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MTDI Youth Protection Policy

Montana Destination Imagination Youth Protection Policy

Effective 01/31/2020. 

Policy Summary

We seek to make all our Destination Imagination activities and facilities safe, especially for children and youth. It is our responsibility as adults to do all we can to protect children. This policy is intended to promote the safety of students and volunteers at all Montana Destination Imagination (MT-DI) events in which volunteers and students are present together. 

Volunteers of MT-DI events will only be present with students in a manner that is observable and interruptible. Volunteers may have private interactions with students, but these must always occur with the knowledge of another volunteer who is an adult and in a setting where the meeting is observable and interruptible. 

 

Definitions 

Student: Any person under 18 years of age.

Volunteer: Any person who has an assigned task or is attending the event in an official capacity.

Event: An activity sponsored by MT-DI, or any activity represented as a MT-DI team activity. An event has a specific location and a start and end time.

Observable and Interruptible: In open view where volunteers and students may enter without restriction such as a room with an unlocked door. 

Affiliate Director (AD):  Person(s) in charge of the administration of the Destination Imagination (DI) program in Montana.

Child Abuse: This policy is intended to cover physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  Physical abuse exists when a child has a non-accidental injury.  Emotional abuse is injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of the child.  Sexual abuse exists when an adult uses a child as a part of any type of sexual act.

Policy Details

MT-DI recognizes the sensitive nature of interactions between volunteers and students. All volunteers are expected to behave in a manner that ensures student safety and is free from real or perceived inappropriate behavior. 

Except for extraordinary circumstances, interactions between volunteers and students will be in settings that are observable and interruptible. If a private interaction is necessary between a volunteer and one or more students, the volunteer is responsible to ensure that the interaction occurs in a place and manner that is known by another adult volunteer and is observable and interruptible. 

The intention of this policy is as an addendum to the worldwide organizational Destination Imagination Youth Protection Policies (https://www.destinationimagination.org/youth-protection-policy/) serving the participants of Montana Destination Imagination.  In no way does this policy supersede the worldwide policies.

Applicability

This policy applies to all volunteers present at a MT-DI event. This policy applies to adults in the role of team manager, assistant team manager, MT-DI board members, MT-DI staff, and all MT-DI event volunteers.  This policy does not apply to parents, unless they are acting in the role of a volunteer (for example, an Official or Appraiser at a tournament) for an event.

 Compliance

If sexual child abuse is suspected, Child Protective Services and/or Law Enforcement should be immediately notified and the alleged offender and student should have no more interaction until a legal investigation is completed, if one was deemed necessary by CPS/Law Enforcement.  Anyone working with a Destination Imagination team who believes that a child may be the victim of, or at risk of, child abuse, or suspects non-compliance of this policy should immediately report this to the MT-DI affiliate director (AD) for investigation. The AD will oversee the policy investigation and determine what permanent action, if any, is appropriate, up to and including reporting to Child Protective Services/Law Enforcement.  If risks are present other than child abuse, the volunteer should do everything in their power to mitigate such risks, up to and including, contacting the MT-DI affiliate director for assistance.

Communication

This policy will be published on the MT-DI web site. It will be included in trainings for team managers, and Challenge Masters. team managers, Challenge Masters and Tournament directors will be trained to ensure their volunteers are in compliance with this policy at all times.

To ensure the highest standards of leadership and the protection of the youth served, MT-DI requires all persons holding staff positions, board members, team managers and assistant team managers to complete a background check with a determination of being eligible as a criterion to hold such positions.  Mandatory Youth Protection Training will be provided to these groups.  Other volunteer positions do not require the background check nor the training due to their limited involvement, but are responsible to comply with this policy.  All those trained by MT-DI are also considered mandatory reporters of child abuse, such that they will be considered in violation of this policy if they do not report suspected child abuse. These individuals will be asked to acknowledge that he or she has read and will abide by the MT-DI Youth Protection policy.

MT-DI Staff, board members, team managers, and challenge masters are required to order a background check from Sterling Verified Volunteers and to share the results with MT-DI. MT-DI recognizes only Sterling Verified Volunteers background checks.  If a person has had a Sterling Verified Volunteers background check done within the last twelve months through another organization, they can share that background check with MT-DI in order to meet this requirement if the level of the background check is sufficient.  No other background checks will be accepted. This background check must be performed annually. Background check information is considered confidential and personal.  Any person who does not pass their background check will be notified and can contact Sterling for an explanation. Otherwise, persons not passing the check will be considered not eligible resulting in immediate denial of the right to hold any position in MT-DI, including volunteers and appraisers.  The MT-DI AD has the final authority and responsibility on the matter.  If a team manager or assistant team manager is deemed not eligible, the AD involved will notify the team they cannot compete in the tournament unless a new team manager is provided and is eligible after a background check. 

If abuse is confirmed after a report, the AD will remove the offender from any further positions within MT-DI and will communicate to team managers and all parents of team members on the team involved that the offender may have come in contact with.

 

The MT-DI affiliate director should be contacted with any questions related to this policy.