When working with children, it’s important to prioritize their safety and well-being at all times. One key safety measure is to ensure that no adult is ever alone with a child. This is important for several reasons:
Because of the reasons above, it is imperative that all interactions are appropriate, professional, and free from the risk of abuse or misunderstandings. Please ensure that you are never alone with a child when running the BusReady program.
No need to worry! It’s a common safety practice in many organizations in Canada and British Columbia to have at least two adults present during all interactions with youth. This helps to protect both the child and the adult, and minimize the risk of abuse or misunderstandings. Even if an adult has no harmful intentions, having another adult present is always the best choice.
You may be thinking – in what circumstance could this happen?
Example scenario: You are on the bus and your Co-Ambassador is leading the tour for the children. A child tugs on your sleeve, and quietly lets you know that they have to use the washroom. You, being a nice, kind and caring human, offer to take them to the washroom so you do not interrupt your Co-Ambassador, and so they do not need to walk there alone. You get off the bus and start walking the child back into the school to use the washroom. From inside the washroom, the child asks you for help with something (this could be an untied shoe, washing their hands, reaching the sink, etc). You enter the washroom to help the child. Now, you find yourself alone with a child in a room where there are no witnesses. Suddenly, you are at risk of a misunderstanding occuring between you and the child.
This scenario has happened too many times for me to count in normal youth practice. Telling a teacher about the child who has to use the washroom instead of taking them yourself would eliminate any risk to yourself or the child in the above scenario.
So, don’t worry – it’s normal! Ensuring that no adult is ever alone with a child is a common practice and a normal safety measure when working with youth. It is an important way to protect the safety and well-being of children, as well as to protect the adults who work with them. 🙂