All MOPS Australia personnel are required to comply with the MOPS Australia Code of Conduct.
Statement of Commitment
MOPS Australia deplores acts of sexual molestation, abuse and other forms of harassment and holds firmly to the Christian belief that all children and vulnerable people deserve to be treated with love, respect, dignity and in safety.
- MOPS Australia is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all MOPS leaders, helpers and participants, including children.
- MOPS Australia will work for the protection of children and other vulnerable people from sexual molestation and abuse, harassment, physical harm, emotional abuse and neglect.
- MOPS Australia will comply with all relevant state and territory legislation regarding molestation, harm and harassment as a minimum standard of behaviour.
All leaders, board members and other volunteers of MOPS Australia are required to behave with a high level of integrity and character. All MOPS Australia personnel are responsible for supporting the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment of children and vulnerable people by:
- Upholding the MOPS Australia statement of commitment to safety at all times, taking all reasonable steps to protect people from harm.
- Treating everyone with respect.
- Listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused and/or are worried about their safety or the safety of another.
- Taking care to keep babies safe and comfortable.
- Responding with compassion to a crying baby or toddler, endeavouring to find and rectify the cause of distress. If the baby continues to cry, advise the mother.
- Promoting the cultural safety, inclusion and empowerment of children irrespective of their origin, their culture, their ability or disability, or their diverse background. (eg. by having a zero tolerance of discrimination).
- Ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not left alone with a child (this includes when transporting children).
- Avoiding personal counselling in a one-on-one situation with vulnerable people, members of the opposite sex or children. It is preferable to have a third person present.
- Understanding that ‘helpers’ must be supervised by a leader at all times and will be accountable to that leader. Helpers who are placed on a roster, or who volunteer more than a six times per year are considered leaders and must go through the full volunteer application procedure.
- Respecting the primary care, disciplinary and educational role of parents.
- Having zero tolerance for bullying of any kind.
- Reporting any allegations of child abuse to MOPS Australia leadership, and ensure they report any allegation to the police or child protection.
- Reporting any child safety concerns to the leadership
- If a current allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are removed from the situation and are safe.
- Encouraging children to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them.
MOPS Australia personnel must not:
- Develop any ‘special’ relationships with a participating child that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children).
- Exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example inappropriate sitting on laps. Sitting on laps could be appropriate sometime, for example while reading a storybook to a small child in an open plan area).
- Put children at risk of abuse through lack of appropriate supervision or care.
- Do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes.
- Engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature that are inappropriate in the presence of children.
- Use inappropriate language/innuendo, or dress suggestively in the presence of children/vulnerable people.
- Punish a child in any way. If simple guidance and diversion are ineffective the parent should be involved.
- Discriminate against any person, including because of culture, race, ethnicity or disability
- Ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed abuse.