Ghana's No. 1

Should we ask soccer coaches to provide background checks before entrusting our children to them?

Published on: 28 September 2020

There is nothing more important for a parent than knowing their children are safe at all times. Easier said than done for you cannot be everywhere, looking over their shoulder. Nor should you. Sometimes you need to entrust your children to the care of other people.


Working With Children Checks

Under Australian law, people working with or around children require a Working With Children Check and while the provisions differ from state to state, the idea is the same - making sure those people are reliable. WWCC looks at all facts that might indicate a person poses a certain danger to a vulnerable child.

However, the law distinguishes between organized activities and informal agreements, those made between parents. Take, for instance, sports. We all want our children to engage in sports as it is essential for their physical development.

For organized sports, individuals are required by law to get a working with childrens check WWCC before they can be registered as professional coaches. These checks are valid for five years, after which they need to be renewed.


How about informal agreements?

Well, this is quite tricky. If you happen to know a retired coach in your area you might be attracted by the idea of him teaching your little ones the basics and your kid is probably dreaming of becoming a soccer star. Maybe that coach is related to one of the kids at your local school which makes him an obvious choice, but should you forego any type of background check?

The answer is No. It is your responsibility to make sure your child is in safe hands even for a two-hour a week soccer practice. As a parent, this places you in an awkward position. How can you approach a friendly neighbor and tell them you’ll want to see some sort of background check if you are to leave your child with them for any period of time? It’s a very sensitive issue as the person in question might feel offended by your lack of trust.


A quick background check

The best thing you can do is approach the other parents and come to an agreement. They might have the same worries as you after all.

Now, if the coach does not have a valid WWCC number you can at least ask them to submit to a regular background check. If it’s an honest person with children of their own, they will understand your concern. When it comes to children you can only vouch for yourself. That’s all.

There’s an easy solution to this problem. Ask the potential coach to get an online background check which should cause them no trouble at all. They won’t have to go to the police station and waste time just to assuage your fears. An accredited body like Australian National Character Check works exclusively online and providing the necessary identity information only requires a few minutes. The results come back via email in a couple of days and you can have the certainty that your future coach has no convictions that might indicate he should not be allowed to work with children.


There’s a small fee for such a service and the rest of the parents will probably be happy to chip in so this necessary background check does not cause any sort of trouble for the friendly coach in your neighborhood.


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