Youth and Vulnerable Person Policy
Implemented June 2023 | Version 1.1
The Irish Association of Manitoba believes that everyone we come into contact with has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, partnership status, pregnancy or parental status, disability, health, or any other analogous personal status. The Irish Association of Manitoba will not tolerate abuse or exploitation by volunteers, members, employees, Directors of the Board, or anyone associated with Irish Association of Manitoba.
PROTECTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE POLICY THROUGH THE PREVENTION OF BULLYING, HARASSMENT AND ABUSE
The Irish Association of Manitoba is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of all our members and will not tolerate abuse, bullying, exploitation, harassment, or neglect.
Our Association must protect the interests of everyone involved and create and maintain a safe and respectful environment for all participants in Irish Association of Manitoba activities or events. We are to safeguard the welfare of every person with whom they come into contact in connection with any Irish Association of Manitoba activity or event.
To that end, we have adopted the following Policy and Procedures without limiting the generality of the preceding, it is the responsibility of everyone involved in the Irish Association of Manitoba.
a) Prevent all identified forms of bullying, abuse, harassment, exploitation, discrimination, or neglect.
b) Safeguard the welfare of everyone who participates in Irish Association of Manitoba, including vulnerable people.
c) Ensure that everyone, and particularly vulnerable people, understands their rights and how to protect themselves from bullying, abuse, harassment, exploitation, discrimination, or neglect. d) Prevent anyone who may put vulnerable people at risk from participating.
e) Report suspicions or allegations of abuse, bullying, exploitation, harassment, discrimination, or neglect to the Director of the Board of the Irish Association of Manitoba.
This Policy applies directly to all members and volunteers, involved in any Irish Association of Manitoba actives or events.
A Vulnerable Person means anyone who is or may be unable to take care of or protect themselves, for any reason, against any form of harm, attack, damage, neglect, or exploitation, who is involved in an Irish Association of Manitoba activity or event and to whom Irish Association of Manitoba may have a duty of care.
Some examples of a Vulnerable Person might include:
a) A Child or Children, less than 18 years of age, and
b) Any individual aged 18 years and above who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or is unable to protect themselves against harm or exploitation by reason of age, illness, emotional or physical trauma, disability, gender, sexual orientation, language,
or any other reason as the circumstances may dictate.
Abuse and Neglect
a) Child Abuse
Our increasing knowledge about the needs of children and the effects of their social environment on their growth and development is changing what we view as child abuse. Some practices that were considered acceptable are now generally believed to be abusive. Manitoba's Child Welfare Act and Canada's Criminal Code describe what behavior or conditions might be so harmful that it is necessary to stop or prevent them. The following are the major kinds of child abuse:
i. Emotional Abuse
Any action that causes serious mental or emotional harm to a child. May take the form of chronic exposure to alcohol or drug abuse, verbal attacks on a child's sense of self, repeated humiliation, or rejection. Exposure to violence or severe conflict in the home, forced isolation, restraint or causing a child to be afraid much of the time may also cause emotional harm. Emotional abuse rarely happens only once, and it is usually part of a particular way of relating to children.
ii. Physical Abuse
The intentional use of force on any part of a child's body whether they consent or not, which results in injury. It may be a single incident or a series or pattern of incidents.
iii. Sexual Abuse
The improper exposure of a child to sexual contact, activity, or behavior. It includes any sexual touching, intercourse, exploitation, child trafficking or exposure and can be perpetrated by anyone, including a parent, relative, friend, or stranger. Sexual abuse of a child is a criminal offence.
Any lack of care that causes serious harm to a child's development or endangers the child in any way. Physical neglect is the failure to meet the child's physical needs, including failing to provide adequate nutrition, clothing, shelter, health care and protection from harm. Emotional neglect is the failure to meet the child's emotional needs for affection and a sense of belonging. c) Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is violence, mistreatment, or neglect towards older adults. The abuse often comes from individuals in situations of power or trust (spouse, children, other family members, caregivers, service providers). It can also come from other individuals. Elder abuse can take many forms, including neglect, physical, psychological, or financial abuse, violation of rights and abandonment.
Bullying is a form of repeated aggression or humiliation perpetrated through the misuse of real or perceived power over a period of time. Bullying is to deliberately hurt or intimidate or exert power, control, or influence over someone.
Exploitation is the act of using or treating unfairly those who may be vulnerable, for whatever reason, by another person or group of people, who may or may not be in a position of authority or power. People exploit others to gain an unfair advantage or to benefit from the use or treatment of said individual or group of people.
Harassment means any conduct by an individual directed at and offensive to another person or persons and which the individual knew, or ought reasonably to have known, would cause offence or harm. It comprises any objectionable act, comment or display that belittles, demeans, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment or any act of intimidation or threat. Federal and provincial
legislation prohibits harassment related to race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, disability, pardoned conviction, or sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted and unsolicited sexual advance or conduct of a sexual nature that makes a person feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and may include physical contact, verbal comments, jokes, propositions and the display of offensive material or other behavior that creates a sexually or emotionally hostile environment. An act, even though not intended to, may still result in offence, humiliation, or intimidation. An act may constitute sexual harassment even if it was not intended to offend, humiliate, or intimidate. This behavior may be intentional or unintentional, one incident or a series of incidents. Penalties may apply in certain case.
Preventing and Responding to Bullying and Harassment
Everyone has the right to participate in Irish Association of Manitoba free from bullying and harassment.
Bullying is a form of repeated aggression or humiliation that is perpetrated through the misuse of real or perceived power over a period of time. Bullying is meant to deliberately hurt, or intimidate someone, or exert power over them.
Bullying is a behavior common among, but not limited to, children and youth and is often hidden from adults.
Harassment is any repeated, unwanted physical, verbal, or written behavior that offends or humiliates.
The following procedure helps our members and volunteers prevent and respond to bullying and harassment.
Preventing Bullying and Harassment
1. Everyone is expected to adhere to the Irish Association of Manitoba Code of Conduct in our Constitution.
2. Pursuant to the Code of Conduct, everyone has the right to be safe and has the responsibility to treat others with respect. We do not tolerate bullying and harassment at any Irish Association of Manitoba activity or event.
3. Parents and guardians must ensure that their child complies with the of Code of Conduct for youth involved in any activities and events. The information to explain the Code of Conduct and the consequences for parents of not helping prevent bullying and harassment must be explained before the activity.
Responding to Bullying and Harassment
1. Irish Association of Manitoba Members and Volunteers are expected to stop bullying behavior or harassment when either is observed.
2. When bullying behavior or harassment is suspected or reported to you: a. Stop the behavior.
b. Report specific details of the incident to any Board Director of the Irish Association of Manitoba or Chair responsible for the program or activity.
c. The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba will appoint two Board Directors to meet with the victim of the bullying or harassment to assess what happened and create a plan to build healthy relationships. When the victim is a youth, their parents/guardians must be informed.
d. If the two Board Directors determine that the victim was subject of bullying or harassment, they will discuss the impact of the alleged perpetrator's behavior with them the perpetrator will be held accountable for their actions and the Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba will establish appropriate constructive consequences. When the perpetrator is a youth, their parents/guardians will be informed immediately.
e. A meeting may be held with the participants in the activity. Everyone must understand that bullying or harassment is serious and has no place in Irish Association of Manitoba activities. More information about the behavior may be required and obtained from the other participants. Everyone will be involved in creating a restorative response to deter reoccurrence of the behavior. The solution is to enhance everyone's ability to have healthy, respectful relationships.
3. If all efforts to prevent and constructively address bullying or harassment have failed:
a. The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba may exclude the perpetrator from the remainder of the activity. Exclusion is to secure the welfare and safety of the victim and the positive functioning of the activity, and
b. The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba may recommend that the perpetrator be prohibited from participating in future activities if that person may pose a risk to others.
Vulnerable People Protection Reporting Procedure Introduction
Everyone has a duty to ensure the safety of vulnerable people. To the best of our ability, vulnerable people must be protected from all forms of abuse, including but not limited to physical, sexual, emotional, or exploitation and neglect. Everyone must monitor the welfare of vulnerable people participating in Irish Association of Manitoba programs and activities. The safety and protection of vulnerable people must take precedence over all other matters.
1. Anyone has a right to raise concerns or report allegations in confidence without fear of repercussions or other adverse effects.
2. If you are in any doubt, contact the Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba. They can assist in contacting provincial protective services or police.
3. Any person involved in the Irish Association of Manitoba against whom an allegation of sexual abuse or harassment is made must be removed from all contact with vulnerable people until the matter resolves.
4. If a vulnerable person discloses abuse, bullying or harassment to you:
a. Explain that assistance is available, and the incident must be reported to authorities. b. Allow the person to speak freely without interruption and accept what you are told. c. Offer reassurance and understanding. Do not make any judgment or show emotion. d. Ensure the person is safe from harm. If there is immediate risk call 911.
e. Make notes of your concerns, persons involved, what you saw, heard, where and when the incident took place. Use the victim's words when possible. Sign and date your notes.
f. Ensure that there is no further risk to any person during the Irish Association of Manitoba program or activity, and
g. Immediately report to:
I. The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba,
II. Provincial protective services or police.
5. If you are concerned about the welfare of a vulnerable person or their safety (including neglect self harm, homelessness):
a. Make notes of your concerns, persons involved, what you saw, heard, where and when the incident took place. Use the victim's words when possible. Sign and date your notes.
b. Ensure the person is safe from harm. Call 911 if there is an immediate risk.
c. c. Immediately report to:
I. The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba
II. Provincial protective services or police
6 If you receive a complaint or allegation about any Irish Association of Manitoba Member or volunteer:
a. Immediately inform any Director of the Board of the Irish Association of Manitoba b. Make notes of your concerns, persons involved, what you saw, heard, where and when the incident took place. Sign and date your notes, and
c. Immediately report to:
I. The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba
II. Provincial protective services or police
7 If a complaint or allegation is made about you, immediately notify a Director of the Board of the Irish Association of Manitoba.
8 When you notify the Director, you will need to provide all the information you have. Do not withhold any knowledge.
9 The Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Manitoba will conduct an independent and thorough investigation into any claims of abuse or harassment, including a determination for how to prevent a similar situation in the future.