Action Plan of the Porter Valley Polar Bears(PVPB) to address Child Abuse
The Porter Valley Polar Bears is committed to following USA Swimming’s policy on child abuse, providing a safe space for all swimmers. All coaches are mandated reporters of child abuse. Being a mandated reporter means whenever one is suspecting child abuse they should report; this is based on reasonable suspicion.
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
According to childwelfare.gov, Child abuse and neglect are defined by Federal and State laws. At the State level, child abuse and neglect may be defined in both civil and criminal statutes. This publication presents civil definitions that determine the grounds for intervention by State child protective agencies. At the Federal level, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) has defined child abuse and neglect as, "any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm."
1. Coaches have an open-door policy.
2. Closed-door meeting allowed with permission and another coach should be present.
3. For emergency purposes, if a minor needs to contact a coach, only professional emails with another coach from PVPB cc’d are appropriate.
a. No personal email, phone, or social media should be used.
4. Reports of any child abuse suspicion should be carried out through the police department to make a report
a. Reports must be made even if all information is not known at time of report
b. Reports must be sent within 36 hours
NO CLUB CAN IMPEDE OR INHIBIT REPORTING
a. When a mandated reporter fails to report child abuse, it is punishable by jail time, a fine, or both
DISCIPLINE VS. ABUSE
ONLINE FORM TO MAKE A REPORT
Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy
THIS POLICY APPLIES TO:
• All USA Swimming non-athlete members and adult athlete members;
• Participating non-members (e.g., meet marshals, meet computer operators, timers, etc.);
• LSC and club adult staff and board members; and
• Any other adult authorized to have regular contact with or authority over minor athletes.
Collectively “Applicable Adult(s)”
USA Swimming member clubs and LSCs are required to implement this Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention
Policy in full. The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy must be reviewed and agreed to in writing by all
athletes, parents, coaches and other non-athlete members of member clubs on an annual basis with such
written agreement to be retained by the club.
I. Observable and Interruptible
One-on-one interactions between a minor athlete and an Applicable Adult (who is not the minor’s
legal guardian) must occur at an observable and interruptible distance from another adult unless
meeting with a Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider (see below) or
under emergency circumstances.
a. Meetings between a minor athlete and an Applicable Adult may only occur if another adult is
present and where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from
another adult, except under emergency circumstances.
b. If a one-on-one meeting takes place, the door to the room must remain unlocked and open. If
available, it must occur in a room that has windows, with the windows, blinds, and/or curtains
remaining open during the meeting.
c. Meetings must not be conducted in an Applicable Adult or athlete’s hotel room or other
overnight lodging location during team travel.
III. Meetings with Mental Health Care Professionals and/or Health Care Providers
If a Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider meets with a minor athlete in
conjunction with participation, including at practice or competition sites, a closed-door meeting
may be permitted to protect patient privacy provided that:
a. The door remains unlocked;
b. Another adult is present at the facility;
c. The other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring; and
d. Written legal guardian consent is obtained in advance by the Mental Health Care
Professional and/or Health Care Provider, with a copy provided to the club.
IV. Individual Training Sessions [Recommended]
Individual training sessions outside of the regular course of training and practice between
Applicable Adults and minor athletes are permitted if the training session is observable and
interruptible by another adult. Legal guardians must be allowed to observe the training session.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
All electronic communication from Applicable Adults to minor athletes must be professional in
II. Open and Transparent
Absent emergency circumstances, if an Applicable Adult with authority over minor athletes needs
to communicate directly with a minor athlete via electronic communications (including social
media), the minor athlete’s legal guardian must be copied. If a minor athlete communicates to the
Applicable Adult (with authority over the minor athlete) privately first, said Applicable Adult must
copy the minor athlete’s legal guardian on any electronic communication response to the minor
When an Applicable Adult with authority over minor athletes communicates electronically to the
entire team, said Applicable Adult must copy another adult.
III. Requests to Discontinue
Legal guardians may request in writing that their minor athlete not be contacted through any form
of electronic communication by the club, LSC or by an Applicable Adult subject to this Policy. The
organization must abide by any such request that the minor athlete not be contacted via electronic
communication, or included in any social media post, absent emergency circumstances.
Electronic communications must only be sent between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., unless
emergency circumstances exist, or during competition travel.
V. Prohibited Electronic Communication
Applicable Adults with authority over minor athletes are not permitted to maintain private social
media connections with unrelated minor athletes and such Applicable Adults are not permitted to
accept new personal page requests on social media platforms from minor athletes, unless the
Applicable Adult has a fan page, or the contact is deemed as celebrity contact as opposed to regular
contact. Existing social media connections with minor athletes must be discontinued. Minor athletes
may “friend” the club and/or LSC’s official page.
Applicable Adults with authority over minor athletes must not send private, instant or direct
messages to a minor athlete through social media platforms.
I. Local Travel
Local travel consists of travel to training, practice and competition that occurs locally and does not
include coordinated overnight stay(s).
Applicable Adults must not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, absent
emergency circumstances, and must always have at least two minor athletes or another adult in
the vehicle, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s legal guardian.
Legal guardians must pick up their minor athlete first and drop off their minor athlete last in any
shared or carpool travel arrangement.
II. Team Travel
Team travel is travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and
a. During team travel, when doing room checks two-deep leadership (two Applicable Adults
should be present) and observable and interruptible environments must be maintained.
When only one Applicable Adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor
athlete’s legal guardian must provide written permission in advance and for each competition
for the minor athlete to travel alone with said Applicable Adult.
Team Managers and Chaperones who travel with the club or LSC must be USA Swimming
members in good standing.
b. Unrelated non-athlete Applicable Adults must not share a hotel room, other sleeping
arrangement or overnight lodging location with an athlete.
Minor athletes should be paired to share hotel rooms or other sleeping arrangements with
other minor athletes of the same gender and of similar age. When a minor athlete and an
adult athlete share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement, the minor athlete’s legal
guardian must provide written permission in advance and for each instance for the minor to
share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with said adult athlete.
c. Meetings during team travel must be conducted consistent with the One-on-One Interactions
section of this Policy (i.e., any such meeting must be observable and interruptible). Meetings
must not be conducted in an individual’s hotel room or other overnight sleeping location.
LOCKER ROOMS AND CHANGING AREAS
I. Requirement to Use Locker Room or Changing Area
The designated locker room or changing area must be used when an athlete or Applicable Adult
changes, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when wearing just one suit (e.g., deck
changing is prohibited).
II. Use of Recording Devices
Use of any device’s (including a cell phone’s) recording capabilities, including voice recording, still
cameras and video cameras in locker rooms, changing areas, or similar spaces by a minor athlete
or an Applicable Adult is prohibited.
An unrelated Applicable Adult must not expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to a
minor athlete under any circumstance. An unrelated Applicable Adult must not request an unrelated
minor athlete to expose the minor athlete’s breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to the unrelated
Applicable Adult under any circumstance.
IV. One-on-One Interactions
Except for athletes on the same team or athletes attending the same competition, at no time are
unrelated Applicable Adults permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing
area, except under emergency circumstances. If the organization is using a facility that only has a
single locker room or changing area, separate times for use by Applicable Adults must be
The club must regularly and randomly monitor the use of locker rooms and changing areas to
ensure compliance with this Policy. Locker rooms and changing areas may be monitored by use of
the following methods:
a. Conducting a sweep of the locker room or changing area before athletes arrive;
b. Posting staff directly outside the locker room or changing area during periods of use;
c. Leaving the doors open when adequate privacy is still possible; and/or
d. Making occasional sweeps of the locker rooms or changing areas with women checking on
female locker rooms and men checking on male locker rooms.
Every effort must be made to recognize when a minor athlete goes to the locker room or changing
area during practice and competition, and, if the minor athlete does not return in a timely fashion,
to check on the minor athlete’s whereabouts.
VI. Legal Guardians in Locker Rooms or Changing Areas
Legal guardians are discouraged from entering locker rooms and changing areas. If a legal
guardian does enter a locker room or changing area, it must only be a same-sex legal guardian
and the legal guardian should notify a coach or administrator in advance.
MASSAGES AND RUBDOWNS/ATHLETE TRAINING MODALITIES
I. Definition: In this section, the term “Massage” refers to any massage, rubdown, athletic training
modality including physical modalities (e.g., stretching, physical manipulation, injury rehabilitation,
etc.) and electronic or instrument assisted modalities (e.g., stim treatment, dry needling, cupping,
II. General Requirement
Any Massage performed on an athlete must be conducted in an open and interruptible location
and must be performed by a licensed massage therapist or other certified professional. However,
even if a coach is a licensed massage therapist, the coach must not perform a rubdown or
massage of an athlete under any circumstance.
III. Additional Minor Athlete Requirements
a. Written consent by a legal guardian must be obtained in advance by the licensed massage
therapist or other certified professional, with a copy provided to the club.
b. Legal guardians must be allowed to observe the Massage.
c. Any Massage of a minor athlete must be done with at least one other adult present and must
never be done with only the minor athlete and the person performing the Massage in the
d. [Recommended] Any Massage of a minor athlete must only occur after a proper diagnosis
from a treating physician and be done in the course of care according to the physician’s