NYYM Child Protection Policy
NEW YORK YEARLY MEETING SESSIONS COMMITTEE
Child Protection Policy to Reduce the Risk of Child Abuse
- Everyone working with children must submit a completed form (download here)
- Please fill and sign electronically (by typing your name). Please be sure to rename the file to include your name in the format: "Lastname-Firstname-NYYM-ChildProtectionPolicy-FormForVolunteers.pdf". You can also print and scan the form, or mail it to the office if you prefer to sign by hand.
- Submit your completed form to NYYM Sessions Committee by uploading it to this secure form.
- If you have any questions, please email [email protected].
This policy and form have been developed to ensure that our Yearly Meeting environment is a place
of safety and security for our children. We hope the establishment and application of these policies will serve as a source of security and trust for all of New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM).
B. THOSE affected by this policy, DURING NYYM CHILDREN / YOUTH PROGRAM HOURS ONLY: (Parents are responsible for their children outside of program hours)
- All Junior Yearly Meeting coordinators and volunteers at Summer Sessions,
- Persons of any age providing any level of care for children of any age at NYYM Spring and Fall Sessions,
- Adults driving children (other than their own) in vehicles to or from
NYYM-sponsored events at the request of NYYM event coordinators,
- Adult volunteers who supervise NYYM-sponsored overnight events, and
- Adults who may provide one-on-one counseling or mentoring to children via the Circle of Care and Concern, the Child Abuse Investigation Team, and or the Community Agreements Response Team. (Such adults may ask permission from parents to meet with their child outside of program hours.)
C. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTERING THE POLICY?
The NYYM Sessions Committee Clerk and Assistant Clerk ensure that all adults working with children at YM sessions are aware of this policy document. They work with the Spring Fall Sessions Coordinator & Liaison (SFSCL) and the Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) Coordinators to disseminate this document. Child Protection Registration Forms (CPRFs) are primarily completed online with an electronic signature and submitted to a secure password-protected folder. Only the NYYM Sessions Committee Clerk and Assistant Clerk have access to this folder. At any time, the SFSCL and or JYM Coordinators can ask if a certain person or list of people have submitted a form. Forms are kept until such time as a person indicates on their form; typically went they have completed their service to a Spring or Fall Sessions, or for a JYM volunteer, the person indicates that they will no longer be volunteering for JYM, so their form can be deleted.
Any allegations, concerns, or infractions regarding child safety are brought immediately to the NYYM Child Sexual Abuse Investigation Team (AIT) for response, and the AIT may require that the NYYM Sessions Committee Clerk and or Assistant Clerk share any appropriate completed CPRFs. The AIT will be identified before or at every NYYM session.
- Child, Children, Youth, or Minor: Any person(s) seventeen years of age or younger.
- Adult: Any person(s) over eighteen years of age.
- Child Abuse: Child sexual abuse includes sexual activity explicit or implicit, sexual advances or insinuations towards children, and or sharing indecent material with a child; child abuse also includes any form of physical maltreatment.
All information collected in connection with implementing this policy will be kept in the strictest confidence, to the extent allowed by law. All CPRFs generated in furtherance of this process will be kept strictly confidential. None of these records will be distributed to any entity other than the Clerk and Assistant Clerk of Sessions Committee unless required by law. If after reading each CPRF carefully, a person is denied the opportunity to work with the NYYM children, the applicant will be informed, but the reasons for such a decision will not be publicly revealed. In the event of denied form or an allegation of impropriety against any registrant, that registrant has the right to inspect their own file in the presence of the Clerk and or Assistant Clerk of Sessions Committee and has the right to submit written refutation of any materials they deem to be inaccurate or misleading.
F. REGISTRATION PROCESS
1. All individuals who plan to work with children at a NYYM session must
- Fill out and sign a CHILD PROTECTION REGISTRATION FORM (Appendix A);
- Be known to NYYM as a member, attender, or a regular YM sessions or Powell House participant;
- Be known to a NYYM member, Meeting or Powell House as a babysitter and or associated with child care for any NYYM entity;
- Show a willingness to allow a national criminal background check by filling out Appendix B.
2. Anyone who has been convicted of a crime, specifically against children, but also any crime including physical violence, will not be allowed to participate in any immediate NYYM youth-oriented activities, but a discussion can be started to explain the circumstances of the crime for reconsideration at a later session.
3. Anyone involved in an active investigation of an alleged crime against a child or an alleged crime that includes physical violence will not be allowed to participate in NYYM youth activities until after the investigation is complete and found to have no basis.
G. CONDUCT OF MEETING ACTIVITIES INVOLVING CHILDREN
- The principle of “No child left alone with an adult” will prevail. There should always be at least two adults or two children in any group. This principle applies especially in all secluded places including restrooms.
- PLEASE NOTE: In the event that only one adult is present with a group, any doors to the room must be left open and the JYM Coordinators or Children’s Program Coordinator must be informed of the lack of adult presences.
- Field trips or day excursions require the supervision of at least two adults who have been approved as a result of the registration process outlined above.
- The Junior Yearly Meeting Coordinators will conduct a training session at least once a year for anyone wishing to volunteer for JYM, typically as part of the JYM Planning Weekend. Other adults are welcome to attend if they have completed the Child Protection Registration Form. Training will cover prevention, discovery, and reporting of child abuse incidents.
H. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING OR HANDLING A REPORT OF AN ALLEGED CHILD ABUSE INCIDENT
- Upon hearing an allegation of child abuse, the LISTENER will listen fully and carefully to the complaint. They will reassure the child that they will be safe and that their complaint is being taken seriously.
- The LISTENER will make a record of the time, the place, the persons involved, the general nature of the incident, and the exact words used. They will NOT conduct an investigation.
- The LISTENER will inform any member of the NYYM Child Sexual Abuse Investigation Team (AIT) or the Clerk of Sessions Committee. The person receiving the report will follow up as outlined below.
- An incident report form will be filled out documenting the complaint and the victim’s exact words in describing what happened as a record of the complaint.
- AIT will discern if there is reasonable cause to make an immediate report to the state authorities.
- In order to ensure confidentiality and prevent any suspicion that the written report has been tampered with or changed, the incident report form will be sealed in an envelope and signed across the closing flap by the individuals making the report to the state authorities. This envelope will be placed in the care of the Clerk of Sessions Committee for use by the State authorities in their investigation of the claim.
- The AIT should inform the NYYM Trustees and insurance company agent of the incident.
- AIT will seek the advice of Trustee legal counsel before responding to media inquiries.
- AIT will review this policy statement to be sure all procedures are being followed and work with the insurance company or legal counsel as needed concerning the alleged incident.
- The membership of the AIT will always be made available in each NYYM session’s description.