Creating a Safe Haven for All AYSO Participants
AYSO wants all its participants - volunteers, players and families - to enjoy the benefits of youth soccer in a fun, fair, safe and family-friendly environment. Based on the advice of leading experts in the fields of youth sports and child protection, AYSO's Safe Haven program features these key components:
Volunteer registration and screening
Training and certification
Child and volunteer protection policies
Safety and injury prevention
Registering all volunteers ensures that they will be afforded the opportunity to acknowledge any risks and liabilities, receive coverage by Soccer Accident Insurance (SAI) and have the opportunity to learn about AYSO and its programs. It also allows AYSO to screen and background check volunteers.
Registration is absolutely necessary even for the smallest of jobs. The risk may appear to be insignificant, but more and more volunteer and youth organizations are mandating background checks for everyone involved in their programs.
In some states, field permits are not granted unless a signed affidavit listing all the volunteers and guaranteeing that they’ve all been background checked is provided. It’s an industry trend, but more importantly, everyone who volunteers - no matter how big or small the job – should be eligible for SAI and have the opportunity to learn more about our programs.
Training and certification helps ensure that everyone is on the same page in regard to what is expected of them in AYSO and most importantly, what everyone can do to create a safe haven. The more volunteers that understand the guidelines for protecting children and the standards for acceptable behavior, the more volunteers can help monitor, model and encourage the behaviors that fulfill AYSO’s vision of providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children’s lives. Safe Haven training includes child and volunteer protection guidelines, safety advisories including goalpost safety, as well as injury prevention.