Child Protection Policy
The BHI places a high value on children, and wishes to underscore their dignity and worth.
BHI will not tolerate abuse of children and/or their sexual exploitation in any form whatsoever.
The measures outlined in this policy are in place to protect both children at BHI and those who are involved with children's programmes.
The BHI adopts the definitions of relevant terms such as "child", "parent", and other key terms as given in the Child and Family Services Act, where they differ from their normal or every day meanings.
The executive committee of the BHI is responsible for the implementation, monitoring and review of this policy.
It should be reviewed every three years. Activities involving children at the BHI include the Religion School, and the use of the BHI premises for the teaching of Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, and regular religious services and celebrations - both those arranged for adults and those arranged specifically for children.
The BHI requires volunteers, employees and contractors ("staff members") who are to be given or permitted a position of influence over children without the presence of other adults to obtain and provide a police reference check under the Vulnerable Sector Screening programme of the Toronto Police Service.
Where such a staff member has not personally been known to a member of the BHI executive committee for a prior period of at least two years, the executive committee will seek and take up a personal character reference for that staff member in advance of the commencement of their duties.
Before being appointed to a position of influence over children at the BHI (or on the coming into force of this policy) all such staff members will be asked to read this policy and to sign a copy to confirm that they have done so.
The Child and Family Services Act places an obligation on all those perform professional or official duties regarding children to report if they have any reasonable suspicions of child abuse. BHI policy is that such a report be made to Jewish Family and Child Services ("JFCS" - a children's aid society). Failure to report can result in fines for the professional or official.
JFCS has an emergency telephone service available 24 hours on 416.638.7800. A written report may be submitted using the form at the end of this document.
The BHI requires that any person who has reasonable suspicions of child abuse should also inform the BHI President. If it is not possible to inform the President in a timely manner then the Deputy President should be informed, or otherwise any member of the BHI executive committee.
The President of the BHI is responsible for the investigation of allegations of child abuse or exploitation and will take appropriate action immediately on being informed of any such allegations.