Policy for Child Protection
1. Employees, contractors and volunteers of GTCYS who regularly work with children must meet the following qualifications:
• Successfully clear a criminal background check review upon appointment and approximately every 2 years thereafter; and
• Review, agree to abide by, and sign this policy; and
• Be interviewed by the Executive Director.
The Executive Director will review all positions and identify those that must meet some or all of the above qualifications. Those positions that are subject to these prerequisites include, but are not limited to, conductors, regular coaches, specialists, tour chaperones, and interns. GTCYS employees, contractors, and volunteers may also be required to participate in training sessions.
2. Short-term personnel, contractors or volunteers for whom it is not practicable to complete a criminal background check must review and agree to abide by this policy. Any such individuals should be supervised by a GTCYS representative who has met the full qualifications set forth in Section 1 above.
3. For the protection of GTCYS, its students, and its staff, volunteers and contractors, individuals who work with GTCYS students will avoid potentially compromising situations in which abuse could occur and/or an allegation of abuse could arise. GTCYS promotes a “Rule of Three” culture where staff, volunteers and contractors are encouraged to avoid situations where one child is alone with one staff, volunteer or contractor.
When performing work on behalf of GTCYS, staff, contractors and volunteers should avoid situations where they are alone with a single child (unless the GTCYS staff, contractor or volunteer is the child’s parent). If situations arise when this is not possible (e.g., a parent is late to pick up a student after rehearsal and there are no other GTCYS representatives or students present), then the staff, contractor or volunteer should take precautions to remain in an open public area with the child. GTCYS staff, contractors and volunteers should avoid situations where they are alone with a single child behind closed doors or in an isolated and private location.
4. Minors involved in coaching other students will be supervised to confirm they are acting in a manner consistent with this policy including leading any instruction in a rehearsal space or area equipped with a window or open door.
5. With the exception of activities involving their own children or other relatives, or apart from conducting official GTCYS business, employees, contractors and volunteers of GTCYS should not instigate or maintain a personal relationship with any GTCYS student in any form including on any social media platforms. All contact with GTCYS students outside of rehearsals, performances, tours or other GTCYS’ events should be initiated through the student’s parent/guardian so that the parent/guardian is aware of the circumstances surrounding the communications.
6. GTCYS staff, volunteers and contractors should examine rehearsal, retreat, concert and other venues for GTCYS programs and activities to address potential areas of concern including areas with doors that lock; doors that do not have windows that would permit individuals outside to view activities inside the room; dark, out-of-the-way places, such as remote staircases; and areas created to promote privacy such as restrooms, bathing facilities, changing rooms and locker rooms. Windows to rooms should remain uncovered. When appropriate, doors should remain propped open. GTCYS staff, volunteers and contractors are encouraged to engage in “drop-ins” to ensure that the letter and spirit of this policy is being observed and promoted.
7. Any GTCYS student, parent, employee, contractor or volunteer who knows or suspects that a student has been subjected to physical or sexual abuse in connection with a GTCYS program or activity should report the incident to the student’s conductor, or the Executive Director. GTCYS staff, contractors and volunteers may be required by law to report any known or suspected abuse or neglect of a GTCYS student to law enforcement and/or child protection services, and these GTCYS representatives are strongly encouraged to contact law enforcement and/or child protection services if they become aware of known or suspected abuse or neglect.
8. In the event that GTCYS receives an allegation of abuse of a child or GTCYS becomes aware of any incident in which there is a concern for the safety or well-being of a child under the supervision of GTCYS, GTCYS will conduct an appropriate investigation into the matter and, if appropriate, involve law enforcement and/or child protection services. GTCYS reserves the right to take interim protective measures to ensure the safety of GTCYS’ students while an investigation is pending. GTCYS will strive to conduct its investigation in a manner that respects the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved in the investigation.
9. In addition to prohibiting abuse of minors, this policy prohibits any retaliation against employees, contractors, volunteers, students and parents/guardians for making a good faith report under this policy and for participating in an investigation into allegations of abuse.
10. This policy will be disseminated to all parents and students in the students’ handbooks. It will also be presented to GTCYS employees, contractors and volunteers (including members of GTCYS’ Board of Directors) annually.
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