelines of SafeSport.
SafeSport training is mandatory for every adult participant within MYSA, including coaches, managers and administrators. The training covers three topics: mandatory reporting, sexual misconduct awareness education, and emotional and physical misconduct.
This training is offered to all registered MYSA members free of charge through an access code that is provided after completion of a background check. Adults should complete this training before beginning any sanctioned activity with their club. Upon completion, the adult should upload their “SafeSport Trained” certificate into their Affinity profile.
In addition to requiring training, the SafeSport Act also expands the definition of mandatory reporter to include any “adult who is authorized, by a national governing body, a member of the national governing body…to interact with a minor or amateur athlete at an amateur sports organization facility or at any event sanctioned by a national governing body, a member of a national governing body, or such an amateur sports organization.” MYSA urges all adults to understand their reporting obligations outlined below.
Under the SafeSport Act, the reporting obligation is triggered when a mandatory reporter becomes aware of “facts that give reason to suspect” a child has suffered an incident of child abuse. Mandatory reporters should refrain from judging or evaluating the credibility of such allegations, and instead immediately report these incidents to law enforcement and to SafeSport. Failure to promptly (within 24 hours of becoming aware) report suspected child abuse to law enforcement may constitute a violation of federal law, state law and U.S. Soccer’s SafeSport Policy. Click on the “report a concern” if you have suspicions that must be reported.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport also offers training and resources for parents of athletes. Parents are encouraged to use these resources to familiarize themselves with SafeSport’s philosophy and policies.
U.S. Soccer has developed the Safe Soccer Framework. This is a great resource for clubs to use to develop their own policies and procedures for creating a safe environment for all participants.