PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE POLICY AND SIGN AT THE BOTTOM.
The Attleboro YMCA Summer Camps are committed to developing the four character development values of caring, honestly, respect and responsibility. In order to instill these values and ensure a safe and fun environment in a fair and consistent manner, we adhere to the following.
One of the goals of our child guidance plan is to minimize opportunities for challenging behavior and to help children develop tools to make good decisions about resolving conflicts and solving problems so that children can demonstrate respect for each other and their environment as well as ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.
Counselors observe campers to identify events, activities, interactions, and other contextual factors that predict or contribute to the child’s use of challenging behavior. Once these negative behavior triggers are found, staff can explore ways to minimize their impact to promote positive behaviors by the children through the modification of the environment or activities as well as provide adult or peer support.
METHODS OF GUIDANCE APPROVED FOR YMCA CAMP STAFF
Camp staff will address challenging behavior by assessing the function of the child’s behavior and using positive behavior support strategies. When challenging behavior occurs, the counselor discusses the problem with the child in a developmentally appropriate manner. Counselors respond to the child in a way that is safe for the child and others in the group, is calm, is respectful, and provides the child with information about acceptable behavior. When possible, the child is encouraged to suggest alternative solutions and assist in implementing them.
Counselors also help children manage their behavior by guiding and supporting children to:
- Persist when frustrated
- Play cooperatively with other children
- Use language to communicate needs
- Learn turn taking
- Gain control of physical impulses
A typical behavioral intervention follows a three-step process depending on the infraction and the age of the child.
- First, the child would be redirected to a positive alternative to the negative behavior.
- Second, if the negative behavior continues, the child would be asked to leave the activity, but encouraged to find a different option.
- Third, if the negative behavior persists, the child would be separated from the rest of the group to a safe place within view and near the counselor or another camp staff member as necessary/appropriate.
The child may rejoin the group once he or she has demonstrated the ability to follow the camp guidelines and make appropriate behavioral decisions. Please note that although the time that a child is separated is not dictated by a set number of minutes, rather by the child’s ability to demonstrate his or her capacity to make a good decisions, counselors check in with the child in fewer minutes than the number of the child’s age.
In problematic situations where children exhibit persistent, serious, and challenging behaviors, camp staff, along with the families, and other professionals will work as a team to develop and implement a plan that supports the child’s inclusion and success both at home and at the YMCA.
RESTRICTED METHODS OF BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT
- No spanking or other corporal punishment
- No cruel, unusual, or severe punishment, humiliation, verbal or physical abuse, neglect, abusive treatment
- No denial of meals or snacks, drink, rest, or bathroom facilities as punishment
- No force-feeding
- No punishment for soiling, wetting, or not using the toile or forcing a child to remain in soiled clothing or forcing a child to remain on the toilet or other excessive practices of toileting
- No punishment related to eating or not eating food
- Time-outs where children are isolated for a specific amount of time based on their ages. At the YMCA children need to leave the group or their activity until they can demonstrate that they can make appropriate decisions about their behaviors. Camp staff will help the children explore the situation as a learning experience so that the children can make appropriate choices in the future.
Any YMCA staff that violates any of the restricted methods listed above will be immediately suspended until the YMCA and the appropriate licensing authority completes a further investigation.
In all cases suspension and/or expulsion of a child from Attleboro YMCA Summer Camp Programs is the final decision of the Camp Program Director. Although a last resort, suspension may be necessary to ensure the safety of your child and of others in the group.
CAMPER DISCIPLINE/ANTI-BULLYING POLICY
We strive to provide all children with a safe and positive program experience. Guidance and discipline are positive, non-punitive, and appropriate to the situation and to each child’s individual development.
If a discipline issue does arise, the steps listed below will be taken (may vary based on the situation):
- Verbal warning
- Loss of choice/removal from activity
- Child and parent discussion
- Removal from program
Infractions of this policy include:
- Disrespect, verbal or physical aggression toward staff or other adults
- Continuous disruption/uncooperative behavior
- Exhibiting behavior that endangers the safety of the child
- Attempting to leave the childcare space or premises without staff permission
- Consistently disregarding the rules and authority of the staff
- Possession or pretending to possess weapons
- Racism, fighting, bullying, vandalism, and swearing
- Destruction of property or others belongings
- Possession of drugs and alcohol
Each incident will be documented; parents will be contacted and may be requested to pick up their child immediately. Suspension guidelines are as follows:
- First offense-Written notice of incident to parent
- Second offense-Written notice and conferencing with parent, and one day suspension
- Third offense-Written notice and conferencing with parent, and three day suspension
Expulsion will occur to any child who is a threat to himself or herself or other children, or who is a repeat offender. All suspensions and expulsions are at the discretion of the coordinator or director. If your child misses days due to suspension or expulsion, refunds will not be provided.
To avoid suspension or in some cases termination, parents and staff will work together to develop a plan of action that addresses the behaviors that are not acceptable in the program. Parents will be required to meet with the program coordinator(s) and the Camp Program Director to discuss the plan of action.
If after parental conferencing and implementation of behavioral changing programs have been explored the participant’s actions warrant suspension or termination from the program, the parents of the participant will be provided with a written report of the reasons behind the action. This report will state the reasons, specific to the participant, for the proposed suspension or termination. In the case of suspension the parent and Camp Program Director will meet and discuss the specifics of the suspension that are age and behaviorally appropriate for the reasons of suspension of each individual child.
DEFINITION OF BULLYING
Behavior by an individual or group, usually repeated over time that intentionally hurts another either physically or emotionally. Three conditions used to define behaviors as bullying:
- Repetitive, willful, or persistent
- Intentionally harmful
- As imbalance of power leaving the person feeling defenseless
These may include:
- Spreading rumors
- Excluding others from groups
- Kicking, hitting, or pushing
The staff of the Attleboro YMCA will work with the participants to use the following technique when they feel that they are in a situation where they may feel as though they are being bullied.
Three Times Guidelines
First time – If it has never happened before; ignore it, let it go, pretend you didn’t hear it.
Second time – The second time it happens, it’s time to use your words.
Third time – When the words aren’t working; report it to an authority figure. (DoneWithBullying.com)
Incidents of bullying will not be tolerated. Suspension and termination procedures stated above will be followed.
I acknowledge that I have fully read, understood, and agree to the Attleboro YMCA’s Child Guidance, Anti-Bullying, and Camper Discipline. I understand that any behavior concerns require cooperation and partnership among the camp staff, camper’s family, and the child. I also understand that the YMCA’s response to behavioral issues may include verbal warnings, loss of choice/removal from an activity, child and parent discussions, suspension and possible expulsion from the program.
To sign the agreement online, please click the link below and click “Register.” It will then prompt you to sign the agreement.
Print, sign, and send.
Attleboro YMCA Day Camps
63 North Main Street
Attleboro, MA 02703