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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

Safe Haven

A Child and Volunteer Protection Program

Safe Haven is a child and volunteer protection program that was the first of its kind in youth sports. The child protection aspect is intended to stop child abuse, educate or remove its perpetrators, and screen out predators before they get into the program. It includes proactive steps which provide a medium for positive, healthy child development, precluding the outbreak of child abuse in a weak, unfocused, non-empowering environment. Volunteer protection comes in to play as a result of volunteer training, certification and continuing education.

The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 provides certain legal protections for volunteers who have been trained and certified, and act in accordance with a written job description. Safe Haven has these three elements, giving volunteers the highest degree of protection available under the law. Because AYSO was the first youth sports organization to create a formal program to comply with the Child Protection Act and the Volunteer Protection Act, we offer assistance to other youth sports organizations interested in developing their own Safe Haven programs. Our program can be tailored to other sports and other organizational structures.

Safe Haven requires an adult to player ratio of 1:8, and takes it a step further to make sure that each team has at least 2 adults present during all times. One adult must be the same gender as the players. The 2 adults must stay together until the last child is picked up to make sure that nothing inappropriate happens. Players should not be sent to public restrooms or parking lots alone either. This is for the safety of the players as well as those supervising them.

All volunteers (coaches, asst. coaches, team parents, referees, board members, division reps, etc.) have to complete a volunteer form and have their photo identification verified by a board member. You will need to include (professional and personal) references, too.

Safe Haven FAQ

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Contact Information

John Slavinski

Safety Director

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AYSO Saugus Region 46

P.O. Box 800368 
Santa Clarita, California 91390

Email Us: [email protected]
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