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Springfield Volunteer and Staff Commitment to Safe Sports and Programs

I understand that I must abide by the following Code of Conduct as a Staff or Volunteer in the YMCA Youth Programs.

  1. I am coaching/serving the children – It is not for my own gain.
  2. I will conduct myself in a manner to earn the respect and confidence of the athletes, students, parents and officials with positive, respectful communication and remarks.
  3. I will make sure that the children are having fun, learning and improving as opposed to just winning by incorporating the Y core values of honesty, caring respect and responsibility.
  4. I will behave in a non-abusive manner. I need to look at the special needs of each child, gifted and not gifted regardless of sex, race, religion, culture, economic level of the family, disability or skill level.
  5. I understand that I must be a positive influence refraining from yelling or making negative remarks to the children, referees, coaches, staff or parents.
  6. I will provide a safe and fun environment. I will never touch out of anger.
  7. I will motivate with praise and specific instruction.
  8. I will not permit any unsportsmanlike conduct from program participants, athletes or spectators representing the team or program I am leading.
  9. In a competition I will prepare athletes for the competition and will lead them to acknowledge their competitors offering congratulations to his/her opponent win or lose.
  10. I will lead by example and role modeling accomplishments and winning with humility and learning and losing with dignity. (Examples: don’t run up the score, provide positive announcements and team cheers, use professional verbal comments and physical actions.).
  11. I will strive for more knowledge through continuing education in becoming a better coach or instructor. I will honor the time and commitment of participants, athletes, parents, coaches and Y staff by being on time and being prepared.
  12. I will respect and follow any program policy handbook.
  13. I will share my feedback and concerns in a civil and tactful manner to Y Staff and other volunteer coordinators.
  14. I will help the Y Staff, event/program officials, fellow coaches and instructors, and any referees to control a positive atmosphere during all athletic competitions. Good Sportsmanship is priority.
  15. I understand as serving as a coach or instructor, I will be held accountable to the expectation I will be a positive mentor and role model to all youth participants while representing the Springfield YMCA.
  16. I will complete the required child abuse prevention and reporting training(s) within 30 days of signing this document and then again within every 2 years if I remain associated with the Springfield YMCA in a staff or volunteer capacity.
  17. I understand I play a key role in child abuse prevention and have read and will abide by the tenets of the Y’s procedures and policies related to preventing child abuse including:

Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional, is repeated over time, and involves an imbalance of power of strength.  Bullying can take various forms, including:

  • Physical Bullying – when one person engages in physical force against another person, such as by hitting, punching, pushing, kicking, pinching, or retaining another.
  • Verbal Bullying – when someone uses their words to hurt another, such as by belittling or calling another hurtful names.
  • Nonverbal or Relational Bullying – when one person manipulates a relationship or desired relationship to harm another person. This includes social exclusion, friendship manipulation, or gossip.  This type of bullying also includes intimidating another person using gestures.

  • Cyberbullying – the intentional and overt act of aggression toward another person by way of any technological tool, such as email, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs). Cyberbullying can involve:
    • Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images
    • Posting sensitive, private information about another person
    • Pretending to be someone else to make that person look bad.
    • Intentionally excluding someone from an online group.
  • Hazing – an activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers that person regardless of that person’s willingness to participate.
  • Sexualized bullying – when bullying involves behaviors that are sexual in nature. Examples of sexualized bullying behavior include sexting, bullying that involves exposure of private body parts, and verbal bullying involving sexualized language or innuendoes.

Anyone who see an act of bullying, and who then encourages it, is engaging in bullying. The policy applies to all youths, staff and volunteers.

  1. All staff and volunteers must follow state specific mandatory reporting requirements.
  2. Staff and volunteers will be trained to be aware of and understand their legal and ethical obligation to recognize and report suspicion of mistreatment and abuse.

Child Abuse Prevention Guidelines for Youth Programs

  1. To protect YMCA staff, volunteers, and program members, at no time during a YMCA program or outside of the YMCA program may a YMCA staff person or volunteer be alone with a single child where he or she cannot be observed by
  2. Staff and volunteers shall never leave a child unsupervised when participating in an organized program or sport. Coaches or staff should remain at practice or game location following the completion of the activity until all children under their supervision have been picked up by a parent or responsible adult, or are under the supervision of a Y staff person
  3. Volunteers and staff shall not abuse children in any way, including
    • physical abuse—striking, spanking, shaking, slapping, and so on;
    • verbal abuse—humiliating, degrading, threatening, and so on;
    • sexual abuse—touching or speaking inappropriately;
    • mental abuse—shaming, withholding kindness, being cruel, and so on;
    • neglect—withholding food, water, or basic

No type of abuse will be tolerated and may be cause for immediate dismissal.

  1. Volunteers and staff must use positive techniques of guidance, including redirection, positive reinforcement, and encouragement rather than competition, comparison, and
  2. Volunteers and staff should be observant with regards to the health of children under their supervision. They should note any bumps, bruises, burns, etc. Questions or comments should be addressed to the parent or child in a nonthreatening way. Those responding will document and report any questionable marks or responses to appropriate YMCA
  3. Volunteers and staff will respect children’s rights not to be touched or looked at in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, and their right to say Children are not to be touched on areas of their bodies that would be covered by a bathing suit.
  4. Volunteers and staff will adhere to uniform standards of displaying affection as outlined in the YMCA Child Protection Policies in the presence of children, parents, and
  5. Volunteers are not to transport children in their own vehicles without additional adult supervision, or written permission from the parent. Staff should never transport a child in their own vehicle. Staff or volunteers also should not allow youth participants old enough to drive to transport younger children in the
  6. Volunteers and staff must appear clean, neat, and appropriately
  7. Using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during working hours or while volunteering at or for the YMCA is
  8. Smoking or use of tobacco in the presence of children or parents during working hours or while volunteering is
  9. Possession or use of any type of weapon or explosive device is
  10. Profanity, inappropriate jokes, sharing intimate details of one’s personal life, and any kind of harassment in the presence of children, parents, volunteers, or Y staff is
  11. No one will have secrets with children and will not give excessive gifts (e.g., TV, video games, jewelry) to youth. Any gifts must have prior permission of the Springfield
  12. Staff and volunteers will not engage in inappropriate electronic communication with
  13. Volunteers and staff shall not release children under their supervision to anyone other than the parent, guardian, or other adult authorized by the parent or
  14. The Springfield YMCA will not tolerate the mistreatment or abuse of one youth by another youth. In addition, the Springfield YMCA will not tolerate any behavior that is classified under the definition of bullying, and to the extent that such actions are disruptive, we will take steps needed to eliminate such behavior.

Fill the contact form below after you’ve read the Code of Conduct

    Phone Number:

    Date of Birth:
    Are you a Volunteer or YMCA Employee?

    I have read the Coaches Code of Conduct and fully agree with the conditions of the code of conduct.
    I understand:

    To participate in Springfield YMCA events, staff and volunteers must not have engaged in or been accused or convicted of youth abuse, indecency with a youth, or injury to a youth
    I must complete the training required and be familiar with the symptoms of child abuse and neglect, including physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse.
    I must know and follow organizational policies and procedures which protect youths against abuse.
    I must report suspected child abuse or neglect to YMCA staff immediately. YMCA staff are required to report to appropriate authorities within 24 hours as outlined by the Safe Sports Act, a federal law. The appropriate authorities may include DCFS, local law enforcement, U.S. Center for Safe Sports, and national governing bodies like YMCA of the USA, USA Swimming, USA Gymnastics, Special Olympics. One or more of these authorities must be notified depending on the specific incident.
    I must follow up to ensure that appropriate action has been taken. If the Y staff directly involved does not act as seems necessary, I will contact the YMCA administration at 217-544-9846 and report to either CEO, COO or Risk Manager.
    If the YMCA staff in not available or fails to report the incident or take the incident seriously I must meet my personal mandatory responsibility by reporting directly to
    Local law enforcement at 911 if there is imminent danger
    DCFS hotline at 800-25-Abuse (800-252-2873, TTY 800-358-5117)
    Praesidium’s Anonymous Helpline at 1-855-347-0751
    I must report concerns or complaints about other staff, volunteers, adults or youth which are in violation of this code of conduct to the YMCA administration at 217-544-9846, ask for the CEO, COO or Risk Manager. These concerns or complaints may also be reported to Praesidium’s Anonymous Helpline at 1-855-347-0751.
    Failure to report concerns may be grounds for termination of employment for Springfield YMCA employees and suspension of privileges for volunteers. Failure to report may also result in criminal or civil charges if injury or a crime has occurred.
    That any actions deemed by the YMCA staff as unacceptable or in violation of the intent of this code may result in loss of volunteer status and eligibility up to and including a ban from any involvement in Y sports. A review of any violation may include a review by a designated Sports Committee for possible sanctions or outright sanctions by the YMCA administration.
    The Springfield YMCA cooperates fully with the authorities to investigate all cases of alleged abuse. Staff and volunteers shall fully cooperate possible in any external investigation by outside authorities or internal investigation conducted by the Springfield YMCA or persons or organizations given investigative authority by the Springfield YMCA. Failure to cooperate fully may be grounds for termination of employment for Springfield YMCA employees and expulsion from current and future YMCA events.

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