Child safety issues
In order to protect students, Frontier College screens all volunteers who tutor in its programs. As a volunteer, and indeed as a citizen, your role includes looking out for the safety of students. If in your honest judgment, you believe that a child may not be safe, either because of the child’s behaviour or someone else’s, it is your legal responsibility to contact Children’s Aid to report your concerns. Speak with the teacher or the person who is in charge of the program to help you with this action.
If a child discloses an abusive situation to you:
- Tell the child that you will need to tell someone else if they are being hurt.
- Listen without detailed questioning.
- When the child is finished talking, tell him or her:
- You have to tell someone else about what he or she said.
- You will try to help him or her.
- Remember that you cannot counsel the child (leave this job to trained professionals).
- Offer assurance to the child that you believe him or her.
- After the child has left, write down everything he or she has told you.
- Speak to the program supervisor, whether it is a teacher, a community member or a Frontier College staff person.
- Call the Children’s Aid Society or Family and Children’s Services in your area right away. Ask them what you should do next. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will guide you through the next steps of the reporting process.
- If you cannot contact Children’s Aid immediately, let the child go home, unless you
believe the child is in immediate danger.
For more information on your responsibilities under the Child and Family Services Act go to www.children.gov.on.ca/CS/en/programs/ChildProtection/Publications/repChAbuse.htm
To protect yourself and your students:
- Meet with your students only during the hours of the program.
- Always tutor in an open area where others can see you.
- Only exchange phone numbers or email addresses with your students with parental written permission and involvement.
- Avoid discussing topics (such as sex, drugs or risky behaviours) that might be misunderstood and might place you in a difficult situation.