Youth Protection Policy
YVC’s mission is to create volunteer opportunities to address community needs and to inspire youth for a lifetime commitment to service. This mission cannot be met unless we do all we can to protect the participants in our programs.
YVC strives to create a safe and secure environment for its youth participants. We want to encourage participants and parents who may have issues to raise them so we can ensure they are addressed. The guidelines and procedures set out below represent our effort to ensure all staff, volunteers, and participants understand the expectations of YVC.
All YVC Affiliates are responsible for creating their own Youth Protection Policies and adhering to them. However, the following guidelines and procedures apply to everyone, including staff, volunteers and participants.
Zero Tolerance Policy Against Abuse
Abuse of any kind shall not be permitted within our organization. YVC does not tolerate any form of abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional or verbal, or any other misconduct from our staff, volunteers or participants.
Physical or sexual abuse is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, striking, hitting, kicking, biting, spitting, indecent gesturing, lewd remarks, indecent exposure, unwanted physical contact, any form of sexual contact or inappropriate touching, innuendo and suggestions.
Emotional or verbal abuse is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of foul, demeaning, threatening, or bullying language, or, making abusive statements about a person’s race, gender, religion, nationality, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other characteristic.
Barriers to Abuse
Every activity sponsored by YVC or its Affiliates should be monitored to ensure no youth or group of youth is alone without a YVC leader or other approved adult.
Unless an emergency exists, no adult shall take a youth alone to the bathrooms or any other secluded setting.
When traveling overnight with youth participants, youth should be paired with other youth of the same gender and similar age group. Sleeping, bathing and clothes-changing accommodations must respect the privacy of the youth.
Youth shall be empowered to trust their feelings, and staff and volunteers shall make clear that their concerns are important by listening to them. Open communication between youth and parents, or between youth and other adults in the organization, may help reveal early warning signs of abuse.
Mandatory Reporting of Abuse
Every person directly or indirectly involved with YVC is responsible for reporting any cases of questionable conduct or alleged mistreatment toward participants. No one may pass off this reporting responsibility to any other person.
All persons involved with YVC shall immediately report to local law enforcement authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any youth is—or has been—physically, sexually or emotionally abused or neglected, or exposed to any form of violence, threat or sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation includes the possession, manufacture or distribution of youth pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material.
All persons must also notify their local YVC Program Director, Executive Director of the YVC host, and any other staff with a need-to-know of any potential violation of YVC’s Youth Protection Policies, so that he or she may:
- Take appropriate action for the safety of our participants,
- Make appropriate notifications, and
- Follow up with law enforcement agencies.
The reporting party shall also submit a written report to the YVC Headquarters within 24 hours of first notification. This report shall include a narrative of the reported abuse or concerns, actions taken by the reporting party, witnesses to any inappropriate conduct, and any other relevant information.
Finally, staff, volunteers and participants are encouraged to contact YVC Headquarters staff at 816-472-9822 to address any questions about this policy, its purpose, or YVC’s expectations.
Responding to Reports of Abuse
YVC will respond promptly to any and all allegations of abuse within this organization. Information will be communicated to law enforcement authorities for investigation and shall be reviewed by the organization’s directors. The alleged offender may be notified of the allegations and dealt with appropriately, after consideration given to guidance by law enforcement authorities or other professionals on appropriate notification measures.
Any person accused of sexual or physical abuse may be asked to resign voluntarily or may be suspended by the Board of Directors until further notice. This may occur regardless of any civil or criminal finding relating to the alleged abuse because the continued presence of the accused person could be detrimental to the reputation of the organization and could be construed as harmful to the participants. An accused person who is later cleared of the charges may apply to be reinstated within the organization. Reinstatement is not a right, however, and no guarantee is made that he or she will be reinstated to his or her former role.
Screening Adult Leaders
All YVC leaders (paid staff, interns and volunteers) who are 18 years or older and who will be supervising youth shall undergo a complete background check. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, multi-jurisdictional criminal record checks, an FBI fingerprint check, a National Sex Offender registry check, driver’s license check, and a Social Security Trace. The ability to work or volunteer with YVC is contingent upon satisfactory results of those checks.
© 2015 Youth Volunteer Corps
Printable PDF File: Youth Protection Policy