The increasing incidence of reported child abuse is a special concern for Lion's Heart. It is the duty of all volunteers to recognize and report child abuse and neglect. Child abuse is damage to a child for which there is no "reasonable" explanation. Child abuse includes non-accidental physical injury, neglect, sexual molestation, and emotional abuse. The following guidelines have been adopted as the official policy.
Volunteer Recruitment, Training and Supervision
- In order to protect individuals, volunteers are encouraged to avoid, where possible, being alone with a single child.
- Lion's Heart volunteers will not, under any circumstances, discipline children by use of physical punishment or by failing to provide the necessities of care such as food or shelter.
- Lion's Heart volunteers should be alert to the physical and emotional state of all children each time they report for a program. Signs of injury or suspected child abuse should be reported to the Executive Director.
Responsibilities To Parents
- Parents will be informed about their child's program participation and may visit programs at any time.
- When there is suspicion of child abuse, volunteers to whom it has been reported will immediately inform the Executive Director. The reporting of suspected child abuse situations is a personal obligation as well as a professional and legal one.
- The designated Lion's Heart representative receiving the initial report is responsible for investigating the facts reported and the condition of the child. This should be done as soon as the report is received.
- Volunteers who suspect any child abuse should report the information to the Executive Director.
- In the event the reported incident involves a Lion's Heart volunteer, this individual will be relieved from all activities involving children until cleared.
- Regardless of where or under what circumstances the alleged incident takes place, if a Lion's Heart volunteer is involved, appropriate action will be taken.
- Lion's Heart volunteers should be sensitive to the need for confidentiality in the handling of information concerning child abuse. Volunteers will discuss matters pertaining to abuse and suspected abuse only with the appropriate Lion's Heart representatives.
Thank you for reviewing Lion's Heart Minor Protection Policy!
Updated March 9, 2015