Code of Conduct to Protect Children (St. Columban SC)

PrintCode of Conduct to Protect Children


St Columban Soccer Club has developed the following Child Protection Code of Conduct to guide our volunteers/participants/parents/guests in their interactions with children. The safety, rights and well-being of children we serve are at the core of our daily programs.  We nurture supportive relationships with children while balancing and encouraging appropriate boundaries. 

Why a Child Protection Code of Conduct is important? 

Our organization is committed to ensuring all children are protected and safe. A Code of Conduct is an important part of creating safe environments for children. The safety, well-being and rights of children participating in our programs are a priority in our daily operations.  

The intent of the Code of Conduct is to guide our staff/volunteers/parents/participants and guests in developing healthy relationships with the children involved in sport programs delivered by our organization.  

Treating Children with Dignity and Maintaining Boundaries 

All staff/volunteers/parents/participants and guests must: 

  • Treat all children with respect and dignity; and
  • Establish, respect, and maintain appropriate boundaries with all children, families and guests involved in activities or programs delivered by the organization. 

It is important to monitor your behaviour towards children and pay close attention to the behaviour of others to ensure that safe and enjoyable experience is held by all. 

All interactions and activities with children 

  • should be known to, and approved by the executive, where applicable, and the parents of the child; 
  • tied to your duties; and
  • designed to develop the child’s skills in the sport program. 

Always consider the child’s reaction to any activities, conversations, behaviour or other interactions. If at any time you are in doubt  about the appropriateness of your own behaviour or the behaviour of others, you should discuss it with one of the St. Columban Soccer Executive Members.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour toward a child 

  • Embarrassing 
  • Shaming 
  • Blaming  
  • Humiliating 
  • Putting them down 

General Rules of Behaviour

Volunteers of the organization must not: 

  • Engage in any sort of physical contact with a child that may make the child, or a reasonable observer feel uncomfortable, or that may be seen by a reasonable observer to be violating reasonable boundaries;  
  • Engage in any communication with a child within or outside of duties with the child, that may make the child uncomfortable or that may be seen by a reasonable observer to be violating reasonable boundaries;  
  • Engage in any behaviour that goes against (or appears to go against) the organization’s mandate, policies, or Code of Conduct to Protect Children, regardless of whether they are serving the organization at that moment; and  
  • Conduct their own investigation into allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal or inappropriate behaviour – it is a staff/ volunteer’s duty to report the matter to the designated person, Child Welfare Agency, or law enforcement, not to investigate. 

What Constitutes Inappropriate Behaviour 

Inappropriate behaviour includes: 

1. Inappropriate Communication. Communication with a child or his/her family outside of the context of duties for the organization, regardless of who initiated the exchange. For example: 

  • Personal phone calls not tied to duties with the child;
  • Electronic communications (email, text message, instant message, online chats, social networking including “friending”, etc.)  not tied to duties with the child;
  • Personal letters not tied to duties with the child; and
  • Excessive communications (online or offline).

2. Inappropriate Contact. Spending unauthorized time with a child outside of designated duties with the organization.  

3. Favouritism. Singling out a child or certain children and providing special privileges and attention. (for example, paying a lot of attention to, giving or sending personalized gifts, or allowing privileges that are excessive, unwarranted or inappropriate.) 

4. Taking Personal Photos/Videos. Using a personal cell phone, camera or video to take pictures of a child, or allowing any other person to do so, as well as uploading or copying any pictures you may have taken of a child to the Internet or any personal storage device. Pictures taken as part of your job duties are acceptable, however, the pictures are to remain with the organization and not be used by you in a personal capacity. 

5. Telling sexual jokes to a child or making comments to a child that are or is in any way suggestive, explicit or personal. 

6. Showing a child material that is sexual in nature, including, signs, cartoons, graphic novels, calendars, literature, photographs, screensavers, or displaying such material in plain view of a child, or making such material available to a child. 

7. Intimidating or threatening a child. 

8. Making fun of a child. 

Inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated, especially as it relates to the well-being of the children involved in activities or programs delivered by the sport organization.  

Whether or not a particular behaviour or action constitutes inappropriate behaviour will be a matter determined by the organization having regard to all of the circumstances, including past behaviour, and allegations or suspicions related to such behaviour.  

Reporting Requirements 

All volunteers must report suspected child sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour or incidents that they become aware of, whether the behaviour or incidents were personally witnessed or not.  

Where to report:  

1. All allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour (for example, child sexual abuse) that a staff/volunteer witnesses first-hand, must be promptly reported to police and/or child welfare.  

2. To ensure the protection of all children in our care, all allegations or suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour that a staff/volunteer learns of must also be promptly reported to police and/or child welfare. Police and/or child welfare will make the determination as to whether the allegation or suspicion requires further investigation. 

3. All allegations or suspicions of inappropriate behaviour (see above examples), that a staff/volunteer learns of or witnesses first-hand, must be reported to the designate for the sport organization. 

Keep in mind that you may learn of potentially illegal or inappropriate behaviour through the child or some other third party, or you may witness it first-hand. Examples of the type behaviour you may learn of or witness and that you must report as set out above includes: 

a. Potentially Illegal behaviour by a Staff/Volunteer of the organization 

b. Potential Illegal behaviour by a third party, such as a Parent, Teacher, Babysitter, Coach 

If you are not sure whether the issue you have witnessed or heard about involves potentially illegal behaviour or inappropriate behaviour, discuss the issue with the designated person within your organization who will support you through the process. 

Remember: You have an independent duty to report all suspicions of potentially illegal behaviour directly to police and/or child welfare. 

Follow up on Reporting 

When an allegation or suspicion of potentially illegal behaviour is reported, police and/or a child welfare agency will be notified. The St Columban Soccer Club Executive will follow up internally as appropriate.  

When an allegation or suspicion of inappropriate behaviour is made, the St Columban Soccer Club organization will follow up on the matter to gather information about what happened and determine what, if any, formal or other disciplinary action is required.  

In the case of inappropriate behaviour, if: 

  • Multiple behaviours were reported; 
  • Inappropriate behaviour is recurring; or  
  • The reported behaviour is of serious concern. 

the organization may refer the matter to a child welfare agency or police.