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Maccabi Member Protection Bulletin #7- Key Highlights and Actions


As you know, Member Protection and Child Safety is high on the agenda of the Community and its watch dogs, and it is imperative that as officials involved with Maccabi, we are all aware of our rights and responsibilities in this area. We have prepared the following to keep you updated and informed about the important matters you need to be across as office bearers.

Please take the time to read through the highlights below as a minimum, and please do not hesitate to contact your state office or the national office if you would like any further information.

The information is provided to you by the National Maccabi Member Protection Policy Sub Committee, consisting of:

Philip Sheezel (Chair) Debbie Rutstein (Maccabi NSW), Danny Stuk (Maccabi VIC), Nicki Isaacs (Independent) and Tom Danos (Independent)


 

 

It is very important for your club and for your members that you read the content of this newsletter. The summary below is provided to prompt the key take outs we wish you to recall.

Highlights:

  • We have updated the Member Protection Policies Handbook and the Management Toolkit bringing them in line with new legislation and feedback received
  • The requirements on clubs and their volunteers are increasing with legislative changes from January 2017, which while compulsory in Victoria only at this stage, have been adopted as Maccabi policy nationally. Click here to view the new child safety standards
  • Maccabi Australia together with the State bodies has done all the hard work in bringing these documents together, but that DOES NOT absolve you from having to do your part in this. We must work collaboratively to ensure we are all compliant
  • New online MPP training available by the end of the year - all coaches and club volunteers will need to complete it in the coming months
  • Too many parents are behaving badly - we have some tools to assist
  • Maccabi is ahead of the game, so be proud!

Key Actions for you and your Club:

  • Ensure your Compliance Officer has been appointed
  • Ensure your Compliance Officer has the most up to date Handbook and ToolKit. Copies are available from your State Maccabi Office.
  • Start discussing areas of risk for children at your club’s committee meetings.  We’ll provide you with a template to guide you in the coming weeks. 
  • If you are not using Maccabi's website for registrations, update the online participation agreement, available on pages 2-3 in the updated toolkit
  • Ensure all non athletes are signing the relevant participation agreements - including the agreement for parents of all those under the age of 18
  • You must put in place formal processes for recruitment - reference checking; formal interviews; viewing Working With Children Checks, and maintaining the relevant records. The importance of this in remaining compliant is very high, so please seek assistance from your State Office if you need support or guidance.
 

A snapshot of Maccabi's Policies Implementation


Maccabi’s Member Protection Policies have been in place for over 2 years. During that time training sessions have been provided for hundreds of coaches, club committee members, compliance officers, managers and other volunteers throughout Australia.

A number of matters have been dealt with by the State and National Integrity Officers with a few having been referred to formal mediation for resolution.

To date, none of the disputes have needed to be referred to nor heard by one of the Grievance Tribunals that we have been put  in place to hear contested disputes.

 

Updated Handbook and Toolkit


An effective policy is one that is reviewed after it has been implemented, and for which feedback has been sought.  

Click here to view the new versions of the Handbook and the Management Tool Kit, updated to reflect feeedback and changes in legislation.:

The Tool Kit has been changed significantly so that it works as a genuine guide for those managing matters, particularly at the Club level. 

This expanded Tool Kit contains the following:

  • Copies of the Participation Agreements that every person involved in a Maccabi club or event  must sign, whether online or hardcopy, with specific agreements dependent upon the role you have at Maccabi, including for parents of those aged under 18.

The Maccabi website has been updated with the new online agreement, but those utilising other online registration forms, must update these forms with the new information. Those who have any of their participants – athletes, coaches, managers, other volunteers or staff - signing up in any form other than online, must incoporate the relevant agreement;

Clubs will need to start enforcing a 
NO SIGNATURE - NO PLAY, NO COACH, NO PARTICIPATION!
  • The procedures that must be followed when a complaint or grievance arises (including the appeal procedures). This section has been expanded considerably to provide a much clearer guide to those responsible for implementing the MPP – Club Committees and Compliance Officers in particular;
  • What you need to do in the case an incident of child or sexual abuse arises in your club and who you should contact in such a case; and
  • Some useful information and documents for you to use for screening, recruitment and induction of new coaches and volunteers.

We ask you to take the time to read and become familiar with the new Tool Kit. It is there to help you manage your club and to protect your members and yourself.

If you have a member protection issue you should use the Tool Kit as your guide on how to handle the issue. If you have any further queries, you can contact your local Maccabi office and you will be directed to the relevant person to assist with the issues that you have raised or provide support.

 

Online Learning Platform


We are pleased to announce that through the generosity of the Victor Smorgon Charitable Fund and the Telematics Trust, we now have the funding for the development of an online MPP training platform.

It will become compulsory under the law from January 2017 that all coaches and volunteers undertake training, have valid Working With Children Checks and have been recruited and screened appropriately when they are coaching or exposed to children or young people. It will be a requirement under the new laws that sporting organisations such as ours  will be able to demonstrate that they have appropriate member protection policies in place and that they are enforcing these  policies. In particular we will need to ensure that all of our  coaches have undergone appropriate MPP training.

As an organisation, Maccabi Australia in collaboration with the State bodies is working to provide the tools to make the implementation of the MPP as manageable as possible, but we must work together to ensure we are compliant and are doing all we can to protect members, each other and ourselves. By using technology we will be able to provide the necessary platform to educate and train all those involved in our clubs on what they need to do to better protect our members and how to handle member protection issues should they arise.

Maccabi is now working with one of Australia’s leading online training providers, MindAtlas and is well on the way to rolling out this facility. The first of the training modules should be available by the end of this year. All clubs will need to ensure that its coaches and committee members and other key volunteers  comply and complete the training.

As part of this platform, we have developed a process to collate and verify Working With Children (WWC) Checks across the organisation. This system will ensure that the clubs are now able to properly discharge their legal responsibilities to manage WWC Checks under all relevant State legislation. It is imperative that clubs enforce this requirement, and cease to engage with coaches and volunteers who do not have valid WWC Checks and who do not comply.

 

Parents Behaving Badly


Unfortunately, too many of the issues that have been dealt with at both the Club and State level involve parents behaving badly. Whilst an important issue, it is not why the MPP was set up and it is certainly not the preferred way to be utilising valuable volunteer resources associated with the MPP. In addition, it causes distress to coaches, members and committee members, not to mention the damage to the reputation and standing of Maccabi in the general community.

In response to these incidents, some brochures and posters have been developed that clubs can use to get the message out to Maccabi parents reminding them about how they should behave. A copy of this brochure and the poster that we have developed can be seen below

If you or your club would like to distribute hard copies of this brochure or obtain some posters for display, please contact you local Maccabi office. 

 
 

Signed:

Philip Sheezel
MAI Board Member
Chairperson of the Maccabi MPP Sub Committee


If you have any questions about any of the matters set out in this bulletin or any other member protection issue that is currently affecting your club, please contact your relevant State or National Maccabi Integrity officer, or you can contact Ellana Aarons, Executive Director of Maccabi Australia  via email or on +61 3 9563 5865.

 
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