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Sustainable Development Community e. V.

Child Protection Code Of Conduct

Introduction

Staff, directors, volunteers, students / interns and contractors at Sustainable Development Community e. V. are required to abide by this Code. The purpose of this Code is to promote child safety in all Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s interactions with children. The following list of behaviours includes examples of behaviour that is acceptable and behaviour that is not acceptable.

Acceptablebehaviours

All people involved directly or indirectly in service delivery with children on behalf of, or inconnection with, Sustainable Development Community e. V. must:

  1. contact the police if a child is observed to be at immediate risk of abuse
  2. adhere to the Child Protection Policy and Procedure and uphold Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times
  3. take all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
  4. conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their position as a staff member, director, volunteer, student / intern or contractor of Sustainable Development Community e. V. and as a positive role model to children and young people and their families
  5. work towards the achievement of the aims and purposes of the organization
  6. be responsible for relevant administration of programs and activities in their area
  7. maintain a duty of care towards others involved in these programs and activities
  8. establish and maintain a child-safe environment in the course of their work
  9. be fair, considerate and honest with others
  10. treat children, young people and their families with respect and value their ideas, opinions and backgrounds
  11. promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres StraitIsland children and their families
  12. promote the safety, participation and empowerment of children and their families with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination)
  13. promote the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability
  14. listen and respond to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they state they or another child has been abused or that they are worried about their safety / the safety of another child
  15. ensure (as far as practicable) that adults are not alone with achild
  16. comply with all reporting obligations as they relate to mandatory reporting under relevantlegislation and professional codes of ethics
  17. raise concerns about suspected abuse with the ED, an immediate supervisor or the Child Safety Officer (CSO) as soon as possible
  18. record and act upon all allegations or suspicions of abuse, discrimination or harassment
  19. if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe;
  20. be professional in theiractions
  21. maintain strict impartiality
  22. comply with Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s guidelines on contact with children, including via social/electronic media
  23. respect confidentiality when sharing information about children in accordance with theChild Protection Policy and Procedure and reporting obligations
  24. maintain a child-safe environment for children and young people
  25. operate within the policies and guidelines of Sustainable Development Community e. V.

Unacceptable behavior

All people involved in direct or indirect service delivery with children and families on behalf of Sustainable Development Community e. V. must not:

  1. ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed childabuse
  2. put a child at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors for an improper reason)
  3. speak to a child in a way that is or could be construed by an observer as harsh, threatening, intimidating, shaming, derogatory, demeaning or humiliating (examples include swearing or using inappropriate language in the presence of a child; yelling at a child, except in an emergencysituation where the child’s safety may be in danger; dealing with a child while angry with the child; and using hurtful sarcasm)
  4. express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of a child (unless the child is a member of your immediate family)
  5. discuss sexual activities with a child unless it is a specific job requirement and the person is trained to discuss these matters, or the child is a member of your immediate family
  6. have contact with a child or their immediate family outside of Sustainable Development Community e. V. activities, unless the child is a member of your immediate family (accidental / incidental contact, such as seeing children in the street; attending a social event which Sustainable Development Community e. V. participants are attending; any other incidental contact that is outside of your professional relationship with the child, and is not for an improper purpose, is appropriate)
  7. have any online contact with a child (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc) or their immediate family unless necessary for service delivery, unless the child is a member of your immediate family
  8. use any personal communication channels / devices such as a personal email account to communicate with a child, unless the child is a member of your immediate family
  9. exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites oremail addresses with a child, unless the child is a member of your immediate family
  10. use, possess, or be under the influence of alcohol while in the presence of or while supervisinga child (unless the child is a member of your immediate family or your contact with the child is accidental / incidental and you are not performing your professional obligations)
  11. use, possess, or be under the influence of illegal drugs while in the presence of or while supervising a child
  12. provide or allow a child to consume alcohol (unless the child is a member of your immediate family)
  13. provide or allow a child to consume illegal drugs
  14. initiate unnecessary physical contact with a child or young person, or do things of a personalnature for them that they can do for themselves (unless the child is a member of your immediate family)
  15. engage in rough physical games, hold, massage, kiss, cuddle or touch a child in an inappropriate and/or culturally insensitive way (unless the child is a member of your immediate family)
  16. engage in any sexual contact with a child (for the purposes of this Code, sexual contact is definedas vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral intercourse or the touching of an erogenous zone of another (including but not limited to the thighs, genitals, buttocks, pubic region or chest) for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person)
  17. take a child to their home or encourage meetings outside program activities (unless the child isa member of your immediate family or written parental permission has been provided)
  18. be naked in the presence of a child (unless the child is a member of your immediate family)
  19. access sexually explicit materials on Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s computer systems
  20. possess sexually explicit printed materials (magazines, cards, videos, films, clothing etc) in the presence of children
  21. sleep in the same bed, sleeping bag or room with a child (unless the child is a member ofyour immediate family)
  22. discriminate against any child, including because of age, gender identity, sex, race, culture, sexuality or disability
  23. engage in any activity with a child that is likely to physically or emotionally harmthem
  24. be alone with a child unnecessarily and for more than a very short time (unless the child isa member of your immediate family)
  25. developa‘special’relationshipwithaspecificchildfortheirownneeds(unlessthechildisamember of your immediate family)
  26. show favoritisms through the provision of gifts or inappropriate attention (unless the child isa member of your immediate family)
  27. photograph or video a child without the consent of the child and his/her parents or guardians
  28. do anything in contravention of Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s policies, procedures or this Code of Conduct

Physical contact / touching

Staff, directors, volunteers, students / interns and contractors are prohibited from using physical discipline in any way for behavior management of children. This prohibition includes spanking, slapping, pinching, hitting or any other physical force as retaliation or correction for inappropriate behaviors by children Physical contact may be required in an emergency situation to remove children quickly from danger or the threat of danger.

Appropriate contact between staff, directors, volunteers, contractors, students / interns and children is part of normal human relationships. Some considerations and guidelines include the following:

  1. consider the child’s age, developmental level, maturity and level of care required, forexample, touching a child to gain their attention, guiding or comforting a distressed child
  2. work in an open environment; for example, in confidential interviews or a one-to-one meeting, the door should be open with visual access (exceptions apply for professions with strict confidentiality requirements)
  3. be alert to cues from children about how comfortable they are in your proximity and respecttheir need for personal space
  4. be sensitive when interacting with children who may misinterpret your actions, such as thosewho may have been traumatized by abuse or adolescents seeking attention from a member of the opposite sex
  5. be aware of cultural norms that may influence the interpretation of your behavior
  6. be cautious about physical contact in games or practical instruction; if you need to make physical contact for demonstrations, explain the activity and what you will do and maintain a safe and appropriate distance
  7. physical contact should be made in a way that makes children feel comfortable, for example, shaking hands, a congratulatory pat on the back or rub on the side of their arm for reassurance
  8. massaging a child or allowing a child to massage you is inappropriate physical contact (unlessthe child is a member of your immediate family and you comply with all relevant legislation)

All forms of physical contact should therefore be avoided where possible. 

Transportation and off-site events

Other than in an emergency or other abnormal situation where no other option could be reasonably foreseen, it is not acceptable to transport children without written permission of their parent, carer or guardian. It is prohibited to have unnecessary and/or inappropriate physical contact with children while in vehicles. If, for some specified reason, transport is being provided to a child/ren, children should be transported directly to their destination. No stops should be made other than those that are reasonably scheduled for meals or comfort stops. This obligation does not apply to children that are a member of your immediate family.

It is prohibited to have children spend the night at the residence of an staff member, director, volunteer, student / intern or contractor without parental / guardian prior approval. Changing and showering facilities or arrangements for adults must be separate from facilities or arrangements for children (unless the child is a member of your immediate family).

Confidentiality

Disclosing information to staff, directors, volunteers, students/interns and contractors

When children or their families have written or verbal interaction with staff, directors, volunteers, students / interns or contractors of Sustainable Development Community e. V., that interaction is confidential to the organization not to the individual. This means that a staff member, director, volunteer, student / intern or contractor is able to talk with other staff, directors, volunteers, students / interns or contractors in a way that identifies the child or caregivers. That said, where possible the privacy of the child and family should be respected at all times. When considering breaching their privacy who and how many people are told should be based on what is believed to be in the best interests of the child and family.

Disclosing information to people external to the organization

Staff, directors, volunteers, students / interns and contractors should not discuss confidential matters about children and families receiving services with a person outside the organization in a way that identifies a child except when they have the express permission of the child or it complies with Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s Child Protection Policy, Code of Conduct and Procedure. In circumstances where staff, directors, volunteers, students / interns or contractors believe the organization lacks adequate knowledge to provide the best possible assistance to a child, they may seek external expertise. When communicating with a person outside Sustainable Development Community e. V. the child’s identity should be protected.

Informing children

It is the responsibility of Sustainable Development Community e. V. to communicate, via the client charter, the limits of confidentiality in Sustainable Development Community e. V. to children who are likely to have an ongoing relationship with Sustainable Development Community e. V.. These guidelines should be provided to children and families.

Legal Foundations:

The following legislation and regulatory frameworks underpin Sustainable Development Community e. V.’s Child Safety Code of Conduct:

Child protection and the rights of children and juveniles are determined by legal requirements at various levels. The main ones are:

  1. Laws defining the mode of operation and the provisions of youth work and welfare services – The Child and Youth Service Act.
  2. Laws defining the framework for parents’ rights and duties – parts of the Civil Code.
  3. Laws to reduce dangers for children and juveniles in the public – Act Concerning the Protection of Young People in the Public.
  4. Laws to prosecute punishable actions carried out against children and young persons and to regulate the conditions of criminal prosecution – parts of the Penal Code/Code of Criminal Procedure.

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