ChiKidz - Code of Conduct
The ChiKidz (CK) Code of Conduct for People Working With Children
To ensure that all forms of abuse are prevented and to help protect people who work with young people the following guidelines should be followed:
- Always be in public and in the open when working with children. Avoid situations where you and an individual child are completely unobserved.
- There is no private room within the CK area. If a young person needs to be spoken to, two CK Staff must be present.
- CK will have a gender mix, and therefore must always be supervised by at least one male adult and one female adult CK staff member. Parents may be called upon to provide this balance, if necessary.
- CK staff and volunteers must respect the rights, dignity, and worth of all and treat everyone with equality.
- CK staff and volunteers must place the well-being and safety of the young person first above the development of performance.
- Adults must ensure that the activities which they direct or advocate are appropriate to the age, maturity, and ability of the young person (for example, not showing an R-rated movie to 14-year-olds).
- Adults should always promote the positive aspects of CK (participation, learning, endeavor with success, fun).
- Adults should never overtly criticize CK or use sarcasm where it may cause the child to lose self-esteem or confidence.
- Parents may assist CK staff, but are not a replacement for them.
- Spend amounts of time alone with children away from others
- Take children alone on a journey out of the CK area. The ONLY exception is supervising children who are Comets (allowed by parental permission to travel unaccompanied) to the toilets - 30 feet from our entrance.
If you accidentally hurt a child or cause distress in any manner, or if the child appears to be sexually aroused by your actions, misunderstands, or misinterprets something you have done, report the incident as soon as possible. Parents/caregivers should also be informed of the occurrence.
You should never:
- Engage in sexually provocative games.
- Permit children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
- Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded, or not acted upon
- Agree to meet a young person on your own
- Do things of a personal nature that a child can do for him or herself.
If a volunteer has to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled, such tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/caregiver. In these instances, make sure to be responsive to the child's reactions: if the child is fully dependant upon you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible.
Participants With Disabilities:
- Children or young people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as others involved in CK to have fun and be safe.
- CK staff are not trained to deal with specific disabilities or needs, and parents of children with such needs need to remain to take care of these needs.
- All people are welcome in CK. CK staff will take the advice and help of parents and caregivers of children with disabilities where appropriate.
When discipline is used, it should be with the clear intention of teaching or reinforcing appropriate behavior. It must not be used impulsively, to gain power, or to embarrass or humiliate a young person. Two people must be present to explain why the behavior was unacceptable.
Parents should not discipline another person's child, but rather refer the matter to CK staff immediately.
Discipline should be used only to:
- Develop a sense of responsibility for behavior
- Develop respect for others and their property
- Reinforce positive behavior or attitudes
- Reinforce awareness of health and safety aspects of the activity.
Parents must be informed if a CK participant is to be spoken to about inappropriate behavior. There is a "3 strikes and you are out" policy within CK. Given the nature of young people, we will allow two minor incidences of bad behavior before Alissa and James, in consultation with the relevant CK staff, will make a decision to withdraw a welcome to an individual.
If a serious incident occurs of violence, severe abusive behavior, or an attempt or intentional harm to others, parents and Dave McCarty (the convention chair) must be immediately informed. Under consultation with the area heads and staff concerned, CK will consider withdrawing the welcome to an individual.
Discretion in this regard is very important. Note that during a sporting game, emotions can run high, and this will be taken into account.