Adopted by the CCB Board of Directors on April 3, 2022
The Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB) understands the importance of protecting individuals that participate in youth programs offered by the Colorado Center for the Blind. This includes any program directly managed by the CCB. These programs may take place at the Colorado Center or other locations. This policy affirms our commitment to taking the necessary steps to provide a safe and secure environment for program participants.
Youth program participants/students – Minors 17 years of age or younger, youth participants age 18-21, and other vulnerable individuals (as defined by relevant laws and regulations) who participate in our youth programs and events.
Workers – Instructors, program workers, volunteers, employees, and contractors who are directed by the program coordinator to interact with our youth program participants.
Program coordinator – The Executive Director, Director of Youth Services or designated staff member responsible for the oversight and coordination of the program.
Screening Program Workers
All program workers will be screened in accordance with this policy prior to being eligible to serve. Screening will include at least the following:
An internal conflict review will be conducted by designated CCB staff to discover circumstances that would exclude a potential program worker from the program due to investigations or violations related to the organization’s code of conduct.
Criminal background checks will be conducted for all potential program workers after they’ve completed an application. The background checks will comply with applicable federal and state regulations governing programs. Applicants will not be considered for positions when checks show evidence of convictions for an offense involving children, violence, or any other conduct contrary to the mission of the CCB.
CCB will use a reputable third party service to conduct a criminal background check. The information obtained will be stored on a secured server, and only made accessible to authorized CCB personnel.
A personal interview will be conducted with the applicant by a CCB staff member or authorized designee to discuss the position and the applicant’s talents, qualifications, and abilities. Multiple and/or group interviews may be conducted as appropriate.
Applicants must provide references. References may be personal or professional and presented in written form or by providing phone and email contact information. References will be confirmed by program coordinator.
Training and Education
In addition to specific training related to the particular goals and objectives of the program, applicable program workers will receive an orientation training that includes:
- Review of the National Federation of the Blind Code of Conduct to which CCB is subject as an affiliated program of the Federation
- Review of CCB’s Student and Personnel policies which address a wide variety of topics from sexual misconduct to appropriate relationships with students
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- How to recognize and acquire consent and to recognize boundaries and how to intervene when boundaries have been violated
- Mandatory reporting responsibilities
- Emergency procedures
- Other safety procedures
Program worker trainings and orientations will be updated and refreshed each year.
The CCB will offer the training and orientation through workshops, programs, and the use of Braille, print, and/or audiovisual resources.
Supervision, oversight and support will be provided to all program workers and participants to ensure safety at all times in the program. Practices to ensure a safe and caring environment will include:
A minimum of two program workers will be assigned to each program and program location.
Classroom doors should remain open unless there is a window in the door or a side window beside it. Doors should never be locked while persons are inside the room unless there are emergent safety needs or imminently threatening health demands.
There will be access to a telephone at all program locations during operating hours.
Program workers will never release program participants to anyone other than the authorized parent(s), guardian(s), or an individual authorized by parents in writing or verified by phone.
Program workers will utilize constructive methods for maintaining group control and managing program participants’ behavior.
Program workers will appear and behave in a manner consistent with the mission and values of CCB at all times; including electronic, written, and verbal communications.
The CCB will inform parents of our youth program participant protection strategies. All parents will be provided with a link to the current CCB policies.
Parents will receive regular communication about the program’s content and schedules and feedback regarding their child’s participation in the program, including behavior and general health.
Parents or guardians will be allowed to observe the program as deemed appropriate by the program coordinator without disruption to the program.
For purposes of this policy, “child abuse” is any action (or lack of action) that endangers or harms a child’s physical, psychological, or emotional health and development. All CCB program workers are recognized as mandated reporters. The CCB will follow current regulations and guidelines for the reporting of abuse.
Program workers will follow an internal chain of command for the reporting of abuse and may report directly to local authorities if appropriate.
If an incident of abuse or neglect is alleged to have occurred at or during CCB programs or activities, the following procedure shall be followed:
- The parent or guardian of the child will be notified.
- The rehabilitation professional will be notified, if applicable.
- The appropriate authorities will be notified; consistent with local, state, and/or federal regulations.
- The CCB will cooperate with any investigation of the incident by state or local authorities. In the event there is no investigation of the incident by state or local authorities, a management team will be formed to investigate the circumstances of the incident.
- The alleged perpetrator of the abuse or misconduct will immediately be placed on leave from CCB pending an investigation, and consequences will be administered consistent with the CCB’s policies and practices.
- An incident report will be completed.
- As deemed appropriate by the program coordinator and CCB Board of Directors, other program workers, participants, and families of participants will be notified of the incident and resulting actions taken.
This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed by the Colorado Center for the Blind Board of Directors.