Code of Ethics

PREAMBLE

Many of the decisions made daily when working with children and their families are of a moral or ethical nature. This Code of Ethics is designed to provide guidelines for responsible behaviour and a common basis for resolving ethical dilemmas encountered in the course of employment.

The provisions in this Code of Ethics apply to staff who works for the Child Development Centre in a range of capacities including employees working with children in early intervention programs, as well as for those not working directly with children.

The standards set below are based on commitment to values rooted in early intervention:

VALUES

  • Appreciating childhood as a unique and valuable stage of human life cycle.
  • Basing our work with children on knowledge of child development.
  • Appreciating and supporting close ties between child and family.
  • Respecting the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each individual child, family member, and colleague.
  • Recognizing that children are best understood in the context of family, culture, and society.
  • Helping children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust, respect, and positive regard.

This Code of Ethics sets out our ethical responsibilities in relationships with children, families, colleagues, community, and society.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

If a conflict of interest arises, the Code of Ethics will take precedence.

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO CHILDREN

Appreciating childhood is a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle.

Our paramount responsibility is to provide safe, healthy, nurturing, and responsive settings for children. We create safe and healthy settings that foster children’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. This principle has precedence over all others in the code.

We recognize and respect the uniqueness and potential of each child. We appreciate the special vulnerability of each child.

We are committed to children’s development by cherishing individual differences, helping children to learn to live and work cooperatively, and by promoting their self-esteem.

We support the right of children with special needs to participate, consistent with their ability, in regular early childhood programs.

We shall be familiar with symptoms of child abuse and neglect and know the community procedures for addressing them.

Basing our work with children on knowledge of child development.

We will be familiar with the knowledge of early intervention practices and keep current through continuing education and professional development and to base program practices on current knowledge of child development.

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO FAMILIES

Appreciating and supporting close ties between child and family.

The family is of primary importance in a child’s development. The term ‘family’ may include others, besides parents, who are responsibly involved with a child.

The Child Development Centre assumes a family centered philosophy which:

  • Recognizes the central role of the family in the life of a child and the unique value and human potential of each child.
  • Treats families with dignity and respect.
  • Honors and respects cultural and ethnic diversity as well as individual beliefs and values.
  • Promotes family decision making.
  • Supports families in achieving outcomes they desire for themselves and their children.
  • Encourages collaboration and partnerships between those involved in a child’s life.
  • Works to develop relationships of mutual trust with the families we serve.

Refer to Policy & Procedure Manual - Family Centered Early Intervention Principles

RESPONSIBILITIES TO FAMILIES

We shall encourage family members to visit their child’s program setting.

We shall inform families of program philosophy, policies and personnel qualifications.

We shall inform and, when appropriate, involve families in policy decisions.

We shall involve families in decisions affecting their child.

We shall inform families of any accidents involving their child, or of risks such as exposure to contagious disease, that may result in infection.

We shall inform families of any proposed research projects involving their child and request permission for their participation. We shall not permit or participate in research, which could in any way hinder the education or development of any child in our programs.

We shall not engage in or support exploitation of families. We shall not use our relationship with a family for private advantage or personal gain or enter into relationships with family members that might impair our effectiveness in working with children.

We shall develop written policies for the protection of confidentiality and the disclosure of children’s records. We shall respect the family’s right to privacy, refraining from disclosure of confidential information and intrusion into family life (except in the case of abuse or neglect). See Policy 6.1 - Confidentiality.

In cases where family members are in conflict, we shall work openly, sharing our observations of the child to help all parties involved make informed decisions. We shall refrain from becoming an advocate for one party.

We shall be familiar with and appropriately use community resources and professional services that support families. After a referral has been made, we shall follow up to ensure services have been adequately provided.

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO COLLEAGUES

Respecting the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each individual child, family member, and colleague.

The Child Development Centre shall be a cooperative workplace where human dignity is respected, professional satisfaction is promoted, and positive relationships are modeled. The primary responsibility in this area is to establish and maintain a work setting and relationships which support productive work and meet professional needs.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO CO-WORKERS

We shall establish and maintain relationships of trust and cooperation with co-workers.

We shall share resources and information with co-workers.

We shall support co-workers in meeting their professional needs and in their professional development.

We shall accord co-workers due recognition for professional achievement.

We shall address co-workers directly when a concern arises about their professional behaviour in an attempt to resolve the matter collegially (except in cases of abuse or neglect).

We shall exercise care in expressing views regarding the personal conduct of co-workers. Statements should be based on firsthand knowledge and relevant to the interests of children, their families, and programs.

We shall report the unethical or incompetent behaviour of a colleague to a supervisor when informal resolution is not effective.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO EMPLOYERS

We shall assist the program in providing the highest quality of service.

We shall first attempt to effect change through constructive action within the organization.

We shall maintain loyalty to the program and uphold its reputation.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO EMPLOYEES

We shall promote policies and working conditions that foster competence, well-being, and self-esteem in staff members.

We shall recognize the value of joint decision making in matters relating to service delivery to clients.

We shall create a climate of trust and candor that will enable staff to speak and act in the best interests of children, families, and early intervention services.

We shall appropriately utilize the training experience and expertise of staff members in decisions concerning children and programs.

We shall provide staff members with working conditions that permit them to carry out their job responsibilities effectively and in a timely manner.

We shall develop and maintain comprehensive written personnel policies that define program standards that specify the extent to which employees are accountable for their conduct. These policies shall be made available to all staff members.

In hiring, promotion, and provision of training, we shall not participate in any form of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, age, or sexual preference. We shall be familiar with laws and regulations that pertain to employment discrimination.

We shall hire or recommend for employment only individuals who are suited for a position with respect to competence, qualifications, or character.

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO SOCIETY

Recognizing that children are best understood in the context of family, culture, and society.

The Child Development Centre provides early intervention programs within the context of a close community, whose members are families and agencies concerned with the development, nurturing, and welfare of young children.

We recognize that our responsibilities do not end with providing programs to our community. Our obligations extend beyond our community. We are also a part of a larger society, which has a responsibility for the welfare and protection of children, and we contribute to that society by offering expertise in early childhood development to the children and families in our community.

As part of the community and the larger society, we acknowledge our obligation to serve as a voice for children everywhere.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO SOCIETY

We shall provide quality, early intervention programs, which meet community needs and work cooperatively with other agencies and professions, sharing a responsibility for children.

We shall provide the community with high-quality, culturally-appropriate programs and services.

We shall promote cooperation among agencies and professions concerned with the welfare of young children and their families.

Through education, research, and advocacy, we shall work for a society in which all young children have access to quality programs and live in an environmentally safe world in which all children are adequately fed, sheltered, and nurtured.

We shall promote knowledge and understanding of the field of early childhood development and strengthen its commitment to realizing its core values as reflected in this Code.

We shall communicate openly and truthfully about the nature and extent of services that we provide, and shall offer only services that we have the competence, qualifications, or resources to provide.

We shall be objective and accurate in reporting the knowledge upon which we base our program practices.

We shall be familiar with and support laws and regulations that serve to protect the children in our programs.