Supervision on the Fields
The CVPA is the go-to-person in the Region for anything that has to do with child protection. CVPAs contact us often with questions regarding the supervision ratio, especially when it comes to escorting children to the bathrooms and what to do about children who are left alone on the field after practice is over.
One of the most important components of the Safe Haven® program is the supervision ratio. This policy states that for every eight children there should be at least two adults present, one of whom is the same gender as the children. For every additional eight children there should be another adult. It is important to note that the adults do not have to be coaches or even volunteers - they can be parents who are at the practice or game. What should a coach do if they find themselves in the predicament of not having another adult present when a child has to go to the bathroom? No child should be sent to the restroom alone - always send at least two at a time.
Another situation that comes up is when children aren't picked up in a timely manner after practices or games. No children should be left behind at the fields. Once the head coach has assumed charge of the child on their team, they remain responsible until a duly designated adult has taken charge of each child after practice or a game or the child leaves the immediate vicinity of the practice or game as prearranged by the parent. Click the following link for the form your coaches can use to release children who will be walking or riding a bike home.
If a parent is unreasonable late or consistently tardy, they should be reported to the CVPA, but then what should you as the CVPA do about it? Contact the parent, notify them of the policy that requires the coach to remain with their child until they are picked up, and ask them to commit to being on time in the future. If the tardiness persists, speak to your RC about it, as further action may have to be taken in order to remove this unreasonable burden from the coach.