CODE OF CONDUCT TO PROTECT CHILDREN

Introduction

North York Academy has development the following Code of Conduct to Protect Children to guide our employees/volunteers in their interactions with children. The safety, rights and well-being of children within our academy are at the core of our daily operations. We nurture supportive relationships with children while balancing and maintaining appropriate boundaries in accordance with the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.

 

Treating Children with Dignity and Maintaining Boundaries

All Employees/Volunteers must:

  • Treat all children with respect and dignity;

  • Establish, respect, and maintain appropriate boundaries with all children and families involved in activities or programs delivered by North York Academy.

It is important to monitor your own behaviours towards children and pay close attention to the behaviours of your peers to ensure that behaviour is appropriate and respectful, and will be perceived as such by others. If you are unsure of the appropriateness of behaviour of yourself or other please consult the owner.

 

All your interactions and activities with children

  • Should be known to, and approved by, your supervisor/designated person and/or the parents of the child;

  • Tied to your duties, and;

  • Designed to meet the child’s needs not your own needs.

Always consider the child’s reaction to any activities, conversations, behaviours or other interactions. If at any time you are in doubt the appropriateness of your own behaviour or the behaviour of others, you should discuss the owner.

 

Examples of unacceptable behaviour towards a child:

  • Criticizing

  • Embarrassing

  • Shaming

  • Blaming

  • Humiliating


 

General Rules of Behaviour

Employees/volunteers of North York Academy must not:

  • Engage in any sort of physical contact with a child that may make the child of a reasonable observer feel uncomfortable, or that may be seen by a reasonable observer to be violating reasonable behaviour.

  • Engage in any communication with a child within or outside of job/volunteer duties, that may make the child uncomfortable or that may be seen by a reasonable observer to be violating reasonable boundaries.

  • Engage in any behaviour that goes against (or appears to go against) the organization’s mandate, policies, of Code of Conduct to Protect Children, regardless of whether of not they are serving the organization at that moment.

  • Conduct their own investigation into allegations or suspicions of potential illegal or inappropriate behaviour – it is an employee/volunteer’s duty to report that matter to his/her supervisor/Executive Director or Child Welfare Agency, not to investigate.

 

What Constitutes Inappropriate Behaviour?

  • Inappropriate Communication. Communication with a child or his/her family outside of work/volunteer context, regardless of who initiated the exchange. For example:

    • Personal Phone Calls;

    • Electronic communication (email, text message, instant message, online chats, social networking (including ‘friending’), etc.;

    • Inappropriate Contact. Spending unauthorized time with a child or the child’s family outside of designated work times and volunteer activities. You must report all contact BEFORE the contact occurs;

    • Favouritism. Singling out a child or certain children and providing special privileges and attention;

    • Taking Personal Photos/Videos. Using personal cell phone, camera or video to take pictures of a child, or allowing any other person to do so, as well as uploading or copying any pictures you may have taken of a child to the internet or any personal storage device. Pictures taken as part of your job duties (when known to your supervisor) are acceptable, however, the pictures are to remain with the organization and not be used by you in a personal capacity.

Inappropriate behaviour also includes:

  • Telling sexual jokes to a child, of making comments to a child that are or is in any way suggestive, explicit or personal;

  • Showing a child material that is sexual in nature, including, signs, cartoons, graphic novels, calendars, literature, photographs, screen savers, or displaying such material in plain view of a child, or making such material available to a child;

  • Intimidating or threatening a child;

  • Making fun of a child.

 

Inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated, especially as it relates to the well-being of the children involved in activities or programs delivered by the North York Academy

 

Reporting Requirements

All North York Academy employees and volunteers must report suspected child sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour or incidents that they become aware of, whether the behaviour or incidents are personally witness or not.

  • All allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour that an employee/volunteer witnesses first-hand, must be promptly reported to police and/or child welfare.

  • To ensure the protection of all children in our care, all allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour that an employee/volunteer learns of must also be promptly reported to police and/or child welfare. Police and/or child welfare will make the determination as to whether the allegation or suspicion requires further investigation.

  • All allegations or suspicions of inappropriate behaviour through the child of some other third party, or you may witness it first-hand must be report to North York Academy. Examples of the type of behaviour you may learn of or witness and that you must report as set out above includes:

    • Potentially illegal behaviour by an Employee/Volunteer of North York Academy

    • Potential Illegal behaviour by a third party, such as a Parent, Teacher, Babysitter, Coach)

 

Follow up on Reporting

When an allegation or suspicion of potentially illegal behaviour is reported, police and/or child welfare agency will be notified. North York Academy will follow up internally as appropriate.

Then an allegation of suspicion of inappropriate behaviour is made, North York Academy will follow up on the matter to gather information about what happened and determine what, if any, formal or other disciplinary action is required.

In the case of inappropriate behaviour, if:

  • Multiple behaviours were reported

  • Inappropriate behaviour is recurring. Or

  • The reported behaviour is of serious concern

North York Academy may refer the matter to a child welfare agency or police

 

Why a Code of Conduct to Protect Children?

Our organization is committed to ensuring all children are protected and safe. A Code of Conduct to Protect Children is an important part of creating safe environments for children. The safety, rights and well-being of children participating in our programs is a priority in our daily operations.

The intent of the Code of Conduct to Protect Children is to guide our employees/volunteers in developing healthy relationships with the children involved in activities of programs delivered by our organization and to model appropriate boundaries for children.

 

The organization may refer the matter to a child welfare agency or police.

I agree to comply with the Code of Conduct to Protect Children for North York Academy

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