Code of Conduct to Protect ChildrenChi Protection
North Toronto Soccer Club (NTSC) has developed the following Child Protection Code of Conduct to guide our employees/volunteers in their interactions with children. The safety, rights and well-being of the children we serve are at the core of all our daily programs. We nurture supportive relationships with children while balancing and maintaining appropriate boundaries in accordance with the Ontario Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
Why a code of Conduct to Protect Children?
Our organization is committed to ensuring all children are protected and safe. A Code of Conduct is an essential part of creating safe environments for children. The safety, rights and well-being of children participating in our programs is a priority in our daily operations.
The intent of the Code of Conduct is to guide our staff/volunteers in developing healthy relationships with the children involved in sport programs delivered by our organization and to model appropriate boundaries.
Treating Children with Dignity and Maintaining Boundaries:
All staff/volunteers must:
- Treat all children with respect and dignity.
- Establish, respect, and maintain appropriate boundaries with all children and families involved in activities or programs delivered by NTSC.
It is important to monitor your own behaviour towards children, and pay close attention to the behaviour of your peers to ensure that behaviour is appropriate and respectful, and will be perceived as such by others.
All of your interactions and activities with children:
- should be known to, approved by the board, where applicable, and the parents of the child
- tied to your duties , and
- designed to develop the child’s skills in the sport program.
Always consider the child’s reaction to any activities, conversations, behaviour or other interactions. If at any time you are in doubt about the appropriateness of your own behaviour or the behaviour of others, you should discuss it with the designated persons within NTSC. Contact information for NTSC designated persons can be found on at the bottom of this page.
Examples of unacceptable behaviour toward a child:
- putting them down
- showing favouritsm
General Rules of Behaviour:
Staff/volunteers of NTSC must not:
- Engage in any sort of physical contact with a child that may make the child or a reasonable observer feel uncomfortable, or that may be seen by a reasonable observer to be violating reasonable boundaries.
- Engage in any communication with a child within or outside of duties with the child, that may make the child uncomfortable or that may be seen by a reasonable observer to be violating reasonable boundaries.
- Engage in any behaviour that goes against (or appears to go against) NTSC’s mandate, policies, or Code of Conduct to Protect Children, regardless of whether or not they are serving the organization at that moment.
- Conduct their own investigation into allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal or inappropriate behaviour. It is a staff/volunteer’s duty to report the matter to the designated person, Child Welfare Agency, or law enforcement, not to investigate.
What constitutes Inappropriate Behaviour:
Inappropriate behaviour includes:
- Inappropriate Communication. Communication with a child or his/her family outside of the context of duties for NTSC, regardless of who initiated the exchange.
- Personal phone calls
- Electronic communications (email, text message, instant message, online chats, social networking including “friending”,etc.)
- Personal letters or cards
- Excessive communications (online or offline)
2. Inappropriate Contact. Spending unauthorized time with a child outside of designated work times and volunteer activities. You must report all contact with a child or the child’s family outside of designated work times and activities BEFORE the contact occurs to NTSC designated person. Contact information for NTSC designated persons is at the bottom of this page.
3. Favouritism. Singling out a child or certain children and providing special privileges and attention. (for example, paying a lot of attention to, giving or sending personalized gifts, or allowing privileges that are excessive, unwarranted or inappropriate.)
4. Taking Personal Photos/Videos. Using a personal cell phone, camera or video to take pictures of a child, or allowing any other person to do so, as well as uploading or copying any pictures you may have taken of a child to the Internet, social media sites, or any personal storage device. Pictures taken as part of your job duties are acceptable, however, the pictures are to remain with the organization and not be used by you in a personal capacity.
Inappropriate behaviour also includes:
5. Telling sexual jokes to a child, or making comments to a child that are or is in any way suggestive, explicit or personal.
6. Showing a child material that is sexual in nature, including, signs, cartoons, graphic novels, calendars, literature, photographs, screen savers, or displaying such material in plain view of a child, or making such material available to a child
7. Intimidating or threatening a child
8. Making fun of a child
Inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated, especially as it relates to the well-being of the children involved in activities or programs delivered by NTSC.
Whether or not a particular behavior or action constitutes inappropriate behaviour will be a matter determined by NTSC having regard to all of the circumstances, including past behaviour, and allegations or suspicions related to such behaviour.
All NTSC staff and volunteers must report suspected child sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour or incidents that they become aware of, whether the behaviour or incidents were personally witnessed or not.
Where to report:
1. All allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour (for example, child sexual abuse) that a staff/volunteer witnesses first-hand, must be promptly reported to police and/or child welfare.
2. To ensure the protection of all children in our care, all allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour that a staff/volunteer learns of must also be promptly reported to police and/or child welfare. Police and/or child welfare will make the determination as to whether the allegation or suspicion requires further investigation.
3. All allegations or suspicions of inappropriate behaviour (see above examples), that a staff/volunteer learns of or witnesses first-hand, must be reported to the designate for NTSC. The NTSC designated persons' contact information is at the bottom of this page.
Keep in mind that you may learn of potentially illegal or inappropriate behaviour through the child or some other third party, or you may witness it first-hand. Examples of the type behaviour you may learn of or witness and that you must report as set out above includes:
a. Potentially Illegal behaviour by a NTSC Staff/Volunteer
b. Potential Illegal behaviour by a third party, such as a Parent, Teacher, Babysitter, Coach
If you are not sure whether the issue you have witnessed or heard about involves potentially illegal behaviour orinappropriate behaviour, discuss the issue with the NTSC designated person who will support you through the process. Contact information for North Toronto Soccer Club designated persons can be found at the bottom of this page.
Remember: You have an independent duty to report all suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour directly police and/or child welfare.
Follow up on Reporting:
When an allegation or suspicion of potentially illegal behaviour is reported, police and/or a child welfare agency will be notified. NTSC will follow up internally as appropriate.
When an allegation or suspicion of inappropriate behaviour is made, NTSC will follow up on the matter to gather information about what happened and determine what, if any, formal or other disciplinary action is required.
In the case of inappropriate behaviour, if:
• multiple behaviours were reported
• inappropriate behaviour is recurring, or
• the reported behaviour is of serious concern
NTSC may refer the matter to a child welfare agency or police.
Reporting Abuse and Neglect - It's Your Duty (Ontario)
Designated North Toronto Soccer Contact
Helena Ruken Member, Board of Directors
Doug Blair Executive Director (staff)