It is up to a complainant to decide if they wish to proceed with a complaint. If a person is unsure what to do then they may consider the following options:
Consider what may happen if nothing is done.
Consider whether speaking to the person directly may resolve the matter. If the person knows about the concerns they may recognise the error of their ways and alter their behaviour. In most cases it is only fair that the person is provided with an opportunity to resolve the problem themselves.
Mediation is where a club official or another person may act as a mediator between to two parties involved. For example: If a parent is having a problem with a coach, a meeting may be arranged between the parent and the coach with a club official acting as mediator. This way the problem can be discussed and resolved politely.
The matter could be discussed with the MPIO, Secretary, President or another official of the club. This may provide the club an opportunity to monitor the situation. A club may request that a written complaint be lodged before they take any further action.
Complaint by a child
Where a verbal complaint is made by a child to an adult then the adult is obliged to note and report the complaint. A complaint by a child should never be ignored. Where the safety or welfare of a child is of concern, these matters should be reported to Football NSW. Reports of child abuse or welfare concerns of a child can also be reported to NSW Family and Community Services or phone 132 111 (24hr helpline).
An official complaint should be in writing and addressed to the Club Secretary. The person who signs the complaint must be able to be identified and be contactable. It is important to note that the person being complained about will be informed of the complaint and may be provided with a copy of the complaint as it is their right to be notified of any complaint made against them. An unsigned complaint, anonymous complaint or a rumour cannot be acted upon.
Clubs have a duty to respond to all complaints and follow appropriate complaint handling procedures. Clubs should always endeavour to act in the best interests of all parties involved and respond to a complaint as quickly and effectively as possible. Clubs should manage all complaints fairly and effectively.
Michelle Hanley, Football NSW State Member Protection Officer
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