Safety Guidelines and Protocol
Protection of Minors/Protection of Volunteers

General Overarching Guidelines for Serving Our Young Guests

Francis in the Schools requires all volunteers to do their best to maintain the highest standards of personal behavior at all times when interacting with our young guests. Francis in the Schools volunteers must go beyond the standard “Protection of Minors” guidelines and understand that we wish to treat the children with the greatest respect, dignity, kindness, understanding, and care they have ever experienced. We believe the children deserve such behavior, as they are the beloved children of the Great King.

Francis in the Schools volunteers are asked to listen to and interact with minors in a genuinely positive and friendly manner.

All Francis in the Schools volunteers are asked to go through training with the Executive Director or another senior staff volunteer to learn how to become increasingly aware of how their actions and intentions might appear – how they might be perceived and misinterpreted.

In general, the Francis in the Schools program wishes to ensure the physical, emotional, sexual, and overall safety of the children, the parent and teacher volunteers, and the community volunteers helping to host each event.

Schools

Before field trips are finalized, principals and teachers are made aware that they are solely responsible for the safety of their students. Francis in the Schools volunteers are never permitted to be alone with a child or children and may never escort children to the bathroom. Teachers and principals are asked to provide as many parent chaperones as they feel necessary to provide for the safe supervision of their students. They are also asked to share our Francis in the Schools safety information with parent chaperones prior to the field trip.

Volunteers

The Executive Director or other trained Francis in the Schools mandated reporters meet individually or in small and large groups with Francis in the Schools volunteers to teach and emphasize the crucial importance of child safety – physical, sexual, and emotional – as well as volunteer safety.

Mandated Reporting

Francis in the Schools volunteers who are mandated reporters in their professional career must remember they are not serving as a mandated reporter at the Francis in the Schools events.

If a volunteer suspects a child to be the victim of at-home or at-school physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, they should contact one of our on-site Francis in the Schools safety officers, Dr. Ivy Summers, Dr. Jimmy Venza, Caroline Chiara, or the Executive Director, Terry Johnson.

Probationary Procedure for Volunteers Who Breech Our Code of Conduct Guidelines

Francis in the Schools has absolutely zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior toward children or adults.

When volunteers behave impolitely toward a child or group of children, the Executive Director meets with them and explains the terms of their probation. They will not be not permitted to interact with children for a designated number of events until they demonstrate a clear understanding of our goals – to serve the children with the utmost respect, kindness and tolerance. If the volunteer feels they have developed greater self-control, they may be permitted to serve as a volunteer again but only on a trial basis. In such circumstances, a volunteer on probation is partnered with a highly-trained volunteer who is told that their job is to monitor the behavior of the returning volunteer. If there is even a hint of inappropriate behavior, the partner must contact Terry Johnson immediately and the volunteer on probation is excused and replaced right away.

When volunteers behave inappropriately toward a fellow volunteer, the same probationary guidelines are in effect.