JCCP Best Practices for Youth Safety
The majority of our JCCP student groups work with young people, so we ask that all JCCP student employees and volunteers read through our Best Practices for Youth Safety before beginning their civic engagement.
Privacy and Safety Protocols to keep children safe
- If working with a child in person you must not be alone with a child behind closed doors under any circumstances. Have another tutor with you or remain with the group.
- If working with a child remotely make sure that the parents or community partners are aware of your meetings and have the option to monitor them if desired.
- Maintain professionalism. Be mindful of what is in your background if working on Zoom and always use language that is appropriate and not harmful for children.
- The JCCP does not require our student employees or volunteers to get background checks. However, depending on your student group, your community partner may require that. For example, here is Middletown Public School’s Background Check Process.
- Be respectful and aware of community partners’ policies regarding youth safety.
- For more information regarding background checks, reference the Wesleyan University Policy on Health and Safety of Children and Youth.
- A mandated reporter is a professional who, because their work involves regular contact with children, is required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Teachers, school employees, and Wesleyan staff are all mandated reporters. As student employees or volunteers, you are NOT mandated reporters and are not required by law to make a report to DCF.
- However, if you do have any reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect, we expect you to reach out to a supervisor who is a mandated reporter.
- If in a school setting, you can talk to the teacher or administrator overseeing your work. Otherwise, you should reach out to JCCP staff. Once you have reported to a school employee or JCCP staff, you should also notify your group coordinators.
- If you want to learn more about Mandated Reporters and possible signs of abuse or neglect, you can watch the DCF’s Mandated Reporter Training.
All other situations
- If during your work you run into situations that you don’t know how to handle, please reach out! Your coordinators have experience doing this work and they will probably be able to help you resolve whatever issues you may be facing.
- Consider reaching out to your community partner or JCCP staff for guidance.
- See the Cardinal Community Commitment for more recommendations on how to interact in community.