Child Abuse Prevention Month

Our Employee Code of Conduct

The development of children is the core of which the Y’s values were built. This is why the safety of all children in our care is our number one priority. Staff and volunteers at Lawrence County YMCA follow our Code of Conduct to ensure the safety of all children who come through our doors, whether they’re regular program participants or only visit once a year. 

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Y wants to make sure that all members understand this Code of Conduct. A key tool in abuse prevention is knowledge, so it’s important that parents and caregivers are informed of the Y’s policies around children. Together we can work to ensure all children in the Lawrence County community to reach their full potential. 

 

1. In order to protect Lawrence County YMCA staff, volunteers, and program participants – at no time during a program may a staff person be alone with a single child where they cannot be observed by others. As staff supervise children, they should space themselves in a way that other staff can see them.

2. Staff shall never leave a child unsupervised.

3. Restroom supervision: Staff will ensure:  No child, regardless of age, should ever enter a bathroom alone on a field trip or at an off-site location.  Staff will make sure the restroom is not occupied by suspicious or unknown individuals before allowing children to use the facilities.  Staff will stand in the facility doorway of the restroom while children are using the restroom.  Children should be directed to use stalls for privacy. Children should never share stalls. There should never be more children in the restroom than there are stalls available.  If staff are assisting younger children, doors to the facility and stall must remain open.

4. Staff will maintain a ratio of at least two children to one staff member or two staff members to one child or one staff or one child and one volunteer at all times so as to never be alone with a child.

5. Staff shall conduct or supervise private activities in pairs - diapering, putting on bathing suits, taking showers, etc. When this is not feasible, staff shall be positioned so that they are visible to others.

6. Staff shall not abuse children including: physical abuse – strike, spank, shake, slap;  verbal abuse – humiliate, degrade, threaten;  sexual abuse – inappropriate touch or verbal exchange;  mental abuse – shaming, withholding love, cruelty;  neglect – withholding food, water, basic care, etc. Any type of abuse will not be tolerated and may be cause for immediate dismissal.

7. Staff must use positive techniques of guidance, including redirection, positive reinforcement and encouragement rather than competition, comparison and criticism. Staff will have age-appropriate expectations and set up guidelines and environments that minimize the need for discipline. Physical restraint is used only in pre-determined situations (necessary to protect the child or other children from harm), is only administered in a prescribed manner and must be documented in writing.

8. Staff will conduct a health check of each child, each day, as they enter the program, noting any fever, bumps, bruises, burns, etc. Questions or comments will be addressed to the parent or child in a non-threatening way. Any questionable marks or responses will be documented.

9. Staff respond to children with respect and consideration and treat all children equally regardless of sex, race, religion, culture, etc.

10. Staff will respect children’s rights to not be touched in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, and their right to say no. Other than diapering, children are not to be touched in areas of their bodies that would be covered by a bathing suit.

11. Staff will refrain from intimate displays of affection towards others in the presence of children, parents, and staff.

12. While the Lawrence County YMCA does not discriminate against an individual’s lifestyle, it does require that in the performance of their job they will abide by the standards of conduct set forth by the Lawrence County YMCA

13. Staff must appear clean, neat, and appropriately attired.

14. Using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during working hours is prohibited.

15. Smoking or use of tobacco in the presence of children or parents during working hours is prohibited.

16. Profanity, inappropriate jokes, sharing intimate details of one’s personal life, and any kind of harassment in the presence of children or parents is prohibited.

17. Staff must be free of physical or psychological conditions that might adversely affect children’s physical or mental health. If in doubt, an expert should be consulted.

18. Staff will portray a positive role model for youth by maintaining an attitude of respect, loyalty, patience, courtesy, tact, and maturity.

19. Staff may not be alone with children they meet in Lawrence County YMCA programs outside of the Lawrence County YMCA. This includes babysitting, sleepovers, and inviting children to your home. Any exceptions require a written explanation before the fact and are subject to administrator approval.

20. Staff are not to transport children in their own vehicles.

21. Staff may not date program participants who are under 18 years of age.

22. Under no circumstance shall staff release children to anyone other than the authorized parent, guardian, or other adult authorized by the parent or guardian (written parent authorization on file with the Lawrence County YMCA).

23. Staff are required to read and sign all policies related to identifying, documenting, and reporting child abuse and attend trainings on the subject, as instructed by a supervisor.

 

If you have questions about the Y’s Code of Conduct or our child safety measures policy, please contact Felis Lynd at flynd@lawcoymca.org

 

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