Code of Conduct
Dream City Church Staff and volunteer leaders (also known as Tier 3) are responsible for maintaining a professional role with a minor or vulnerable adult, which means establishing and maintaining clear boundaries that serve to protect everyone from misunderstandings or a violation of the relationship.
This Code of Conduct sets out the behavior which Dream City Church expects from all Staff and volunteer leaders who are on campus, or who are off campus on a church related activity. To achieve the mission of Dream City Church and minister to our city, we must be aware of how our personal actions can threaten or damage the reputation of the Church, and its good standing in the global, religious community.
This code will help to protect a minor or vulnerable adult from abuse and inappropriate behavior from adults / volunteer leaders. It will also help staff and volunteer leaders understand and maintain the standard of behavior expected of them.
Secondly, this will also work to reduce the possibility of allegations of abuse being made against leaders and people in authority and provide possible victims a pathway for voicing their concerns.
And thirdly, this will also work to reduce the possibility of allegations of abuse being made against our organization.
Upholding this code of conduct
All staff and volunteer leaders are expected to report any breaches of this code to Dream City Church’s executive staff or human resources. Serious breaches may also result in a report being made to police and the local child protection services.
Dream City Church condemns all forms of child abuse, discrimination and sexual exploitation, and is committed to creating and maintaining an environment which promotes safety and inclusiveness for children. Child abuse occurs when adults or other children hurt minors or vulnerable adults, either physically, emotionally, sexually, through neglect, or in some other way.
Dream City Church is committed to and will provide a safe environment for people living with a disability, people with a cultural and/or linguistic diverse background.
- Conduct myself in a manner that is consistent with the values of Dream City Church.
- Treat all minors or vulnerable adult with respect, regardless of race, ethnicity gender, language, religion, political/other opinion, national/ethnic/social origin, property, disability, birth/other status.
- Provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all children, young people, parents, staff and volunteers.
- Follow and report any concerns of child abuse in accordance with the Dream City Church’s child protection policy and procedures.
- Respect cultural differences.
- Encourage open communication between all children, young people, parents, staff and volunteers, and allow children and young people to participate in the decisions that affect them.
- Be transparent in my actions and whereabouts.
- Take responsibility for ensuring I am accountable and do not place myself in positions where there is a risk of allegations being made. Wherever possible, I will ensure that another adult is present when I am working in the proximity of children.
- Mindful of my behavior, actions, language and relationships with minors.
- Avoid favoritism to children.
- Ensure any contact with a minor or vulnerable adult is appropriate and in the parameters of the program/event/ministry as stated.
- Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
- Ensure programs are made accessible for people with a disability, and to make changes where needed to assist any specific needs that may arise.
- Provide examples of good conduct in daily activities.
- Recognize that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Avoid overnight stays with a minor or vulnerable adult unless there is another adult present in a supervisory role.
- Avoid providing overnight accommodations for minors or vulnerable adults in private residences.
- Avoid driving alone in a vehicle with a minor or vulnerable adult or vulnerable adult.
- Assume the full burden for setting and maintaining clear, appropriate physical and emotional boundaries in all ministerial relationships.
- Refrain from giving expensive (over $50.00) or inappropriate gifts to a minor or vulnerable adult or vulnerable adult.
- Avoid meeting privately with minors or vulnerable adults in rooms, offices, or similar areas.
I WILL NOT:
- Engage in behavior that is intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade minors or vulnerable adults.
- Use inappropriate, offensive, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning, culturally inappropriate or discriminatory language when speaking with a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Allow allegations/suspected abuse/risk of harm or disclosures go unreported.
- Do things of a personal nature that a child can do for him/herself, such as assistance with toileting or changing clothes. If this is necessary, for example for a child with a disability, I will inform my supervisor first and be as open as possible in my behavior.
- Hit or physically assault children. This includes refraining from physical punishment or discipline of a minor or vulnerable adult
- Develop inappropriate relationships with a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Conduct a sexual relationship or contact with a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Seek to make contact and or spend time with any a minor or vulnerable adult that I come into contact with in my role as a representative of Dream City Church outside of the designated times and activities set for performing my role as a representative of the Dream City Church.
- Condone or participate in behavior of children that is illegal, unsafe or abusive.
- Act in a way that shows unfair and differential treatment of a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Use any computer, phone, or video and digital camera to exploit or harass a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Let a minor or vulnerable adult have your personal contact details (telephone number or address).
- Make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive.
- Make inappropriate promises to a minor or vulnerable adult, particularly in relation to confidentiality.
- Exaggerate or trivialize child abuse issues.
- Rely on your reputation or that of the organization to protect you.
- Introduce sexually explicit or pornographic topics, vocabulary, music, recordings, films, games, websites, computer software or entertainment to a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Provide alcohol, cigarettes or controlled substances to a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Use, possess, or be under the influence of illegal drugs.
- Use alcohol when engaged in ministering to a minor or vulnerable adult.
Conduct that May Be Permissible
Appropriate affection between Church personnel and minors and vulnerable adults constitutes a positive part of Church life and ministry. Nonetheless, any touching can be misunderstood and must be considered with great discretion. Depending on the circumstances, the following forms of affection are customarily (but not always) regarded as appropriate.
- Verbal praise
- Pats on the shoulder or back
- Hugs (brief)
- Holding hands while walking with small children
- Sitting beside small children
- Kneeling or bending down for hugs from small children
- Holding hands during prayer
- Pats on the head when culturally appropriate
Conduct that is Not Permissible
Some forms of physical affection have been used by adults to initiate inappropriate contact with minors. In order to maintain the safest possible environment for minors and vulnerable adults, the following are examples of affection that are NOT TO BE USED:
- Inappropriate or lengthy embraces
- Kisses on the mouth
- Holding minors over four years old on the lap
- Touching buttocks, chest, legs or genital areas
- Showing affection in isolated areas such as bedrooms, closets, staff-only areas or other private rooms
- Wrestling or tickling minors or vulnerable adults
- Piggyback rides
- Any type of massage given by minor to adult, or by adult to minor.
- Any form of unwanted affection
- Compliments that relate to physique or body development
I am responsible for my own actions and avoid actions and behaviors that could be in breach of this code of conduct and policies of Dream City Church.
I am aware that Dream City Church expects me at all time while on campus, or while I am off campus engaged on church related actives to uphold the standards of behavior described in the Code of Conduct. I also understand that legal steps may be taken if I am found to be in breach of the Code of Conduct.