Safe Haven® Child & Volunteer Protection
Volunteers are the lifeblood of AYSO Region 80. To ensure the safety of both children and volunteers, each volunteer is required to take a short in-person or online training session called Safe Haven. It focuses on safety and appropriate behavior with children as well as other on-field issues. Agreeing to a background check is also required for each volunteer.
Becoming Safe Haven certified may take a little time, but AYSO families know their children’s safety is worth it.
Safe Haven is both a child and volunteer protection program. It was the first of its kind in youth sports.
The child protection aspect is intended to prevent child abuse, promote education and awareness, enforce policies and screen and train volunteers. It includes proactive steps that promote a positive, healthy environment for children.
Volunteer protection is the result of volunteer training, certification and continuing education. The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 provides certain legal protections for volunteers who have been trained and certified and act in accordance with a written job description and AYSO’s policies and guidelines.
What is Safe Haven?
AYSO’s Safe Haven® program is designed to address the growing need for Child and Volunteer Protection in youth sports. The components of the program help create a safe, fun, fair and positive environment – “safe haven” – for all participants.
What are the Safe Haven program components?
Registering and Screening All Volunteers
AYSO requires all volunteers to complete a volunteer application every year and agree to background investigations. References are checked for all brand new volunteers and every volunteer is subject to screening for sex offender registration and criminal convictions according to AYSO’s National Criminal Background Check Policy.
Training and Certification
In order to ensure the fulfillment of AYSO’s vision and the protection of volunteers and players, every volunteer is required to take AYSO’s Safe Haven training and be properly trained for their jobs (job training). AYSO’s in-house certification program provides every volunteer with the highest level of training at the lowest possible cost and features child-centric curriculum, age and developmentally appropriate activities and AYSO certified instructors.
Child and Volunteer Protection Guidelines
AYSO’s protection guidelines are designed to prevent opportunities for abuse to occur while minimizing opportunities for volunteers to be misunderstood or falsely accused. The guidelines hold coaches responsible for all players, for maintaining supervision protocols and maintaining appropriate adult/child boundaries.
Safety and Injury Prevention
All volunteers are asked to help promote safety and injury prevention by recognizing common emergency medical conditions, risks associated with environmental hazards, weather conditions, field conditions and equipment.