Information Bulletin – Children and Youth Programs
Providing a safe environment for your children is our top priority and we appreciate that you entrust us with your child’s care. We would like to provide you with some information about some of our program and safety expectations that are in place while your children are at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre (WNC).
As a child-centered agency, WNC takes a number of pro-active and preventative steps to ensure we maintain a safe space and that our staff team are trained to promote, create and maintain safe and health program environments. Each year Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre team members are trained in first aid, safety protocols, including fire and emergency lockdown safety drills in partnership with our two school partners, anti-bullying techniques and review best practices related to program activities that will help us to provide a quality and safe experience for our participants.
One of the program tools that WNC is using to promote child and youth resiliency is a Developmental Asset framework consisting of 40 protective factors that research has found to be key aspects to healthy development.
The Developmental Assets are defined as positive experiences, qualities, behaviours and characteristics that youth and children need in order to grow up to become healthy and successful adults. We encourage you to learn about these 40 protective factors at: http://www.search-institute.org/research/developmental-assets
We focus our efforts on two protective factors: (1) Boundaries & Expectations and (2) Constructive Use of Time.
In particular, maintaining appropriate boundaries with children/youth will help them build their personal security, learn how to create healthy relationships and set their own personal boundaries. Adults who respect a child/youth’s personal boundaries (including physical, emotional and sexual boundaries) teach children/youth how they should expect to be treated by others.
WNC is committed to teaching children/youth to respect personal space and privacy. Children/youth activities have their own program space which is supervised directly by WNC employees. This is another aspect of teaching children/youth how to set personal boundaries, create safe places for themselves as well as build their security and leadership skills.
To further our Safety 1st strategy, we have adopted the ‘Commit to Kids’ program developed by the Canadian Centre of Child Protection, which teaches organizations and their staff how to define appropriate boundaries between adults and children and create safe, respectful environments. We recently implemented the program’s ‘Child and Youth Protection Policies and Procedures’ manual and have trained WNC staff and volunteers to ensure they are knowledgeable about, and take specific measures to protect children and youth in the course of their work and volunteer efforts.
All WNC staff and volunteers are required to adhere to WNC’s Code of Conduct and to undergo extensive reference checks and a Police Reference Check – Vulnerable Sector Screening Program.
We invite you to visit the Commit to Kids website to learn more about the safety approach that we are using: (www.commit2kids.ca). You can also visit the WNC web site to view the WNC Staff and Volunteer Code of Conduct and WNC’s Child and Youth Protection Manual which includes risk management procedures.
We also ask that you respect our staff in carrying out their daily duties and if concerns arise, WNC has a Complaints Procedure that can also be found posted at WNC or on the WNC website at www.waterfrontnc.ca.
If you would like to discuss our programs further, please feel free to contact Leona Rodall, Executive Director at: 416.392.1509 ext. 302 I Leona@waterfrontnc.ca.