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 the Mon Valley 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 our community reach their full potential.
The following policies are intended to assist staff and volunteers in making decisions about interactions with youths. For clarification of any guideline, or to inquire about behaviors not addressed here, contact your supervisor.
- Youths will be treated fairly regardless of race, sex, age, or religion.
- Staff and volunteers will adhere to uniform standards of displaying affection as outlined by our organization.
- Staff and volunteers will not have affection with youths that cannot be observed by others.
- Staff and volunteers will adhere to uniform standards of appropriate and inappropriate verbal interactions as outlined by our organization.
- Staff and volunteers will not date or become romantically involved with youths
- Staff and volunteers will not have sexually oriented materials, including printed or online pornography, on our organization’s property.
- Staff and volunteers will not have secrets with youths and will only give gifts with prior permission.
- Staff and volunteers will comply with our organization’s policies regarding interactions with youths outside of our programs.
- Staff and volunteers will not engage in inappropriate electronic communication with youth.
- Staff and volunteers are prohibited from working one-on-one with youths in a private setting. Staff and volunteers will use common areas when working with individual youths
- Staff and volunteers will not abuse youths in anyway including (but not limited to) the following:
- Physical abuse: hitting, spanking, shaking, slapping, unnecessary restraints
- Verbal abuse: degrading, threatening, cursing
- Sexual abuse: inappropriate touching, exposing oneself, sexually oriented conversations
- Mental abuse: shaming, humiliation, cruelty
- Neglect: withholding food, water, shelter.
- Our organization will not tolerate the mistreatment or abuse of one youth by another youth. In addition, our organization will not tolerate any behavior that is classified under the definition of bullying, and to the extent that such actions are disruptive, we will take steps needed to eliminate such behavior.
- Physical bullying – when one person engages in physical force against another person, such as by hitting, punching, pushing, kicking, pinching, or restraining another.
- Verbal bullying – when someone uses their words to hurt another, such as by belittling or calling another hurtful names.
- Nonverbal or relational bullying – when one person manipulates a relationship or desired relationship to harm another person. This includes social exclusion, friendship manipulation, or gossip. This type of bullying also includes intimidating another person by using gestures.
- Cyberbullying – the intentional and overt act of aggression toward another person by way of any technological tool, such as email, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs). Cyberbullying can involve:
- Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images.
- Posting sensitive, private information about another person.
- Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad.
- Intentionally excluding someone from an online group.
- Hazing – an activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers that person regardless of that person’s willingness to participate.
- Sexualized bullying – when bullying involves behaviors that are sexual in nature. Examples of sexualized bullying behaviors include sexting, bullying that involves exposures of private body parts, and verbal bullying involving sexualized language or innuendos.
13. All staff must follow state specific mandatory reporting requirements. Staff should be trained to be aware of and understand their legal and ethical obligation to recognize and report suspicions of mistreatment and abuse. Staff will:
- Be familiar with the symptoms of child abuse and neglect, including physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse.
- Know and follow organization policies and procedures that protect youths against abuse.
- Report suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities as required by state mandated reporter laws. Visit ChildWelfare.gov for a complete listing of each state’s reporting requirement(s) and the available reporting methods.
In addition to our Code of Conduct, the Y also has a number of safety measures intended to keep kids safe. This includes criminal background checks on staff and volunteers; required staff training on recognizing and preventing abuse; and prohibiting staff/volunteers from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others; limiting staff contact with children outside of Y programs; and reporting any allegations or suspicions of abuse to law enforcement.
If you have questions about the Y’s Code of Conduct or our child safety measures policy, please contact Robecca Novotne-Castner, Human Resources Director/Comptroller at firstname.lastname@example.org