Code of Conduct for Volunteers
Our goal at Safe Haven Children’s Home is to create a safe and loving environment in which the children entrusted to our care are able to be in a safe place of healing, learn what it means to be loved, and to have their rights respected.
- Volunteer Schedule must be approved by their immediate supervisor and the Director.
- Personal and social visits during work hours are discouraged except in emergencies. Should an employee wish to invite a friend or relative to observe the work of SHCH, a written request must be given to the immediate supervisor, who will then submit the request to the Director for formal approval. Formal approval must be granted before the visit occurs.
- Every volunteer must read all notices, messages, and memos posted on the bulletin boards, which are maintained on the bulletin board outside the Directors Office.
- Volunteers who wish to take the children outside of the Safe Haven premises must have express permission before leaving Safe Haven with the children. Requests to take children for an outing must have express permission before planning the trip. Ask permission first BEFORE conveying any plans to the children or other staff.
- The mission is a charity organization. Being so, services of volunteers may be needed outside of normal time schedules; hence, volunteers must always be ready to render relief services in times of crisis.
- Respect Policies and Beliefs of organization.
Child Protection Policy
- SHCH staff and volunteers are absolutely not permitted to use any form of physical punishment, including spanking, slapping, paddling, belting, marching, pinching, pushing, grabbing, pulling hair, or any other form of physical discomfort. Staff members may not single out a child for ridicule, threaten harm to the child or the child’s family, and may not specifically aim to degrade a child or a child’s family. They may not use harsh, demeaning, or abusive language in the presence of children. SHCH does not believe in placing children in padded rooms or allowing them to tantrum until they are exhausted, as this does not promote attachment, safety, or training in self-regulation. If behavior is uncontrollable or the child does not respond to the discipline measures above, the appropriate supervisor should be contacted.
- Acceptable means of redirecting inappropriate behavior include correcting the child verbally, withholding a certain privilege or activity for a brief time, or separating a child from the group for a brief time (particularly if his behavior is endangering or upsetting other children.
- Selected staff are trained to use proper restraint and holding therapy to protect the child, the caregiver, and other clients. It is used at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons.
- Hand washing or usage of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer must be a regular habit for both children and Caregivers.
- Volunteers should not come to work if they are sick or not feeling well. The appropriate supervisor should be informed. If there is any reason to miss his/her schedule, the appropriate supervisor should immediately be informed.
- Volunteers may be asked to assist in cleaning and construction projects. However, all volunteers must ask the immediate supervisor before throwing anything away, using certain cleaning products, or organizing a space.
- Volunteers must obtain permission BEFORE having children assist them in activities.
- Volunteers must always report to designated supervisor or Executive Assistant regarding any untoward accidents or tantrums.
- Volunteers must not buy or give any gifts to (or grant requests of) any of the children without the approval of the Executive Director or Executive Assistant. Avoid making promises to children.
- Unless otherwise instructed, volunteers are not allowed to spend excessive time or show favoritism with a certain child.
- It is important that staff and volunteers protect themselves from allegations of abuse by demonstrating good practice. This means that they will avoid putting themselves into a position where they could be accused of abuse or of attempting to abuse a child. Examples of this include:
- A male caregiver in a girl’s area or a female caregiver in a boy’s area should be very careful when entering children’s bedrooms;
- Caregivers who are alone with a child should keep the door of the room open;
- Children should not be permitted to enter any staff member’s private rooms;
- Counseling or disciplining children should be done in an appropriate place, preferably a location where there are see-through doors. Other staff members should be made aware of the counseling or disciplinary meeting that is taking place.
- It is preferable that a lone staff member should not travel alone in a vehicle with a single child.
- Staff and volunteer should not enter rooms without permission
- SHCH recognizes that appropriate physical touch by caregivers is important in a child’s development. It is important, however, that staff avoid any appearance of inappropriate behavior. Staff and volunteers may not hold, kiss, cuddle or touch children in a culturally- insensitive way. Staff members should use good judgment, wisdom and caution in becoming personally involved with children who have emotional and/or psychological problems.
- Inappropriate physical contact includes the following:
- Demanding hugs and kisses;
- Touching chest, genital area, upper legs, buttocks, waist and stomach;
- Sitting child in the center of the caregivers’ lap;
- Seductiveness or suggestive contact;
- Physical contact of any kind which is done for the pleasure or satisfaction of caregivers;
- Any touching used to express power or control over a child, except holds/restraints that are used to prevent a child from hurting himself/herself or others.
- Any wrongdoing that breaks this policy should be reported to the Executive Director or the Executive Assistant.
- Volunteers must always attend to their work diligently and well. Idle talk and quarrel with co-volunteers must be avoided.
- If an argument cannot be resolved, see the Executive Assistant or Immediate Supervisor for help.
- A volunteer’s personal appearance must project a good image for the mission. Volunteers are expected to dress appropriately. Females: no short shorts or skirts and under no condition is cleavage (or underwear) to be visible unless in a beach. Males: no tank tops. Clothes with derogatory or disrespectful slogans and designs are prohibited.
- Volunteers must take proper care of all the property and supplies of SHCH.
- Volunteers must cooperate in maintaining the cleanliness of comfort rooms and the premises at all times.
- Volunteers must be courteous to everyone, especially to visitors.
- No information may be given regarding confidential matters of any client, patient, or child to anyone. This includes the Pruett family and other missionaries.
- No photos may be taken for personal use in posting on Facebook or any Internet platform without the express permission from the Executive Assistant or Executive Director. Arrangements can be made to have our Media personnel assist you with photographs needed.
- No volunteer may probe or ask about children’s family, medical history, or other sensitive personal information without the express permission of the Executive Director and supervision by an informed SHCH employee.
- If a volunteer overhears or observes another volunteer or an employee sharing or discussing confidential information in an inappropriate area, the Executive Assistant should be notified.
- Volunteers must feel free to make suggestions and maintain a healthy dialogue with their supervisor. If any volunteer has any complaint, he or she must go directly to their immediate supervisor who in turn will inform the Executive Director so the situation can be dealt with.
- Volunteers must consult their immediate supervisor regarding matters which may seem irregular and which they cannot decide upon, so that the supervisor concerned can notify the Executive Director for immediate action.
- Volunteers will take full responsibility for their personal gadgets and will not leave these in areas where children can find and take them. Volunteers may not allow their personal gadgets (phones, tablets, laptops) to be used by any child without permission from the Executive Director. If permission is granted, volunteer must supervise gadget use at ALL times.
- Volunteers who see children use the Internet without approval and supervision shall report to the Executive Assistant or their immediate supervisor.
- SHCH reserves the right to terminate any volunteer relationships, should the volunteer be found in violation of the policies and procedures of SHCH. SHCH also reserves the right to pursue legal action if necessary against a volunteer, should the offense be serious (ie. theft, abuse, slander).