Safe Haven®

A Child and Volunteer Protection Program

Thank you for volunteering with AYSO.

Required of AYSO Volunteers, read about your legal protection.

Get certified, click here!

AYSO takes the lead!                                            AYSO creates a safe haven!
AYSO is the leading advocate for child and volunteer protection.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of AYSO.  To help ensure the safety of both children and volunteers, each volunteer is required to take a short in-person or online training session called Safe Haven®, focusing on safety and appropriate behavior with children, their confidential information, as well as first aid and other on-field issues.  Agreeing to a background check is required for every volunteer.

AYSO families know that their children's safety and the protection for our volunteers is well worth the effort of Safe Haven® certification.  AYSO's Safe Haven was the first of its kind in youth sports. 

AYSO's Safe Haven Program is intended to prevent child abuse, promote education and awareness, enforce policies and screen and train volunteers.  It includes proactive steps that promote a positive, healthy environment for children. 

Volunteer protection comes into 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® includes these three elements, giving volunteers the highest degree of protection available under the law.

Child Protection

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974
Just two years prior to the nation's bicentennial, legislation was passed recognizing and identifying a problem that literally cried out for attention for two centuries.

Child Protection Act of 1993
Almost 20 years later, America tried to provide remedies, relief, and records to chronicle, label, and track the predators of children.

A Cycle of Intervention

There are four elements in the Safe Haven Intervention Cycle.  These are intended to stop child abuse.
  • Promote Education and Awareness
  • Enforce Policies
  • Screen Volunteers
  • Train Volunteers

Three Layers of Protection

NCACE Standards Accreditation ---
Accreditation and adherence to the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education's national standards provides AYSO with across-the-board recognition and validity for AYSO's certification programs from colleges, universities, high school athletic associations, national governing bodies of sport, and youth sports organizations.

AYSO Volunteer Education --- 
The AYSO in-house certification program provides every volunteer with the highest level of protection at the lowest possible cost, additionally it offers the hope that every AYSO child will be treated with understanding, compassion and respect.

Child Protection Policies --- 
These policies offer guidance and protocols for the regions.
  • Child and Volunteer Advocate, a regional board position
  • Volunteer Application and Screening
  • Region-based training, certification, and continuing education, for entry level positions
  • Regulated Supervision, to protect children and adults through simple policies
  • Code of Cultural Conduct, defining how to work and act in the AYSO environment
  • AYSO requires that all volunteers agree to a criminal background check

Volunteer Protection

Volunteer protection Act of 1997
America moved to recognize, preserve, and protect the vast resource of volunteerism in this country. This law grants immunity from certain types of prosecution for volunteers who meet its requirements.

Good Samaritan Law
Some states have enacted laws that give volunteers additional protection when acting to aid or assist others.

A Cycle of Prevention

There are eight elements in the Safe Haven Prevention Cycle.  These are proactive steps that promote a positive, healthy environment for child development.
  • Foster Meaningful Relationships
  • Make Kids Full Participants
  • Promote Ethical Behavior
  • Model and Teach Conflict Resolution
  • Encourage Kids to Speak Out
  • Cultivate Kids' Self Images
  • Implant Excellence in Individual Achievement
  • Keen Things FUN!

Safe Haven Certification

AYSO offers complete training, certification, and continuing education for its volunteers.

The level of training--and the process--is relative to the level of risk associated with the volunteer's job.
  • AYSO Certified Instructors
  • Child-Centered Curriculum
  • Developmentally-Base Sports Activities
  • Complete Instructional Plans
  • Complete Learning Spectrum
  • Education, Testing, and Confirmation
  • Experience
  • Observation and Evaluation
  • Opportunity

Thank you for reading about our Safe Haven program.
Thank you for volunteering with AYSO.