Child Safety at the Y
At the Y, the safety and well-being of children in our care always has been a top priority. Creating safe environments where children can learn, grow and thrive is essential to the YMCA of the Inland Northwest's ability to strengthen community.
To ensure the safety of children in our care, a code of conduct has been established for staff and volunteers. If members or guests have questions or observe staff or volunteers acting in manners that are inconsistent with the code of conduct, please contact the Y's Vice President of Operations at 509 777 9622.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR YMCA STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS*
1. At no time during a Y program may a staff person be alone with a single child where he or she cannot be observed by others. Staff members should position themselves in such a way that other staff can see them.
2. A child may not be left unsupervised.
3. Staff shall not abuse or mistreat children in any way, including:
- physical abuse (striking, spanking, shaking, slapping);
- verbal abuse (humiliating, degrading, threatening);
- sexual abuse (touching or speaking inappropriately or showing children inappropriate materials);
- mental abuse (shaming, withholding kindness, being cruel, belittling);
- neglect (withholding food, water, or basic care).
4. No type of child abuse will be tolerated. Any abuse by an employee will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
5. Staff members may not transport children in their own vehicles without permission from the President/CEO of the YMCA.
6. Profanity, inappropriate jokes, displays of intimate affection, sharing intimate details of one’s personal life, and any kind of harassment in the presence of children, parents, volunteers, or other staff is prohibited.
7. Outside of the Y, staff members may not be alone with children whom they meet in Y programs. This includes babysitting (without permission from the President/CEO of the YMCA), sleepovers, driving or riding in cars, and inviting children to their homes.
8. Staff members may not single out children for favored attention and may not give gifts to youth or their parents.
9. Program rules and boundaries must be followed, including appropriate touch guidelines. Children may be informed, in an age-appropriate manner, of their right to set their own "touching" limits for personal safety.
10. Children may not be disciplined by use of physical punishment or by failing to provide the necessities of care.
11. Staff members ages 18 and older may not date program participants who are under the age of 18.
12. Under no circumstances should staff members release children to anyone other than the authorized parent, guardian, or other adult authorized by the parent or guardian (authorization on file with the Y).
13. Staff members are to make sure the restroom is not occupied by suspicious or unknown individuals before allowing children to use the facilities. Staff members will stand in the doorway of the restroom while children are using the restroom. This policy allows privacy for the children and protection for the staff members (i.e. not being alone with a child). If staff members are assisting younger children, doors to the facility must remain open. No child, regardless of age, should be allowed to enter a bathroom alone on a field trip or at other off-site locations. Always send children in threes (known as the rule of three) and, whenever possible, with staff.
*For purposes of these guidelines, "staff members" or "staff" also refers to volunteers.
These policies are consistent with YMCA of the USA guidelines.