Code of conduct for workers

Code of Conduct for Workers
Signed: MEaP Board
Last Updated: 10th February 2023
Review Date: February 2024

  1. Always remember that, while you are caring for other people’s children, you are in a position of trust, and your responsibilities to them and to the organisation must be uppermost in your mind at all times.
  2. Never use any kind of physical punishment or chastisement, such as smacking or hitting.
  3. Do not smoke in front of any child or young person.
  4. Do not use unprescribed drugs or be under the influence of alcohol.
  5. Never behave in a way that frightens or demeans any child or young person.
  6. Do not use any racist, sexist, discriminatory or offensive language.
  7. Generally, you should not give children presents or personal items. The exceptions to this would be a custom such as buying children a small birthday token or leaving present, or help to a family in need, such as equipment to enable them to participate in an activity. Both types of gift should come from the organisation and should be agreed with the named person for child protection and with the child’s or young person’s parent. Similarly, do not accept gifts yourself, other than small tokens for appropriate celebrations, which you should mention to the activity leader.
  8. You should not invite a young person to your home or arrange to see them outside the set activity times.
  9. You should not engage in any sexual activity (this would include using sexualised language) with a young person you meet through your duties, nor should you start a personal relationship with them. This would be an abuse of trust.
  10. Exercise caution about being alone with a child or young person. In situations where this may be needed (for example, where a young person wants to speak to you in private), think about ways of making this seem less secret – for example, by telling another worker or volunteer what you are doing and where you are, by leaving a door ajar, by being in earshot of others and lastly by noting the conversation in the log.
  11. Physical contact should be open and should be determined by the child’s needs, – for example, you might hug a child who is upset or help a child with toileting. Always prompt children to carry out personal care themselves. If they cannot manage on their own, ask if they would like help.
  12. Talk explicitly to children and young people about their right to be kept safe from harm.
  13. Listen to children and young people and take every opportunity to raise their self-esteem.
  14. Work as a team with your co-workers/volunteers. Agree with them what behaviour you expect from young people and be consistent in enforcing it.
  15. If you have to speak to a child/young person about their behaviour, remember that any criticism should be about ‘what they did’, rather than ‘who they are’.
  16. Make sure that you have read the child protection policy and that you feel confident that you know how to recognise when a child may be suffering harm, how to handle any disclosure and how to report any concerns.
  17. Seek advice and support from your colleagues, activity leaders or supervisors and the designated person for child protection.
  18. Seek opportunities for training, such as those available through the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  19. Remember to enjoy yourself!