Child Abuse Prevention

Child Abuse Prevention Statement:

As a youth-serving organization, Santa Barbara Pony Baseball considers the safety and wellbeing of the youth in our programs a top priority, and we strive to put safety first with our programming and policies.  Our organization prohibits bullying, abuse, or other violence and we strive to proactively address reports of this type of conduct, even if it means that someone will be embarrassed or upset.  We want to hear about problems or concerns, and we will strive to act on them in a fair, balanced way in accordance with our policies.

Policies and Procedures:

Santa Barbara Pony Baseball has developed and implemented the following Policies and Procedures in an effort to provide a safe environment for our members, athletes, and coaches. The Board of Directors shall annually review this policy and update it as needed, including the defining of prohibited and discouraged behaviors.

  1. The Coach Recruitment process shall include the following:
  • Volunteer Application – Every coach and volunteer working with youth athletes is required to complete a written application that will set forth appropriate background information, require disclosure of any prior claims or allegations of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct, and provide the names of at least two individuals as references to the good character of the coach or volunteer.  A designated representative will contact these references before coaching or volunteering begins.  This application must be completed each year, even if the coach is returning from the previous year/season.
  • Screening – A designated representative(s) of the organization will interview each prospective coach/volunteer.  This screening process will include specific questions regarding the existence of any prior claims of inappropriate behavior with respect to youth or youth athletes.
  • Background Check – All potential coaches will be subject to a background check with a contracted vendor qualified to conduct such checks, and the background check will include appropriate inquiries regarding any previous record of sexual abuse or other unlawful activity by the potential coach.  For current coaches, this background check will be updated at least every five (5) years.

2. An Abuse Prevention Orientation shall be conducted annually.

  • A representative of the Board of Directors will review this policy with coaches and volunteers.  All coaches and volunteers will certify that they have reviewed and accept our policies with respect to abuse prevention.
  • In addition, there will be an information meeting for parents at the start of the season where this policy will be reviewed and distributed.

Defining Situation for Prohibited and Discouraged Behavior

Prohibited Behavior

  • Use of profane or degrading language. Coaches are also responsible for stopping disrespectful language or behavior between team members, including sexual jokes or harassment.
  • Threatening or intentionally inflicting physical injury upon a minor.
  • Committing any sexual offense against a minor, or engaging in any sexual contact with a minor.
  • Making any kind of sexual advance, or making a request for sexual favors, or engaging in other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Discouraged Behavior

Our organization discourages non-related one-adult/one-child interaction in the situations identified below.

  • Rides to/from practices and games unless there is an urgent situation such as where a parent/guardian does not show up and the child would be in danger not having a ride.
  • Indoor practice facilities behind closed doors
  • Locker rooms
  • Overnight accommodations for travel games.

Reporting of Suspected Child Sexual Abuse

  •  The Board of Directors shall appoint at least one member of the organization who shall be responsible for receiving reports of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct and for taking appropriate action upon receiving such a report.
  • All volunteers, parents and program participants are directed to report any incident of abuse or suspected abuse that they witness or that is reported to them to the designated representative or any other member of the Board of Directors. Volunteers, parents and program participants also may directly notify the proper law enforcement agencies.
  • The notified member of the Board of Directors will promptly notify the proper law enforcement agencies that an incidence of possible abuse has been reported.
  • In the event that a suspected incidence of abuse is reported, the coach/volunteer in question may be temporarily suspended from duties while an investigation takes place.
  • The Board of Directors, when appropriate, shall communicate reports of child sexual abuse to the league members. The confidentiality of any who makes such a report will be protected.