CREATING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Policies for Volunteers
Volunteers who work with children, youth or vulnerable adults are required to sign a Diocese of Rochester Volunteer Code of Conduct, complete the Criminal Record Check process and participate in Creating a Safe Environment training.
All of these volunteers must participate in a renewal of training as determined by the Diocese of Rochester.
Volunteer drivers for Church programs and events must have their driving record checked every year.
VOLUNTEER CODE OF CONDUCT
Children, youth and vulnerable adults are important gifts entrusted to us by God. I recognize my first obligation is to give a good example of charity; kindness and integrity to those I serve. As a volunteer, I promise to strictly follow the rules and guidelines in this Volunteer’s Code of Conduct as a condition of my providing services to children, youth, or vulnerable adults.
- Understand that the only appropriate relationship as a volunteer is that of adult volunteer minister not friend or peer to a child, youth or vulnerable adult.
- Establish and maintain safe environments by preserving appropriate boundaries with children, youth and vulnerable adults.
- Witness in all relationships the chastity appropriate to their state in life, whether ordained or lay, married or single.
- Treat each person with respect, charity, patience, courtesy, dignity, and consideration.
- Immediately report any suspected abuse to the staff person in charge (immediate supervisor). The staff person in charge will inform pastor, pastoral administrator, principal and pastoral center as appropriate.
- Cooperate in any investigation of suspected abuse of children, youth or vulnerable adults.
- Be familiar with pertinent safety policies and follow them.
- Participate in appropriate training as required by supervisor.
- Always work in pairs or as part of a team when working with children, youth and vulnerable adults.
- Utilize a “buddy System" with children, youth or vulnerable adults so that children, youth, and vulnerable adults are not alone with adult volunteers at Church activities.
- Maintain sleeping quarters for adults separate from children/youth/vulnerable adults except when using dormitory style accommodations as a group. (Never share a bed with a child, youth or vulnerable adult.)
- Use “one to many" for electronic communication: that is, use broadcast/group distribution for electronic communication with children, youth or vulnerable adults. Do not use one on one personal electronic communication. (When responding to a personal message, copy your response to your immediate supervisor.)
- Use the internet as a resource for programs, but do not access, download or share obscene or inappropriate material, chain letters, jokes, etc. with children, youth or vulnerable adults.
- Meet with children, youth or vulnerable adults in public places or on church property.
- Use positive reinforcement with children, youth and vulnerable adults rather than criticism, competition or comparison.
- Employ appropriate conduct, speech and dress.
- Gifts given by volunteers to children, youth or vulnerable adults should be “tokens", not expensive or inappropriate.
- Gifts received by volunteers from children youth or vulnerable adults should be tokens, not expensive or inappropriate. If there is any question about the gift, report it to your supervisor immediately.
Volunteers shall not:
- Use or possess alcohol, and/or illegal drugs while responsible for children, youth, or vulnerable adults at any church activity or event.
- Smoke or use tobacco products in the presence of children or youth.
- Use tobacco or tobacco products while responsible for children, youth or vulnerable adults at any church activity or event.
- Engage in sexual harassment of a child, youth or vulnerable adult.
- Strike, spank, shake or slap a child, youth or vulnerable adult.
- Humiliate, ridicule, or degrade a child, youth or vulnerable adult.
- Touch a child, youth or vulnerable adult in a sexual manner.
- Expose a child, youth or vulnerable adult to pornographic or obscene material in any format.
- Use profanity in the presence of a child, youth or vulnerable adult.
- Use any form of discipline that humiliates a child, youth or vulnerable adult.
- Host children, youth or vulnerable adults at your homes except as part of a youth group event.