Basic Volunteer Agreement
All volunteers providing services under the direction of Christie Lake Kids are insured through the organization’s general liability policy. This policy provides coverage for volunteers for any suits brought against the volunteer associated with his/her duty sanctioned by Christie Lake Kids. Please note that the policy does not cover fraudulent, illegal, dishonest or criminal acts committed by the volunteer and found to be so by a court.'
In the event that a volunteer gets injured while performing his or her duties that were sanctioned by Christie Lake Kids, s/he must report the accident to the Program Supervisor immediately. At this time, the necessary documentation will be completed. If injuries are long-term and/or require time off from work, volunteers must first make a claim to their personal insurance company (if applicable). CLK will then make a claim under our accident policy, but there is limited coverage at this time.
Volunteers are expected to attend all training sessions (personal safety, workplace safety) and take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety. When you are on duty, there will be at least one full-time staff on-site; should you have any safety concerns please speak to this supervisor. If you are unsatisfied, you may speak to the Manager of Inner City Programs or the Program Development Manager.
REMEMBER: You have the right to refuse any work assignment or task that you deem to be unsafe!
Your Typical CLK Volunteer Shift
Beginning Your Volunteer Shift
- Volunteers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to the beginning of program/event, unless otherwise instructed.
- Volunteers are encouraged to leave valuables at home.
- Volunteers should always be wearing appropriate attire, as deemed by the program/event supervisor.
- Check in with the event supervisor before things get underway, OR check in with the Program Supervisor and/or the Primary Instructor before STAR or LIT programs start, to discuss the activities and goals of the day.
- If participating in STAR or LIT programs, volunteers should acknowledge every child as s/he arrives; be enthusiastic and happy to see them. Ask how his/her day was and engage in a genuine and caring way.
During Your Volunteer Shift
- Volunteers should be in program or event areas throughout their entire volunteer shift, fulfilling the duties given to them prior;
- When participating in STAR or LIT programs, volunteers will engage all children, youth and fellow volunteers, and actively participate in programs. Volunteers are there to act as positive role models for and build positive relationships with, all of our participants.
Ending Your Volunteer Shift
- After each STAR or LIT program, all volunteers must check in with the Primary Instructor (and Program Supervisor, if appropriate) to debrief the program hour and discuss any questions or concerns, while also sharing and receiving feedback.
- Special events volunteers should check out with the onsite supervisor before leaving, to ensure all duties were completed and work areas are cleaned up and organized.
- This is also the appropriate time to have any forms/time sheets signed or to discuss upcoming evaluations with the Program Supervisor.
Please remember that we are working with vulnerable populations and personal boundaries must be clear and distinct.
- Avoid being alone with our participants. Doing so can put yourself and the participant at risk of allegedly inappropriate or misconstrued conduct between adults and children.
- Always let another staff member know where you are going, and when you’ll be back.
- Positive physical interaction between staff, volunteers and kids is important to creating meaningful relationships. Kids will often hug you without asking (it’s a natural expression of love and friendship), but please be sure that you ask a child if it is okay for you to give a hug, a high-five or a pat on the back.
- Do NOT “friend” participants on Facebook and do NOT “follow” participants on Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter or other social media platforms. Further, you are not allowed to have contact with any clients or families outside of program time, including telephone or text messaging conversations. If you need to be in touch, you can do so through CLK staff or through a common volunteer forum. This is another way for us to protect ourselves from becoming overly involved in the lives of our clients and reduces the risk of inappropriate conduct.
To promote and ensure the safety of all persons involved in Christie Lake Kids programs, all affiliates of CLK including employees, volunteers and students shall respect and adhere to the following guidelines:
- To never be left alone with a group or individual participants before, during or after programs;
- To be at all times within earshot and visible distance of a staff member;
- To act as a positive role model for children, youth, volunteers, instructors, staff and co-workers;
- To never contact program participants outside of program hours;
- To work in a manner that preserves confidentiality and encourages risk management;
- To respect and value the diversity of communities and individuals;
- To respect and abide by the Christie Lake Kids Policy and Procedure;
- To provide consent for Christie Lake Kids to run (via the police) a criminal record check as well as the appropriate identification; and
- To return to a CLK staff a completed and current criminal record check (valid for one year) before attending any programs, events or other volunteering with CLK.
Conflict of Interest
Take care to avoid any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest with respect to your volunteer responsibilities. It is essential that you disclose any and all real or perceived conflict of interest to your direct Supervisor. Do not use the influence of your role for any purpose other than carrying out your volunteer position responsibilities. When involved in a decision or action which you may have a personal or professional interest in the outcome, disclose and describe the interest to your supervisor prior to any discussion or action on the issue.
Dismissal of Volunteers
The Program Supervisor, in collaboration with the Program Development Manager, will determine if a volunteer should be dismissed. The determination of a volunteer’s sustainability for ongoing volunteer work will be based on observation of the volunteer’s performance by the Program Supervisor. When possible, volunteers will be given an opportunity to complete a corrective action plan which will be reviewed by the Supervisor.
A volunteer will be dismissed for any of the following infractions:
- Presence of physical or mental illness or behaviour which threatens the safety and/or well-being of the volunteer, staff or participants;
- Failure to comply with program policies and procedures;
- Failure to submit required volunteer documentation in a timely manner; and/or
- Obvious alcohol or drug abuse.
CLK works with a vulnerable population, so protecting the information and safety of our participants is incredibly important. You will likely be privy to confidential information about our participants and their families, so it is vital that you understand and uphold our high standards of protecting their privacy. You must treat all information as confidential and refrain from discussing anything that you may hear and/or experience as a direct result of interactions with our participants. You will never use the names or any other identifying information when speaking about the children we serve, or their families, outside of CLK programming.
Upholding confidentiality extends during all program time, and also any time after you have finished volunteering with CLK (after your shift, or after your time with us). You may not approach participants and/or use their information without the knowledge or consent of CLK and the participant. When/if you see a CLK participant in a setting that is outside of our programs or not directly related to any CLK activities, it is up to the participant to acknowledge you and initiate contact. We do not allow gossip or sharing secrets between participants and the staff who interact with them regularly. Do not repeat or share someone’s personal information or story, unless the young person is at risk of harming someone or him/herself. If you suspect such, speak to the Program Supervisor immediately.
Contact with parents/caregivers is likely to occur while you are in program and/or in the neighbourhood. They may ask how their child behaved in programs or what skill we worked on. In general, you are free to answer their questions or direct them to your Program Supervisor or Primary Instructor, but remember to use discretion when talking about behaviour with parents; any specific behavioural challenges will be addressed by CLK staff exclusively. As well, you may not speak to a parent/ caregiver about a child unrelated to the family.
In general, information sharing is done by CLK staff only. It is rare that a volunteer would act as a representative of CLK and have to be in contact with another community group or agency on behalf of our participants. Attendance sheets, participant files and case notes are protected property and are not to be provided to anyone without the proper written documentation (subpoena, warrant, signed consent, legal documentation request). These documents will only be provided by a CLK staff member.