Protective Behaviors

Thank you for being a part of the Special Olympics family. It is through the caring, concern and talents of all our athletes, families and volunteers that Special Olympics has become one of the most respected sports programs in the world. Your participation in the Protective Behaviors Training Program is just one more way that you demonstrate your dedication.

Welcome to the Special Olympics Protective Behaviors on-line training

Thank you for being a part of the Special Olympics family. It is through the caring, concern and talents of all our athletes, families and volunteers that Special Olympics has become one of the most respected sports programs in the world. Your participation in the Protective Behaviors Training Program is just one more way that you demonstrate your dedication.

The goal of this presentation is prevention of sexual abuse of Special Olympics athletes. It also addresses physical and emotional abuse.

After you click Finish, you will be directed to a Confirmation Form to fill out and submit. Once you click submit, both you and the Special Olympics program in your state will receive confirmation that you have taken the test.

Now it's time to start! Click the link below to get started.

  


Actions Special Olympics has Taken to Protect Athletes:

  • This protective behavior training
  • Volunteer screening requirements in the US
  • Codes of conduct for athletes and coaches
  • Policy prohibiting volunteers or staff in authority positions from dating athletes

Actions Special Olympics has Taken to Protect Athletes:

Special Olympics US Volunteer Screening Policy

  • The foremost goal of the volunteer screening policy is to protect the safety and well-being of athletes
  • Special Olympics screens prospective Class A volunteers
  • Class A volunteers are re-screened every three years
  • If screening reveals criminal history involving certain offenses, the volunteer is prohibited from participation

Actions Special Olympics has Taken to Protect Athletes:

Who is a Class A Volunteer?

Definition:
  • Volunteers who have regular, close, physical contact with athletes
  • Volunteers in a position of authority or supervision with athletes
  • Volunteers in a position of trust of athletes
  • Volunteers who handle substantial amounts of cash or other assets of the Program
Examples:
  • Coaches, Unified Partners, chaperones, overnight hosts, ALPs mentors, drivers of athletes
  • May also include Fundraising Event Committee members, board members, and Games Management team members

Actions Special Olympics has Taken to Protect Athletes:

Benefits and Limitations of the Volunteer Screening Policy

  • Volunteer screening is a tool Special Olympics uses to help protect athletes, but it is not fool-proof
  • Many predators do not have criminal records
  • Your job as a volunteer is to be vigilant and report any behavior or activity that does not appear appropriate based on
    • Your personal experience or
    • Warning signs identified in this presentation

Actions Special Olympics has Taken to Protect Athletes:

Codes of Conduct

Codes of Conduct are in effect and enforced for athletes, coaches and volunteers.

Prevention:

Recognizing Sexual Predators

A sexual predator could be anyone. There is no “look” or behavior pattern that sets them apart. Sexual Predators:
  • Target vulnerable populations (such as children and individuals with intellectual disabilities);
  • Come from all backgrounds;
  • Can be male or female;
  • Are generally very likeable and have warm personalities;
  • May have limited relationships with other adults
  • Remind athletes and families that not everyone who comes to a Special Olympics event is a volunteer who has been screened and is assumed to be “safe”

Prevention:

Sexual Abuse

  • For athletes requiring assistance with changing, toileting or showering, it is a best practice if two volunteers are present.
  • Private conversations with athletes should be within sight of others who are aware of the conversation
  • Hugs should respect both athlete and volunteer limits and never be secretive
  • Touching should avoid areas a traditional swimsuit would cover
  • Be aware of unusual or inappropriate gifts, trips, affection or attention from a volunteer
  • Be aware of relationships between volunteers and athletes that become private or secretive
  • Be clear and direct about pointing out inappropriate behavior

Prevention:

Inappropriate Behavior

Inappropriate gifts, trips, outings, or other gestures of affection from a volunteer include:
  • Invitations for sleepovers at a volunteer's house;
  • Invitations to parties at a volunteer's house where parents or care providers are not included;
  • Excessive displays of interest in a particular athlete or group of athletes (such as all male athletes or only athletes under the age of 13);

Prevention:

Tips for Travel

  • Be sure to separate sleeping rooms by gender
  • Try to assign roommates based on similar age, maturity and size
  • Establish a plan for checking on each room/athlete
  • Clearly explain rules and behavior expectations of both chaperones and athletes before each trip

Prevention:

Emotional Abuse

  • Profanity is never allowed
  • Treat athletes with respect and provide encouragement
  • Do not allow demeaning nicknames even among teammates
  • Discipline should be part of a meaningful behavior modification strategy and never acted on in anger

Prevention:

Physical Abuse

  • Corporal punishment is never allowed no matter who says it is OK
  • Withholding food or water is maltreatment and strictly prohibited
  • Only give prescribed medications in accordance with state regulations (consult your Special Olympics Program office for those regulations)
  • Be aware of athlete sensitivity to temperature, sound and touch

Prevention of Abuse Pre-Quiz

Using the information that has been presented so far, select the most appropriate answer to the questions below.

1) When is it appropriate to withhold water from an athlete?




2) What is the rule about what areas of the body to avoid touching?




3) A sexual predator:




Submit

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