Dear District and League Officers,
The safety and well-being of all participants in the Little League® program is paramount. The Little League Child Protection Program is a diverse effort by Little League Baseball and Softball to help create a safe and healthy environment for its Little Leaguers. As adults, we want to ensure that the young people playing in the Little League program can grow up happy, healthy, and above all, safe. Whether they are our children or the children of others, each of us has a responsibility to protect them.
In 2018, the "Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017" went into effect by the Federal Government. Generally referred to as the SafeSport law, this national law makes it a crime for an individual involved in a national governing body sports organization, including Little League, to ignore, or not report to law enforcement, any reason to suspect an act of child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours.
Beginning immediately, Little League International and all local Little League programs must adhere to the following requirements from the SafeSport Act:
1- Reporting of Child Abuse, including sexual abuse involving a minor, to the proper authorities.
• All volunteers of a local league are now mandated reporters and could face criminal charges if the league chooses to ignore, or not report to the proper authorities, any reason to suspect an act of child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours.
• Local leagues must be aware of the proper procedures to report sexual abuse in their state. Please reference LittleLeague.org/ChildAbuse
2- Leagues must adopt a policy that prohibits retaliation on "good faith" reports of child abuse.
3- Leagues must adopt a policy that limits one-one-one contact with minors.
4- Leagues are highly encouraged to complete the Abuse Awareness training provided by USA Baseball and SafeSport.
The new requirements that are necessary to comply with SafeSport are already included in the Child Protection Program Policy. Leagues should verify that they have reviewed the policy and have the document readily available for any volunteers. Little League International will be continuing to work to provide additional resources, educational materials, and supporting documents to make the adoption of these SafeSport requirements as easy as possible for our volunteers.
As a reminder, background checks are mandatory per Little League Regulation 1(c) 8 & 9. Leagues must conduct a background check on all board members, managers, coaches, umpires, and other volunteers or hired workers who provide regular service to the league and/or who have repetitive access to, or contact with, players or teams. A local Little League program must conduct a nationwide background check and a search of the National Sex Offender Registry utilizing JD Palatine or another provider that is comparable to JDP in accessing more than 450 million background check records.
If there is ever a question about the Little League Child Protection program or the new SafeSport Federal Law, please contact Little League International at 570-326-1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thank you for your dedication and service to Little League International.
Little League International
In 2018, the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017” became Federal law. The mission of the U.S. Center for Safesport is to make the athlete well-being the centerpiece of our nation’s sports culture. All athletes deserve to participate in sports free from bullying, hazing, sexual misconduct, or any form of emotional or physical abuse. Education and awareness are the most critical components to creating safe and respectful sporting environments, free of abuse and harassment.
Little League Baseball has always strived to create a safe and healthy environment for all Little Leaguers and their families. There are certain requirements from the SafeSport Act that Little League International and all local little league programs must adhere to.
- Reporting of Sexual Abuse involving a minor to the proper authorities
- All volunteers of a local league are now mandated reporters and could face criminal charges if the league chooses to ignore, or not report to the proper authorities, any witnessed act of child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours.
- Local leagues must be aware of the proper procedures to report sexual abuse in their state. Please reference LittleLeague.org/ChildAbuse
- Leagues must adopt a policy that prohibits retaliation on “good faith” reports of child abuse
- Leagues must adopt a policy that limits one-one-one contact with minors
- Leagues are highly encouraged to complete the below Abuse Awareness training provided by USA Baseball and SafeSport
ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND HERE:
There are resources on reporting child abuse available at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s website:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s website also contains a list of child abuse reporting telephone numbers for each state and includes links to each state’s child welfare agency website.
This link provides access to the U.S. Department of Health web pages on mandatory reporting across all 50 states:
Below is a link from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how to report suspected child abuse:
There is a national child abuse reporting hotline, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with crisis counselors and a nationwide database of emergency, social service and support resources to help and guide any person deciding whether or not to make a report of child abuse:
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline