Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Direct Service with Children

When working in direct service with children under the Program, the Member is expected to be a positive role model and act in a manner befitting their position. The following code of conduct is intended to protect the children, and also to protect Members from unfounded accusations. The Member needs to be highly aware of situations in which the Member’s actions could be misconstrued as inappropriate. Maintain professional boundaries at all times:

  • Behavior Management: Physical punishment and emotional shaming are not to be used to discipline minors participating in the Program. Consult with mentors and supervisors for alternative ways to foster positive behavior by the children.
  • Professional Boundaries: For the protection of minors on campus and for your own protection from unfounded accusations, be highly aware of situations in which your actions could be misconstrued as inappropriate. Maintain professional boundaries and avoid the following actions:
    • Ambiguous physical contact such as allowing minors to sit on your lap, massaging, tickling, hugging, etc.
    • Bathing or undressing in the presence of minors;
    • Taking photos of children or posting photos of children on social media;
    • Bringing a minor (or minors) other than family members to your home;
    • Being alone or at some distance apart from others with a minor. Follow these rules:
      • Follow the “rule of three” and always make sure there is another Authorized Staff member present with you, especially when assisting with dressing or bathroom use.
      • If privacy is required, meet with the minor in a location that is observable by other Authorized Staff or parents/guardians, such as through an open door, an office window or an outdoor/public location;
      • Minors should use a “buddy system” or otherwise be encouraged to stay together when going to the bathroom, on field trips, or when apart from the group.
      • When helping a single minor use a restroom, check that the interior is safe, then exit and allow the minor to use the restroom alone.
      • Use of Language with Children: Be highly aware of your words and tone of voice in the presence of minors (e.g., profanity, adult topics, sexual innuendo, risqué humor, stereotyping comments, etc.).
      • Behavior Between Children: Do not allow inappropriate language or touching among minors to go unchallenged.
      • Secrecy: Refrain from phrases like “this is our little secret” or similar language that encourages minors to conceal information from their parents or guardians.
      • Favoritism: Avoid the appearance of favoritism and partiality; do not give or receive personal gifts.
 The member is expected to, at all times while acting in an official capacity as an AmeriCorps member:
  • Complete all written documents, evaluations, timesheet and data collection forms as required by the Program Director;
  • Comply with the rules and standards of the program and service site;
  • Demonstrate mutual respect toward others;
  • Follow directions of the Program Director and Site Supervisor;
  • Direct concerns, problems, and suggestions to the Program Director.
 The member understands that the following acts also constitute a violation of the Program’s rules of conduct:
  • Unauthorized tardiness
  • Unauthorized absences (Members may be excused for illness but they are still required to notify their placement as soon as possible before their scheduled hours.  If a Member is absent because of illness for three consecutive days, a written excuse from a Medical Doctor will be required.)
  • Repeated use of inappropriate language (i.e., profanity, disrespect) at a service site
  • Failure to wear AmeriCorps logo to service assignments
  • Violation of the service site dress code
  • Failure to turn in student logs, monthly reports, homework and/or other assignments after a week of the assigned due date;
  • Stealing or lying
  • Engaging in any activity that may physically, emotionally or mentally damage other members of the program or people in the community
  • Unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of any controlled substance or illegal drugs during the term of service
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages during the performance of service activities 
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drugs during the performance of service activities
  • Failure to notify the program of any criminal arrest or conviction that occurs during the term of service
  • Explicit disregard of the program’s policies listed in the Member Service Agreement and the Member Handbook.