ABUSE AND MOLESTATION POLICY
STATEMENT OF POLICY:
Professionals, employees, and volunteers of The Optimist Club of Town and Country Round Rock; Town and Country Optimist Foundation & or The Miracle League at Town and Country organization shall not engage in sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, physical abuse, and/or emotional maltreatment of children, youth and adult.
Persons in a role of leadership, with children, youth, and adults shall include all employees & volunteer staff, who have a direct or indirect contact with the same who participate in any activities or events sponsored by Town & Country organization.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse means unwanted physical conduct of a sexual nature, sexual contact or sexualized behavior and may include, by example, touching, fondling, other physical contact and sexual relations. Child/youth/adult sexual abuse is the sexual exploitation or use of same for satisfaction of sexual drives. It includes but is not limited to: (1) incest, (2) rape, (3) prostitution, (4) any sexual intercourse, or deviant sexual conduct with fondling of a child, youth, or adult in the program or at sponsored activities.
- Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advance or demand, either verbal or physical that is reasonably perceived by the recipient as demeaning, intimidating or coercive. Sexual harassment must be understood as an exploitation of a power relationship rather than as an exclusively sexual issue. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the creation of a hostile or abusive working environment resulting from discrimination on the basis of gender. 3. Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct means a chargeable offense.
- Physical abuse: Any act of omission or an act that endangers a person’s physical or mental health. This definition includes any non-accidental physical injury caused by a caretaker. Physical abuse may result from punishment that is overly punitive or inappropriate to the individual’s age or condition. In addition, physical abuse may result from purposeful acts that pose serious danger to the physical health of a child, youth or adult.
- Emotional Maltreatment: Persistent or extreme thwarting of a child’s youth or vulnerable person’s basic emotional needs (such as the need to feel safe and accepted.)
Professionals, employees and volunteers shall be provided a copy of this policy and shall receive training information to assist in the implementation of this policy.
Making a Complaint:
Persons who have knowledge of possible violations of this policy by Professionals, employees and volunteers should report to appropriate supervisors and administrators. The administration will take action in investigation, reporting, due process, and take action to seek justice.
It shall be the policy and covenant of Town & Country, to do everything in our power to prevent physical, emotional or sexual abuse against children, youth and adults involved in our operations and with any event sponsored by the Town & Country. We are aware of our legal
responsibilities, and the need to comply with those responsibilities, we will go beyond those responsibilities when necessary to act justly in the best interest of those who have been abused or those who are most vulnerable to abuse.
This policy and its provisions shall apply to all employees and volunteers who have any direct and indirect contact with children and/or youth and/or adults who participate in any activities or events sponsored by Town & Country.
Screening for Volunteers or Staff:
Careful screening is one way to prevent the abuse of children, youth and adults. Screening calls for careful gathering and review of information in search of persons who can provide safe and caring supervision in a safe environment.
- Prior employment or acceptance as a volunteer or paid staff person, the event coordinator or Administrator in charge of an event or program shall direct each prospective worker to complete the application/consent form. By signing the form, the applicant will give the Town & Country organization permission to contact references and perform necessary investigation to complete the review of the application.
- Town & Country shall facilitate a screening check with the appropriate agency.
- The Administrator shall request references.
- The leader shall receive the completed forms and reports and review them. If any of the reports raise questions about the fitness of the applicant, the leader should disapprove the application and notify the applicant. Town & Country reserves the right to turn away any persons for volunteer or paid service.
- If the applicant (either volunteer or paid) is found to have been in any activity in which the applicant abused or exploited children, youth, or adults, the applicant will not be hired/approved. Any conviction of a crime against children, youth, or adults shall disqualify any applicant.
- Results of screens shall be kept confidential.
- When the necessity of reporting occurs, the protection of children, youth, and adults must be paramount.
- Reporting: Immediately upon receipt of an allegation of violation of policy the leader of the Organization involved shall be notified. The leader shall notify the insurance carrier. The leader shall notify the Crisis Management Team. The leader or Crisis Management Team will facilitate reporting to the SRS and/or law enforcement agencies, as appropriate according to State and Federal reporting guidelines.
- The person against whom an allegation has been made “Respondent” will immediately be suspended from working with children, youth, adults.
- If a minor is involved, that person’s parent (s) guardian (s) shall be notified of the alleged violation of policy by a person designated by the Crises Management Team.
- When the Respondent is not certified or is certified through the proper procedures, the Crises Management Team shall assist the investigation of the complaint and the process to use to work through the complaint. This may include assistance with legal and public relations issues as well as interviews necessary for the investigation of the complaint. Decisions of resolution shall ultimately rest with the Board of Directors
- The Crisis Management Team will determine who needs to be interviewed to determine the nature of the alleged violation and its impact. All Conversations shall be documented including such things as (but not exclusive of) date, time, place, and names of person or persons involved. In addition, the substance of the conversation shall be documented with the person interviewed shall be asked to review notes for accuracy and actions taken by the Crisis Management Team of Certification Authority are to be documented.
- If a formal complaint is made, the Crisis Management Team shall provide the respondent with a copy of the complaint.
- Those making the allegations (“Complainant”), the parent (s), guardian (s) of any minor involved, the Respondent, and any result of the investigation and final decision of the Certification Authority. In all cases all documentation shall be retained in a confidential, personal file.
- The Crisis Management Team will determine when and with whom information needs to be shared. If investigations or allegations of abuse should come to the attention of the media, a response shall come from a spokesperson.
10.It be the goals of the Town & Country to provide supportive care to both Complainant and the Respondent, and to restore such persons to wholeness. Supportive care can include the procedures of the criminal justice system and appropriate counseling referrals.
11.If the Complaint should desire to appeal the decision of the Crisis Management Team Board, Legal Council will be consulted. The Crisis Management Team will be made up of the Club’s President, President Elect & Immediate Past President