REPORTING VIOLATIONS

REPORTING CONCERNS OF ABUSE AND/OR POLICY VIOLATIONS

Contact your local authorities if you have a reasonable suspicion that child sexual misconduct, abuse or neglect has occurred. All reports of sexual assault, sexual misconduct or abuse of a minor must FIRST be reported to local authorities. Reports of abuse not involving a minor may also be reported to local authorities.

Until the legal process has been concluded, it will take precedence over the membership ineligibility process whenever criminal activity may have occurred. 

When making your report to the USASF, please have the following information available:

  • The entity to which you reported
  • The name, telephone number and email address of the person you spoke with or to whom the case has been assigned
  • Any case number or reference number you were given 
  • The date you made the report
  • And, if you were provided any documentation from the report, please have that available to upload

REPORT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

 

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FLOWHCHART DOCUMENT

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The U.S. All Star Federation (USASF) recognizes that a key element to preventing abuse and misconduct is the implementation of an effective reporting policy that: 

  1. Results in reports of suspected abuse and misconduct, and
  2. Does not in any way deter victims or witnesses from reporting abuse and misconduct.

Potential abusers will avoid involvement in a program where there is a likelihood that suspected abuse will be reported. 

When sport stakeholders are untrained about how and when to report suspected abuse, they may feel ill-prepared, powerless and lost when it comes to responding to, and reporting, misconduct. By providing guidance on when and how to report suspected misconduct, the U.S. All Star Federation seeks to remove barriers to disclosing misconduct, including child physical or sexual abuse and misconduct. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING REPORTS

REPORTING CHILD PHYSICAL OR SEXUAL ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT

STEP 1: Reports to Law Enforcement and/or Child Protective Services and Mandatory Reporting
If a minor is in immediate danger or abuse is occurring call 911 immediately. 

All states have mandatory reporting laws requiring persons holding certain positions to report suspicions of sexual or physical abuse of a minor. Members of the USASF who suspect sexual or physical abuse or misconduct involving a minor are required to report the allegations to law enforcement before they report it to the USASF.

Persons who wish to report suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexaul abuse must make a report to the appropriate law enforcement authorities before reporting to the USASF.  

A compilation of information related to when and how to make a report to law enforcement authorities can be found at:

  1. www.childwelfare.gov
  2. www.childwelfare gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.cfm
  3. www.childwelfare gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/state/

In some cases an employee or volunteer may be hesitant about reporting suspected abuse because they are unsure about the credibility of the person making the allegation or the facts on which the allegations are based. They may also be concerned about the potential consequences of a false report. It is critical that employees and/or volunteers not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse allegations as a condition for, or prior to, reporting their concerns.

An independent investigation can harm youth and/or interfere with the legal investigative process. Accordingly, the U.S. All Star Federation, its Member Programs and their administrators, employees and/or volunteers shall not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations of child physical or sexual abuse as a condition for, or prior to, reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. As necessary, however, a person receiving a report may ask a few clarifying questions of the minor or person making the report to adequately report the suspicion or allegation to law enforcement authorities.

Step 2:  Report the violation to a member of the organization's management staff or other official representative that has been designated to receive reports of abuse or other inappropriate conduct. 

Example:  Parents of athletes must first report the violation or misconduct of a coach to the owner. 

STEP 3: Reporting to the U.S. All Star Federation
** Please read the entire reporting policy before making a report

If you suspect or have knowledge of sexual abuse or misconduct please make a report to the U.S. All Star Federation. We prefer all reports to be made using an online form. This will provide the reporter with a format that is consistent and thorough and will speed up the process for action as the report will answer most of the questions the case manager will need.

Follow this link to make a report:
Reports of Child Physical or Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

The USASF will also receive reports by email to SafeSport@USASF.net or by calling (901) 290-8891.

REPORTING ALL OTHER AREAS OF ABUSE OR MISCONDUCT
This section outlines how to make reports if you suspect or have knowledge of abuse or misconduct of one or more of the following: 

Areas of misconduct outlined in the both the USASF SafeSport Code and the U.S. Center for SafeSport Policies:

  • Physical Abuse or Misconduct
  • Emotional Abuse or Misconduct
  • Bullying, Threats or Harassment
  • Hazing

When a covered member violates one or more of the proactive Minor Abuse Prevention Policies:

  • One-on-One Interactions
  • Sexual Abuse & Prevention Policy
  • Electronic Communication Policy
  • Addressing Bullying
  • Travel Policy
  • Billeting (Housing) Policy
  • Locker rooms, Restrooms and Changing Area Policy

When a covered member violates:

  • Section I: Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention of the Professional Responsibility Code

Step 1: If applicable, report any illegal or criminal activity to local law enforcement.

Step 2: Report the violation to a member of the organization's management staff or other official representative that has been designated to receive reports of abuse or other inappropriate conduct. 

Example: Parents of athletes must first report the violation or misconduct of a coach to the owner. 

Step 3: Report to the U.S. All Star Federation

We prefer reports to be made using an online form. This will provide the reporter with a format that is consistent and thorough and will speed up the process for action as the report will answer most of the questions the case manager will need. 

Follow this link to make a report:
Reports Policy Violations and Other Misconduct

The USASF will also receive reports by email to SafeSport@USASF.net or by calling (901) 290-8891.

REPORTING POLICIES

Who may report
Any person, regardless of their membership status or affiliation with the USASF, may file a complaint with the U.S. All Star Federation for any suspected, alleged or known violation of the USASF SafeSport Code or policies that are intended to protect another member from misconduct and abuse, including the required Membership Policies. All reports will be treated as confidential. The USASF will accept anonymous reports and investigate every report of abuse or misconduct.

The U.S. All Star Federation strongly encourages parents, participants and other persons affiliated with All Star to communicate violations of the U.S. All Star Federation SafeSport Code, allegations and suspicions of child physical and sexual abuse and other conduct inconsistent with the policies set forth to protect athletes to the All Star program’s owner or program administrator immediately, and if appropriate or required, to local law enforcement and the U.S. All Star Federation.

Who and What is REQUIRED to Report
It is policy that every member of the U.S. All Star Federation, and every employee or volunteer of any U.S. All Star Federation Member, must report:

  1. Suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. A compilation of information on when a person must make a report to law enforcement authorities can be found at:
    1. www.childwelfare.gov
    2. www.childwelfare gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.cfm
    3. www.childwelfare gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/state/
  2. Actual or perceived violations of the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code to the U.S. All Star Federation.
  3. Any violations of the USASF SafeSport Code that pertain to Athlete Safety and Protection, including acts of abuse or misconduct that are sexual, physical or emotional in nature as well as any instances of bullying, threats, harassment or hazing to the U.S. All Star Federation.
  4. Any violations of the USASF required proactive Minor Abuse Prevention policies to the U.S. All Star Federation.
  5. Any violations of the Professional Responsibility Code in Section I: Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention.

Failure to report suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse to the appropriate law enforcement authorities is a violation of this policy, the USASF SafeSport Code, the USASF Sexual Abuse and Prevention Policy, and the Professional Responsibility Code (hereby referred to as PRC) and is grounds for disciplinary action.

In addition to any legal obligation to report sexual abuse or misconduct to law enforcement authorities, all covered individuals are required to and shall promptly report any alleged misconduct and/or policy violations of to the U.S. All Star Federation. A covered individual’s failure to report may subject said person to disciplinary action.

Confidentiality
To the extent permitted by law, and as appropriate, the U.S. All Star Federation and all U.S. All Star Federation Member Programs shall, on request from the complainant, keep the complainant’s name confidential, not make public the names of potential victims, the accused perpetrator or the people who made a report of child physical and sexual abuse to the authorities. 

Anonymous Reports
The U.S. All Star Federation recognizes it can be difficult for an athlete, teammate, friend or family member to report an allegation of misconduct and strives to remove as many barriers to reporting as possible. It should be understood by all parties, including the complainant, that anonymous reporting may make it difficult for the U.S. All Star Federation or the All Star Program owner or administrator to investigate or properly address misconduct or abuse. Despite the limitations inherent in allowing anonymous reports they will be accepted, investigated and acted upon to the extent which the information provided allows.

Anonymous reports may be made:

  1. By completing the reporting form without including their name;
  2. By expressing concerns verbally to the U.S. All Star Federation, the All Star program owner or administrator, and/or;
  3. Via email to U.S. All Star Federation or to the program owner or administrator.

Protecting those who made reports (“whistleblower” protection)
Regardless of outcome, it is the policy of the U.S. All Star Federation and all U.S. All Star Federation Member Programs to support the complainant(s) and their right to express concerns in good faith. Neither the U.S. All Star Federation nor any U.S. All Star Federation Member Program will encourage, allow or tolerate attempts from any individual, group or organization to retaliate, punish or in any way harm any individual(s) who report(s) a concern in good faith or otherwise participates in an investigation (e.g. , a witness). Such actions against a complainant, witness or other complainant will be considered a violation of the U.S. All Star Federation SafeSport Code and the PRC and thus will be grounds for disciplinary action and potential civil or criminal proceedings.

Prohibiting Reports made in Bad Faith
Bad-faith allegations are prohibited. A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violation that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith will be considered a violation of the U.S. All Star Federation SafeSport Code and the PRC and thus grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.
 
Conflicts of Interest
Any person or organization who may have a conflict of interest because they are named in a complaint, are a witness to an allegation, are closely affiliated with the person accused of misconduct or may have other potential bias are considered to have a conflict of interest in the investigation or outcome of the complaint and shall be recused from participating in an investigation or other disciplinary process. The investigation and hearing process shall be handled by persons who are reasonably disinterested and impartial to the matter and all other persons and the program involved. 

RECEIVING & PROCESSING REPORTS

The U.S. All Star Federation and its Member Program owners and administrators will take a report in the way that is most comfortable for the person initiating a report, including an anonymous, in-person, verbal or written report via email or utilizing the online reporting form. (Please note:  The USASF prefers to receive reports using the online reporting form. It provides the reporter with a format that is consistent and thorough and speeds up the process for action as the report will answer most of the questions the case manager will need. 

To make a report, follow the steps outlined in the section entitled INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING REPORTS. 

When reporting, it is essential for the reporting party to provide as much detail as possible. The report should include:

  1. The name(s) and contact information of the complainant(s).
  2. The type of misconduct alleged.
  3. The name(s) of the individual(s) alleged to have committed the misconduct.
  4. The name of the victim, and in the case of a minor, the name of their parent and/or guardian.
  5. The approximate dates the misconduct was committed.
  6. The names of other individuals who might have information regarding the alleged misconduct.
  7. A summary statement of the reasons to believe that misconduct has occurred.
  8. If applicable, details regarding reports made to law enforcement or child protective services, including a report number, to whom the report was made, and contact information for the agency to which the report was made.

Who Receives the Report
Reports to the U.S. All Star Federation are initially handled by the U.S. All Star Federation SafeSport Intake Administrator. Reports that require mandated reporting and all reports that include physical and/or sexual abuse or misconduct are referred to the U.S. All Star Federation General Counsel for review and action.

Determining if the USASF has jurisdiction 
After receiving the report, the USASF must first determine if the alleged conduct was committed by a current or former member of the organization. If the individual is not or has never been a member of the USASF, the organization does not have jurisdiction over the case. It is important to note, however, that if the conduct involves child physical or sexual abuse, the USASF will assist the the claimant in reporting the misconduct to the appropriate authorities. 

Reports of Alleged Child Abuse and Misconduct or Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
Any report of misconduct or suspicion of child physical or sexual abuse will be taken seriously and handled appropriately. During the reporting process, the USASF will confirm the report has been made to the proper authorities. If the U.S. All Star Federation receives a report of physical or sexual misconduct involving a minor that has not been reported to the proper authorities, the U.S. All Star Federation will make the report.

Once the report has been made to law enforcement, the USASF offers their assistance and cooperation to the agency and allows them to conduct their investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, law enforcement will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with criminal charges. 

If the investigation leads to charges and/or a warrant that is publicly available, the USASF will suspend the member and add their name to the Suspended and Ineligible Members List on usasf.net. The accused party will remain on the list and ineligible pending resolution of the charges.

If the accused party is found guilty, the accused party will be deemed Permanently Ineligible for membership and will be listed as such at USASF.net.

If the outcome is anything other than guilty, the USASF will assign an internal investigator to conduct interviews, gather all relevant information and evidence to determine if a member policy has been violated. If there is sufficient evidence to move forward, the internal investigation findings will be presented to the Response and Resolution Committee to review the report and supporting information. They will determine if the accused party violated one or more policies that are in place to protect minor athletes from abuse and/or misconduct. The committee will either assign a sanction or close the case with no sanctions.

If there is insufficient evidence to move forward, the case will be closed and the member’s privileges will be reinstated.

Report of Other Misconduct and Policy Violations 
When a bullying, harassment, hazing, emotional, physical abuse, sexual abuse or other abuse allegation is not reportable under relevant state or federal law, the Member All Star Program and the U.S. All Star Federation shall internally address and investigate the alleged policy violations and misconduct and will impose discipline where appropriate.
 
Likewise, violations of the U.S. All Star Federation’s proactive Minor Abuse Prevention Policies shall be reported to the Member All Star Program and the U.S. All Star Federation to address, rectify and impose discipline where appropriate.

Program Owners are REQUIRED to report to the USASF when any person within their program violates one or more of the following:

  1. USASF SafeSport Code
  2. US Center for SafeSport Policies
  3. One-on-One Interactions
  4. Sexual Abuse & Prevention Policy
  5. Electronic Communication Policy
  6. Addressing Bullying
  7. Travel Policy
  8. Billeting (Housing) Policy
  9. Locker rooms, Restrooms and Changing Area Policy
  10. Professional Responsibility Code, Section I: Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention 

The USASF will assign the report to an internal investigator who will conduct interviews, gather all relevant information and evidence in order to determine if a member policy has been violated. If there is sufficient evidence to move forward, the internal investigation findings will be presented to the Response and Resolution Committee to review the report and supporting information. They will determine if the accused party violated one or more policies that are in place to protect minor athletes from abuse and/or misconduct. The committee will either assign a sanction or close the case with no sanctions.

If there is insufficient evidence to move forward, the case will be closed and, if applicable, the member’s privileges will be reinstated.

POST REPORTING ACTIONS

Interim Membership Restrictions
When an allegation of child physical or sexual abuse is made against an employee, volunteer, independent contractor and/or other participant: 

  1. The member programs will immediately remove said individual from unsupervised contact with any minors in the program, and
  2. If the accused is a member of the USASF, the U.S. All Star Federation may revoke the eligibility status of the accused until the allegation has been investigated by law enforcement and/or through the internal process. This shall apply whether or not the allegation involves an incident during an All Star activity or event. 

When a policy violation that does not involve sexual abuse and misconduct is reported to the U.S. All Star Federation, the immediate action will be to review the evidence and determine if it supports revoking the eligibility status of the accused until the allegation has been investigated.  The decision to remove eligibility and add the individuals name to a public list on usasf.net is determined by the severity of the actions, the sufficiency of evidence and risk posed to the All Star community and its participants.

The USASF will notify the program owner when a member associated with their program has had their eligibility removed or reinstated.

Notification to Parents and Other Participants (by the Local All Star Program)
Following the receipt of an allegation that results in the removal of an employee, volunteer, independent contractor and/or other participant, the All Star Program may consider the circumstances in which it will notify parents of other participants with whom the accused individual may have had contact. 

The Member Program may notify its staff members, volunteers, parents and/or participants of any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse or other criminal behavior that:

  1. Law enforcement authorities are actively investigating, or
  2. Is being investigated internally by the U.S. All Star Federation and/or Member All Star Program.

Advising others of an allegation may lead to additional reports of child physical or sexual abuse and other misconduct. The member program is advised to seek guidance from law enforcement and legal counsel on their ability to share information that may be considered confidential with other participants or their parents.

Notification to USASF Members or Specific Membership Categories
The USASF reserves the right to publish a list of individuals whose membership has been suspended or revoked related to Athlete Protection. Notification to USASF Members will be based on the recommendation of the USASF’s legal counsel.

Follow Up Reports to the U.S. All Star Federation
All local programs shall promptly notify the U.S. All Star Federation of the results of any investigations within their program that involve violations of the U.S. All Star Federation SafeSport Code, the PRC or other applicable minor abuse prevention policies outlined in the USASF SafeSport Code or PRC.

Follow Up Reports to the All Star Program
The U.S. All Star Federation will notify the Program Owner of the results of any investigations of members associated with their program that involve violations of the U.S. All Star Federation SafeSport Code, the PRC or other applicable policies outlined in the USASF SafeSport Code or PRC.

Follow Up Reports to the Complainant
The U.S. All Star Federation, at the request of the complainant, may supply a summary report of the action taken. The requested report will be provided to the extent that the sharing of such information will not hinder a legal investigation and is permitted under the extent of the law. All requests will be forwarded to legal counsel for approval.

FAQ’S

Can I get an update on an investigation into a specific individual?
It’s the USASF’s policy to not speak to specific matters in order to protect the integrity of the process and the confidentiality of the individuals involved, including Claimants. If the USASF enacts a temporary measure or sanction that impacts a Respondent’s eligibility to participate in sport, it can be found on its public website.

Why doesn’t the USASF publicly release information about the results of its investigations or its decisions for closing investigations?
Publicly disclosing information is inconsistent with best practices. The decision is always shared with the Claimant(s) and Respondent.

What happens when the USASF receives a report?
When a report is made to the USASF, it undergoes a preliminary inquiry to determine if there is reason to believe a USASF member violated any of the codes or policies that relate to athlete protection. If so, the USASF will initiate an investigation.

Is the USASF a mandatory reporter?
Yes.

Is there a statute of limitations to make a report to the USASF?
No.

Who is responsible for enforcing the USASF’s actions?
Our member clubs and event producers must ensure enforcement of any temporary measure(s) or sanctions issued by the USASF.

What burden of proof does the USASF use in its investigations and decisions?
The “preponderance of evidence” standard.

Are individuals automatically added to the Ineligible List once a report is made?
No. A name only appears on a list if, through a temporary measure or following a decision, the USASF restricts an individual’s eligibility to participate within the USASF. The USASF updates the public website frequently to ensure everyone has access to the same accurate information.

How do I report a concern?
Steps for reporting and the ability to make a report can be found on our website at www.usasf.net/reporting.

Can I stay anonymous?
Yes. Whether reporting online, by email or by phone, you may stay anonymous. Please note, however, this may make it difficult for the USASF to investigate and we will not be able to follow-up with you if we have questions.

Who is covered by the USASF Codes and Policies?
The USASF Codes and Policies apply to all individuals who have previously been or are current members of the U.S. All Star Federation. 

Does the USASF have authority over other organizations like vendors or suppliers who are not members?
No. The USASF’s authority only extends to current or former members. If the supplier is a member of the USASF in one of its membership categories then all policies would apply and the USASF would have jurisdiction.

What is the difference between the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the USASF’S SafeSport program?
The only difference is that the USASF operates as an independent National Governing Authority with its own Response and Resolution Process. The USASF has adopted the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code in its entirety, with the exception of the Response and Resolution Process as the Center only responds to and resolves allegations of sexual misconduct within the USOPC. Similar to the National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) that are recognized by the USOPC, the USASF has its own safe sport program and Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies that parallel the Center’s Code.

Why doesn’t the U.S. Center for SafeSport investigate reports on behalf of  the USASF?
In 2018, Congress passed The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 which mandates that the USOPC eliminate abuse and recognizes the Center’s jurisdiction and authority to fulfill this mission. The Center’s authority derives from the bylaws of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the individual National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who have been recognized by the USOPC. The USASF does not qualify for official recognition of a USOPC related NGB and is not covered by the Center.

What is the relationship between the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the U.S. All Star Federation?
The USASF and the USCSS have a working relationship as well as a formal agreement that allows the USASF to utilize their education and training programs.  The USASF has elected to utilize the training provided by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport as an eligibility requirement for membership.

As the recognized governing authority for All Star Cheer and Dance, the USASF will perform the duties of an NGB for cheer and dance clubs that are members of the Federation. The USASF will follow the same standard of care as established by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for NGBs and will operate under the same policies and practices set forth by the Center. And, until such time as the USASF is fully onboarded with the Center for response and resolution, the U.S. All Star Federation will assume all responsibility for receiving reports and duties associated with response and resolution of SafeSport Code violations.

When reports are made to the US Center for SafeSport that are not covered by their jurisdiction, the Center will make a referral of the report to the USASF so that we are made aware of the allegations and can enter into our established Response and Resolution process.