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.
In order to volunteer, please fill out the following forms and return them to the church office:
3) Creating a Safe Environment Training
CASE Training Directions
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 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 or youth.
Establish and maintain safe environments by preserving appropriate boundaries with children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
Witness in all relationships the chastity appropriate to one’s 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).
Cooperate in any investigation of suspected abuse of children, youth, or vulnerable adults.
Be familiar with and follow pertinent safety policies, including but not limited to Creating a Safe Environment (CASE).
Participate in appropriate training as required by supervisor.
*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. Never share a bed with a child, youth, or vulnerable adult.
Use only communications technologies that are “one-to-many” when working with children, youth, or vulnerable adults. Forbidden one-on-one contact includes, but is not limited to, cell phones, social networking sites and their internal private messaging tools (inbox), text messaging, instant messaging, chat, and email. When responding to a personal message, copy your response to your immediate supervisor.
*Meet with children, youth, or vulnerable adults in public places or on church property.
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.
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. Gifts may only be received with validated approval of the pastor, pastoral administrator, or principal.
Use positive reinforcement with children, youth, or vulnerable adults rather than criticism, competition, or comparison.
Employ appropriate conduct, speech, and dress.
Volunteers shall not
Use, possess, or be under the influence of 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.
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 in their homes children, youth, or vulnerable adults whom they have met through their volunteer activities singly or in groups.
* Those visiting the homebound (unrelated parties) may be friends with those who are visited. While it is preferable that visitations be made by teams of two, pragmatically this practice might not be possible.