Workers’ Code of Conduct – British Columbia 2021

Children (under the age of 19) are a vital part of our fellowship. All Workers are responsible for promoting their safety, protection and well-being of children while conducting themselves appropriately in every situation.

I will:

  • Adhere to the Child Abuse Prevention Handbook at all times.
  • Be a positive role model for children.
  • Set clear boundaries about appropriate behavior between myself and children and respect a child’s boundaries and personal space.
  • Listen and respond appropriately to the views and concerns of children.
  • Be transparent in my actions and whereabouts in relation to contact with children.
  • The “rule of two” – avoid spending time alone with children, ensuring parents know and support this boundary, and have educated their children about it.
  • Wear publicly appropriate clothes in common areas during visits with families.
  • Address inappropriate behavior towards children.
  • Follow accepted legal and moral guidelines relating to physical contact with children.
  • Ask for help if I am uncertain about child safety or this Code of Conduct, or believe that I have in any way breached this Code of Conduct.
  • Report suspected child abuse and neglect to the authorities according to the Child, Family and Community Service Act (chapter 46).

I will not:

  • Engage in behavior or communication that causes children to feel uncomfortable, afraid or disempowered.
  • Use language that is inappropriate, offensive, harassing, abusive, or sexually suggestive or provocative when speaking around children.
  • Use any computer, mobile phone, video or camera to exploit or harass children.
  • Choose to “follow or friend” anyone under the age of 19 on social media.
  • Allow allegations or “reason to believe” abuse to go unreported to authorities.
  • Do things for a child of a personal nature, such as assisting with toileting.
  • Hit or physically assault children. This includes refraining from physical punishment or engaging in discipline.
  • Display favoritism, develop inappropriate or sexual relationships or indulge in any form of sexual contact with children.
  • Engage in the grooming of children and/or families.
  • Rely on my position or my reputation and that of the fellowship to protect me.
  • Minimize, cover-up, or falsely report a suspicion or allegation of abuse.
  • Investigate a suspicion or allegation of abuse by questioning a child or individuals involved but rather refer the matter to authorities.
  • Dismiss a child’s concerns or discourage disclosure.
  • Allow any child to enter a bedroom where I am staying in the company of myself and/or co-worker.

Some examples of appropriate and/or acceptable behavior are:

  • Pats on the shoulder or back, and shoulder to shoulder hugs
  • Handshakes
  • Holding hands while walking with small children
  • Sitting beside small children
  • Having discussions one on one with older children in publicly accessible areas
  • Encourage children to respect personal spaces, i.e. knocking on the door before entering

Some examples of inappropriate and/or unacceptable behavior are:

  • Developing intimate or special relationships with children
  • Advising children to keep communications or interactions secret
  • Holding a small child on the lap except in the presence of an adult member of the family
  • Lifting or placing a school-age or older child on your lap
  • Wrestling, tickling, piggyback rides or massaging
  • Remarks that relate to sexual attractiveness or development
  • Showing physical displays of affection in isolated areas of the premises such as bedrooms, bathrooms, private
  • areas of the home or cars
  • Sharing a bedroom with a child
  • Inappropriate or lengthy hugs
  • Kisses on the mouth
  • Touching buttocks, genital areas, chest, knees, thighs or legs

Some examples of environments where additional caution should be used:

  • Camping
  • Convention grounds
  • Swimming areas
  • Physical sporting events
  • Workers staying with families without a co-worker

In signing this document, I attest that:

  • I recognize that children have the right to feel safe at all times.
  • I recognize that child abuse has ongoing impacts and that the first step in healing for survivors’ begins with telling of their experiences.  
  • Should a child disclose abuse to me, I will respond with compassion and care. I will not make promises to the child I cannot keep (i.e. in relation to a child asking to keep matters confidential).  Instead, I will advise the child, “I will do everything I can to keep you safe,” and report to the appropriate authority.
  • I will do all I can to make the child feel heard and supported.
  • I will complete mandatory reporting as required.

I agree to abide by this Code of Conduct

Worker’s Name: …………………………………………………………………….

Signature: ………………………………………….. Date: …………………………

Witness: …………………………………………….. Date: …………………………

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