Home / Appendices / APPENDIX J: Sample Code of Conduct and Acknowledgement Form

Home / Appendices / APPENDIX J: Sample Code of Conduct and Acknowledgement Form

APPENDIX J: Sample Code of Conduct and Acknowledgement Form

Sample code of conduct:

(Name of School) Code of Conduct Involving Interactions with Minors

(Name of School) is committed to the safety and protection of children. This Code of Conduct, along with the (Name of School) child safety policies and procedures applies to all staff, employees, and volunteers who represent the (Name of School) and who interact with children or youth in both a direct and/or unsupervised capacity. The public and private conduct of staff, employees, and volunteers acting on behalf of (Name of Organization) can inspire and motivate those with whom they interact, or can cause great harm if inappropriate. We must, at all times, be aware of the responsibilities that accompany our work.

We should be aware of our own and other persons’ vulnerability, especially when working alone with children and youth, and be particularly aware that we are responsible for maintaining physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries in such interactions. We must avoid any covert or overt sexual behaviors with those for whom we have responsibility. This includes seductive speech or gestures as well as physical contact that exploits, abuses, or harasses. We are to provide safe environments for children and youth at all times.

We must show prudent discretion before touching another person, especially children and youth, and be aware of how physical touch will be perceived or received, and whether it would be an appropriate expression of greeting, care, concern, or celebration. (Name of School) personnel and volunteers are prohibited at all times from physically disciplining a child.

Physical contact with children can be misconstrued both by the recipient and by those who observe it, and should occur only when completely nonsexual and otherwise appropriate, and never in private. One-on-one meetings with a child or young person are best held in a public area; in a room where the interaction can be (or is being) observed; or in a room with the door left open, and another staff member or supervisor is notified about the meeting.

We must intervene when there is evidence of, or there is reasonable cause to suspect, that children are being maltreated in any way. Suspected abuse or neglect must be reported to the appropriate organizational and civil authorities as described in the (Name of School) child safety policies and procedures. Staff and volunteers should refrain from the illegal possession and/or illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol at all times, and from the use of tobacco products, alcohol and/ or drugs when working with children. Adults should never buy alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, videos, or reading material that is inappropriate and give it to young people. Staff members and volunteers should not accept or give gifts to children without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.

Communication with children by staff and volunteers is only allowed for (Name of School) business. For the protection of all concerned, the key safety concept that will be applied to these interactions is transparency. The following steps will reduce the risk of private or otherwise inappropriate communication between staff, volunteers, and minors:

  • Communication between (Name of School) personnel (including volunteers) and children/youth that is outside the role of the professional or volunteer relationship is prohibited.
  • Where possible, email exchanges between a minor and a person acting on behalf of the organization are to be made using a (Name of School) email address.
  • Electronic communication that takes place over a (Name of School) network or platform may be subject to periodic monitoring.
  • Staff, and volunteers who use text messaging or any form of online communications including social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to communicate with children/youth may only do so for activities involving (Name of School) business.

Sample code of conduct: “Acknowledgement Form”

I promise to strictly follow the rules and guidelines in this Code of Conduct as a condition of my teaching and/or providing services to the children and youth of (name of school).

I will:

  • Treat everyone with respect, loyalty, patience, integrity, courtesy, dignity, and consideration.
  • Never be alone with individual children and/or youth at school activities without another adult being notified.
  • Use positive reinforcement rather than criticism, competition, or comparison when working with children and/or youth.
  • Maintain appropriate physical boundaries at all times and touch children – when necessary – only in ways that are appropriate, public, and non-sexual.
  • Comply with the mandatory reporting regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and with the (name of school) Policies and Procedures to report suspected child abuse. I understand that failure to report suspected child maltreatment to civil authorities is against the law.
  • Cooperate fully in any response of abuse of children and/or youth.

I will not:

  • Touch or speak to a child and/or youth in a sexual or other inappropriate manner
  • Inflict any physical or emotional abuse such as striking, spanking, shaking, slapping, humiliating, ridiculing, threatening, or degrading children and/or youth.
  • Smoke or use tobacco products, or possess, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at any time while working with children and/or youth.
  • Give a child who is not my own a ride home alone.
  • Accept or give gifts to children or youth without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.
  • Engage in private communications with children via text messaging, email, Facebook, Twitter or similar forms of electronic or social media.
  • Use profanity in the presence of children and/or youth at any time.

I understand that as a person working with and/or providing services to children and youth under the auspices of (name of school) I am subject to a criminal history background check. My signature confirms that I have read this Code of Conduct and that as a person working with children and youth I agree to follow these standards. I understand that any action inconsistent with this Code of Conduct or failure to take action mandated by this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from my position.

Name (print): ____________________________ Signature/Date: _________________________________


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