Policies for Working with Youth

Salesian Society

Policies for Working with Youth

(Approved 4-19-2009)

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Role of the Salesian Director, Local Economer, Employees, and Adult Volunteers

Salesian Directors and Local Economers are responsible for informing employees and volunteers about the procedures for reporting safety concerns and hazards.  Salesian Directors and Local Economers are also responsible for interpreting Salesian Society policies regarding health and safety. As Salesian Society guidelines change, Salesian Directors and Local Economers must keep themselves, employees and volunteers apprised of the changes.

Salesian Directors and Local Economers are responsible for incorporating safety into locations they oversee, and projects they develop or oversee such as activities, events, and camps.

Salesian Directors, Local Economers, employees and adult volunteers are responsible for the safety of children during all meetings, events and activities. Salesian Directors, Local Economers, employees and volunteers must also incorporate safety awareness into all meetings and demonstrate safe practices.

 

1.0     Safe Children Policy (written primarily for Employees and Adult Volunteers)

The Safe Children Policy is designed to help protect youth in a proactive manner against child abuse and/or neglect.

These policies are primarily for the protection of youth; however, they also serve to protect staff and adult volunteers from false accusations of abuse.

Child abuse is a challenge to be confronted by all who have responsibilities for children:  parents, teachers, physicians, employees and adult volunteers.  We must be able to identify child abuse when we see it, know our responsibilities to report suspected abuse, and provide supervision that will ensure that no child in our care becomes the victim of abuse through negligence or willful act while participating in a program, event or activity of the Salesian Society.

Each year thousands of youth safely participate in programs designed to develop and enhance spirituality, citizenship, leadership, and life skills.  The future of these programs depends on conducting them in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Salesian Society.

 

1.01 Recognizing Child Abuse

The California Penal Code (P.C.)[1] defines child abuse or neglect as, “a physical injury inflicted by other than accidental means on a child by another person”; sexual abuse; the willful harming of a child or endangerment of a child’s health; and/or unlawful corporal punishment (P.C. 11165.6).  A child is defined as any person under the age of 18 years.

Sexual abuse includes both sexual assault and sexual exploitation. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, rape, statutory rape (under certain circumstances), incest, sodomy, lewd and lascivious acts upon a child, and child molestation. Sexual exploitation refers generally to the creation and distribution of child pornography.

 

1.02     Definitions:  There Are Four Major Types of Child Abuse

i.     Neglect is failure to provide for a child's basic needs.  Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Note that sometimes, the cultural values and/or the economic level of a family can be contributing factors indicating the family’s need for information and assistance.  When a family fails to use available information and resources and the child’s needs continue to be unmet, then further child welfare professional intervention may be required (P.C. 11165.2).

ii.      Physical abuseis physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting, burning, or otherwise harming a child.  These injuries are considered abuse regardless of whether the caretaker intended to hurt the child (P.C. 11165.6; 11165.3; 11165.4).

iii.     Sexual abuse or molestationincludes activities by a parent, caretaker (or other person); e.g., fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, speaking inappropriately, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials (P.C. 11165.1).

iv.     Emotional Abuseis any pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional and/or mental development or sense of self-worth.  This may include constant criticism, threats, shaming, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance (P.C. 11166.05).

Please note that although any of the types may be found separately, they often occur together.

 

1.03  Preventive Actions to Protect Youth, Employees and Adult Volunteers

The Salesian Society requires employees and adult volunteers to ensure a safe and secure environment which eliminates and prevents opportunities for abuse by providing good supervision, maintaining safe surroundings, and observing safety precautions.

 

1.03A   Leadership:  A Minimum of Two Adults

Two appointed and certified adults are required to supervise all programs, events, and activities.   

In general, no one-on-one interactions should occur in private.  This includes between youth and adults or among youth.  If personal discussions are needed, the discussions should be conducted in an area that is in view of other adults and youth.

When transporting youth, if two adults cannot be present in the vehicle, the alternative minimum required is one adult and two or more youth.  An adult should not be alone with a youth (other than his/her own child) without the advance written permission of the youth’s parents.

 

1.03B   Supervision of Youth

A youth is the responsibility of the employee or adult volunteer in charge of the meeting or event until a parent/guardian or responsible adult designated by the parent/guardian arrives.  The youth must not be left unsupervised, transported without specific parental permission (except by law enforcement officials) or released to anyone not specifically authorized by the parent or legal guardian.  If parents are late or do not arrive within half an hour of the scheduled ending time, and cannot be contacted, it will be necessary for the adult volunteer or staff person in charge to contact local law enforcement officials.

 

1.03C  Sleeping Facilities

There should be separate sleeping facilities for each gender.

Only adults of the same gender as the youth may supervise youth in the sleeping and restroom areas of an event.

No single youth is permitted to sleep in the room of an adult other than his/her own parent or guardian.

 

1.03D   Restrooms

It is strongly suggested that separate shower and bathroom facilities be provided for mixed-gender groups.  When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted.

 

1.03E   Respect for an Individual’s Privacy

Adults must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require.  Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.

 

1.03F   Youth Leader Training and Supervision

Youth leaders (Junior Counselors, Camp Staff, and other youth in leadership positions) will be trained as to what constitutes appropriate interaction during events and activities.  Staff and/or appointed adult volunteers must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by youth leaders.

 

1.03G   Constructive Discipline

Corporal punishment is never permitted.  Positive techniques of guidance, including redirection, positive reinforcement, and encouragement rather than competition, comparison, and criticism must be used.  Staff, adult volunteers, and youth leaders will maintain age-appropriate behavior expectations and set-up guidelines and environments that minimize the need for discipline.

 

1.04  Reporting Suspected Child Abuse (P.C. 11164-11174.4)[2]

The primary reason for reporting child abuse and neglect is to protect the child from further abuse.  By protecting the identified child, this may also protect other children.  In addition to protecting the child, reporting child abuse can also provide help for the suspected abuser.  Reporting child abuse can be a catalyst for change in the home environment and help lower the risk of abuse in the future.

 

1.05   Who Must Report (P.C. 11165.7)

Mandated Reporters include a list of individuals who work in social services and with children.  Examples of mandated reporters include: a teacher, an instructional aide, a child care custodian, a social worker, or a peace officer.  These are examples of mandated reporters, a full list can be found in Penal Code 11165.7.

A childcare custodian includes an administrator or employee of a public or private youth center, youth recreation program, or youth organization.  Also included is any administrator or employee of a public or private organization whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children and a licensee, an administrator, or an employee of a licensed community care or child day care facility.   (P.C. 11165.7)

If in doubt about whether you are a mandated reporter, the suggested course is to report if you suspect child abuse.

 

1.06   What to Report (P.C. 11165.1-11165.6)

It is required by law that mandated reporters report the following types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Child exploitation, child pornography, and child prostitution
  • Neglect
  • Unlawful corporal punishment or injury
  • Willfully harming or injuring or endangering a child

The main types of abuse are described in Section 1.02, above.  In addition, mandated reporters must also report unlawful corporal punishment or the willful harming, injuring or endangering of a child.  Unlawful corporal punishment or injury is defined as a situation where any person willfully inflicts upon any child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition (P.C. 11165.4).  Willful harming or injuring of a child or endangering the person or health of a child means a situation in which any person willfully causes or permits any child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or permits any child to be placed in a situation where his or her health is endangered (P.C. 11165.3).

 

1.07   Optional Report (P.C. 11166.05)

Serious emotional damage and/or endangered emotional well-being are also defined as child abuse (P.C.11165.6), and suspicion of such may be reported.  However, it is not required by law to be reported.

 

1.08   When to Report (P.C. 11166)

Under the law, a mandated reporter is required to report child abuse if s/he “in his or her professional capacity, or within the scope of his or her employment has knowledge of, or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect” (P.C. 11166[a].)

Therefore, as soon as a mandated reporter has knowledge of or observes a child whom s/he knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, that person must make a report with Child Protective Services.

Specifically, the person reporting should contact Child Protective Services immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone.  The person reporting the suspected abuse shall also prepare and send a written report thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident. (P.C. 11166[a].)  (see Appendix wwy 1).

Mandatory reporting duties are the responsibility of the individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the reporting duties.  In addition, no person making such a report shall be subject to any sanction for making the report.  Any supervisor or administrator who violates these rights of an individual to report is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) (P.C. 11166.01).

 

1.09   Reporting Procedures (P.C. 11167)

Note: this section only covers procedures for making an official report to authorities.  Please also see section E in the “Working With Youth” Document, page wwy 3-7 for additional reporting procedures.

A mandatory reporter who has knowledge of known or suspected child abuse is responsible for reporting the matter to the Child Protective Services.  The report must be made by telephone immediately and in writing within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.

The report must contain the following information:

  1. Name of person making report.
  2. Name of the child.
  3. Current address of child.
  4. Nature and extent of injury.
  5. Any additional information requested by the Child Protective Services.

The report shall be made to any police department or sheriff’s department.  Reports can be made to the county probation department, if it has been designated by the county to receive mandated reports, or the county welfare department (P.C. 11165.9) (see Appendix wwy 1).

Care should be exercised in how the report is made.  Report only the specific facts that have been observed.  Do not offer any conclusion as to whether or not child abuse has occurred.  Additionally, do not personally investigate allegations of child abuse; instead, refer them directly to the appropriate agency. 

Under California law, reports of child abuse are confidential.  If a volunteer or other concerned party approaches you, other than the Child Protective Services or Police Department, please make the following statement:

I am a mandated reporter, and California law clearly states that I cannot discuss any of the information on a suspected child abuse report, including who made the report.  If I discuss any information on a report with you, it is a misdemeanor crime.  If you feel a suspected child abuse report was made in error, you may contact the agency which  is investigating the report and direct all your questions to them(P.C. 11167.5[a].).

 

1.09A  Multiple Reporters (P.C. 11166[f])

When there are two or more mandated reporters who share knowledge of a known or suspected instance of child abuse, one person may be selected, by mutual agreement, to report by phone.

In addition, a single report may be written and signed for the group by the designated member.  If that member fails to report, any other member of the group who has knowledge of this failure has the responsibility to file the report.

When two or more persons, one of whom is mandated to report, have suspicion of child abuse, the individual with the reporting obligation shall make the appropriate notifications.

 

1.09B   Failure to Make a Report (P.C. 11166[b])

A mandated reporter who fails to make a required report of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or by a $1,000 fine. (P.C. 11166(b), 1.09C   Immunity, P.C. 11172(c).

No mandated reporter who reports a known or suspected instance of child abuse shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized by the California Penal Code.  No person who is required to file a report pursuant to the Penal Code, nor any person taking photographs at the child care custodian’s direction, shall incur any civil or criminal liability for taking photographs of a suspected victim of child abuse without parental consent or for disseminating the photographs with the report to the Child Protective Agency.

Any other person, including an adult volunteer, reporting a known or suspected instance of child abuse shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report authorized by the California Penal Code, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report.  Any such person who makes a report of child abuse known to be false or with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report is liable for any damages caused.

 

1.09D   A Volunteers’ Responsibility to Report (PC 11165.7[b])

The Penal Code states that volunteers in any public or private organization who supervise children or have direct contact with them are to be provided training by the agency staff or other qualified personnel on how to identify and report child abuse or neglect.

If an adult volunteer suspects child abuse or neglect he/she can notify Child Protection Services or local law enforcement agencies directly.  In addition, the local director should be notified to ensure the safety of other youth.

 

1.10   Training and Awareness of Child Abuse Reporting Procedures (P.C. 11166.5[a])

Training in the duties imposed by this policy and the California Penal Code shall include training for employees and adult volunteers in identifying and reporting child abuse. 

Any employee who enters into employment on or after January 1, 1985 and who has responsibility for a youth program, shall be provided with copies of this policy, as well as links to Penal Code provisions 11165 through 11172; and shall, as a condition of employment, sign a statement that he or she has knowledge of the provisions of California Penal Code Sections 11165 through 11172, as set out in this policy, and will comply with the reporting provision.

The Salesian Society Office shall include this statement for signature in the employment information packet, ensure that employees sign the form, and retain the signed form in the employee’s personal files (see Appendix wwy 2).

 

Salesian Society

Policies for Working With Youth

Employees and Adult Volunteers

(Approved 4-19-2009)

 

 

 

Role of the Salesian Director, Local Economer, Employees, and Adult Volunteers

 

Salesian Directors and Local Economers are responsible for informing employees and volunteers about the procedures for reporting safety concerns and hazards. 

 

Salesian Directors and Local Economers are also responsible for interpreting Salesian Society policies regarding health and safety.

 

As Salesian Society guidelines change, Salesian Directors and Local Economers must keep themselves, employees and volunteers apprised of the changes.

 

Salesian Directors and Local Economers are responsible for incorporating safety into locations they oversee, and projects they develop or oversee such as activities, events, and camps. 

 

Salesian Directors, Local Economers, employees and adult volunteers are responsible for the safety of children during all meetings, events and activities. Salesian Directors, Local Economers, employees and volunteers must also incorporate safety awareness into all meetings and demonstrate safe practices.

 

2.00 Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco

 

Note: this policy does not apply to prescription medications used according to a physician’s directions.

 

2.01 Employees and volunteers shall not consume or be under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or alcohol while performing their duties.

 

2.02 No employee or adult volunteer will allow alcohol, use of illegal drugs or tobacco at any youth program, activity or event.

 

2.03 Youth programs, activities, and events are conducted under tobacco-free conditions.

 

2.04 Non-Youth events and Alcohol

 

The following policy is to be followed when youth are participating in non-youth events and activities:

 

a)     Youth shall not handle, or in any way come in contact with alcoholic beverages, and shall be supervised while in the vicinity or area in which alcohol is present, whether as a participant, attendee, or server, and shall remain out of the area when the activity is completed.

b)    There must be adequate (at least 1 adult for every 4 youth), certified employees and adult volunteers on hand at the event.  Adequate assigned supervision is also defined as a certified employee or adult volunteer age 21 or older.  The assigned employee or adult volunteer shall not consume alcoholic beverages while supervising youth.

c)     The assigned employee or adult volunteer shall accept the responsibility of supervising youth who could potentially come into contact with alcoholic beverages.

d)    Employees or adult volunteers shall be responsible for clearing the tables and/or service of all alcoholic beverages.

e)     It is the responsibility of the Salesian Director or Local Economer to ensure that the assigned employees or volunteers understand this policy. Adherence to the policy shall be required at any function where alcoholic beverages are served and youth are in attendance.

f)     Youth, employees and adult volunteers violating this policy may face disciplinary action. 

 

2.20 Transporting Youth

 

2.21 Salesian Directors and Local Economers are responsible for notifying employees and adult volunteers that they must comply with vehicular laws and regulations. This can be accomplished through newsletters, orientation meetings, and workshops.

 

2.22 Any employee or adult volunteer acting in an official capacity must follow California driving regulations and comply with all of the following standards.

 

2.23 Employees and adult volunteers who transport youth must be 21 years of age or older.

 

2.24 If driving a vehicle insured by the Salesian Society:

 

a)     Employees and adult volunteers must complete the MVR process with the Province Office and be cleared to perform this function,

b)    Have a valid California driver’s license for vehicles to be driven,

c)     Have completed the fingerprint screening process with the Salesian Society.

 

2.25 If driving a personal vehicle:

 

Employees and adult volunteers must complete the MVR process with the Province Office and be cleared to perform this function by:

 

a)     Having a valid California driver’s license for vehicles to be driven,

b)    Have on file the appropriate form to drive a personal vehicle,

c)     Have car insurance as required by the state of California, and provide the Province Office with proof of this insurance,

d)    Use a safe operating vehicle, and

e)     Have seat belts for each passenger.

 

2.26 When transporting youth, if two adults cannot be present in the vehicle, the alternative minimum required is one adult and two or more youth per vehicle.  An adult should not be alone with one young person (other than his/her own child) without the advance written permission of the youth’s parents.

 

2.27Employees and adult volunteers who are transporting youth are encouraged to carry a first aid kit, and emergency accessories such as: reflectors, fire extinguishers, or other supplies, such as shovels and blankets, necessary for adverse weather conditions. 

 

2.28 Employees and adult volunteers must have current permission forms and medical treatment forms signed with the original signature of the parent or guardian, and have phone access to a parent or guardian of each participating youth before transporting them in personal or Province insured vehicles to any activity or event.  This is not required for routine car-pooling of youth to and from regular activities (See Appendix).

 

2.29 Riding in Back of Pickup Trucks.  Passengers riding in the back of a pickup or flatbed motor truck must be secured with a restraint system, which meets or exceeds motor vehicle safety requirements.

 

2.30 Machinery

 

Employees or adult volunteers are responsible for operating or supervising the operation of machinery, vehicles, and other equipment, by youth in a responsible manner.

 

2.40 Meeting Place

 

Meetings, events and activities are often held in centers, homes, schools, churches and public buildings. Employees and adult volunteers in charge should know what to do in case of an accident. Emergency phone numbers should be available. The location of the nearest phone should be known. The location of fire extinguishers and fire alarms should be noted.

 

2.50 Emergency Medical Treatment

 

2.51 Employees and adult volunteers in charge must be able to reach the parents or guardians of all youth participating in the activity, or can produce a medical treatment form signed by the parents and/or guardians.

 

2.52 For any trip, an accompanying employee or adult volunteer must have a medical treatment form for each youth, with original signatures, in his or her possession.

 

2.60 Photo Release

 

The Salesian Society periodically uses photographs of youth, employees and adult volunteers for local, state, or international publicity.  A release form must be signed by the employee, adult volunteer or the parent or guardian of a youth.  This release allows for and assigns unlimited permission to copyright and use, publish, and republish for purposes of advertising, public relations, trade, or any other lawful use, information about them and reproduction of their likeness (photographic or otherwise) and their voice, whether or not related to any affiliation with the Salesian Society, with or without their name.  Individuals participating in short term activities should complete a photo release form if publicity or program pictures are taken.  (See Appendix wwy 4).

 

2.70 Food Policy

 

Many locations use food related activities for fundraisers, recognition events, project activities, or other programmatic functions.  In planning these activities, careful attention must be given to nutrition, health, and food safety. 

 

2.71 If food is to be served as part of an official activity, the food preparation and service must be in compliance with all local (city and county) health department rules and state law.  In addition, it is imperative that all rules and regulations governing food service activities be observed, including securing appropriate permits.

 

2.72 In use of prepackaged foods, the manufacturer assumes the legal responsibility for the product.

 

 


[1] P.C. is the California Penal Code which can be found at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

[2] P.C. is the California Penal Code, which can be found at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html