Child Safe Policy - Reservation
Simply Smiles, Inc.
Child Safe Policy | Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation
South Dakota, U.S.A.
Simply Smiles is committed to operating our programs in a manner that is safe for the children we serve. All children have the right to live free from fear or impact from any form of abuse or exploitation. We are obliged to create environments that aim to prevent harmful or dangerous circumstances and that promote the implementation of our Child Safe Policy. While the vast majority of individuals have good intentions, we must safeguard against those who do not.
Associates of Simply Smiles are required to adhere to the Simply Smiles Child Safe Policy as outlined in this document. Unlawful or other inappropriate conduct will not be permitted or tolerated.
- Child: A child is any person below the age of 18 years.
- Adult: A person 18 years or older.
- Child Abuse: all forms of physical or verbal abuse, emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse and exploitation, neglect or negligent treatment, commercial or other exploitation of a child, including any actions that result in actual or potential harm to a child. Child abuse may be a deliberate act or it may be failing to act to prevent harm. Child abuse consists of anything that individuals, institutions, or processes do or fail to do, intentionally or unintentionally, which harms a child or damages his or her prospect of safe and healthy development into adulthood.
- Simply Smiles Associates: Paid employees, unpaid or stipend interns, board members, volunteers, contract employees/organizations, supporters of any kind.
- South Dakota’s Definition of Child Abuse: Code Section 26-8A-1:
Child is threatened with substantial harm; sustained emotional harm or mental injury (evidenced by observable and substantial impairment of child's ability to function); subject to sexual abuse/exploitation; who lacks proper parental care; whose environment is injurious to child's welfare; who is abandoned, or who has been prenatally subjected to illegal drug or alcohol abuse, or who is knowingly exposed to an environment used to manufacture methamphetamines.
Behavioral Protocols for Simply Smiles Associates While Engaging with Children
- Where possible, and practical, the two-adult rule, wherein two or more adults supervise all activities where children are involved and are present, should be followed.
- Simply Smiles Associates should not take a child or children into a private place out of view of other adults. Being alone with a child is prohibited.
- Boundaries need to be respected when touching children. Handshakes, high-fives, fist bumps, taps on the shoulders or back as a greeting or encouragement are permitted. Children who do not want to be touched should not be touched. Intentional touching a child’s lips, genital area, or breasts is not permitted under any circumstance with the exception of giving emergency first aid.
- Corporal punishment (touching a child as a disciplinary measure) of any kind is not permitted under any circumstance. A child may only be physically restrained if he is a danger to himself or to others.
Simply Smiles Associates need to be aware that they may be working with children who, because of circumstances and abuses they may have experienced, may be poorly behaved or use a relationship to obtain special attention. The adult is always considered responsible for maintaining an appropriate relationship, even if a child behaves inappropriately. Adults should avoid placing themselves in compromising or vulnerable positions.
Simply Smiles, Inc. will take positive action to prevent child abusers from becoming involved with Simply Smiles.
Paid Simply Smiles Staff / Board of Directors / Interns*
- Criminal background checks will be run for applicants for paid positions. Criminal background checks will be run for intern position candidates. Candidates for the Simply Smiles Board of Directors will also be subject to criminal background checks before their election to the board. In these cases, the applicant/candidate will first sign a disclosure/release from. Only the President of Simply Smiles, Inc. will have access to criminal background check reports.
- Applicants for paid positions, candidates for the board, and interns will also be subject to a Sex Offender Review via the Department of Justice Website: http://www.nsopw.gov/en
- A general Google search will also be done for all applicants for paid positions, candidates for the board, and interns.
*Interns are defined as unpaid or stipend workers who serve for longer than one week (7 days).
- Volunteers will be subject to a Sex Offender Review via the Department of Justice Website: http://www.nsopw.gov/en
- A general Google search will also be done for volunteers.
- These checks will be made no more than 60 days before the individual volunteer is scheduled to be onsite at Simply Smiles program locations.
Any volunteer who will be interacting with children for any length of time will be subject to these checks. Volunteers who, for example, help in the Simply Smiles Connecticut offices for an afternoon will not be subject to these checks.
Reporting of Instances of Observed or Suspected Child Abuse
If an adult directly observes child abuse or suspects child abuse based on a child's report, this information must be reported to the President of Simply Smiles without delay. If the President is not available, the Chair of the Simply Smiles Board of Directors should be contacted.
Instances of observed or suspected child abuse must then be reported promptly to the appropriate authorities. Acceptable agencies for which to report to:
- The South Dakota Department of Social Services, Child Protection Services, the police.
Mandatory Reporters as Required by South Dakota Law:
Physician, dentist, chiropractor, nurse, optometrist, mental health professional, psychologist, religious healing practitioner, social worker, parole or court services officer, law enforcement officer, teacher, school counselor/official, child welfare provider, coroner, chemical dependency counselor, domestic abuse shelter worker, podiatrist.
Note: As a Mandatory Reporter, failure to report or false reporting is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
Special Consideration for Native Children
In 1978, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), in response to a national crisis in which an alarmingly high percentage of Indian children were being removed from their families and tribal communities. In response, the State of South Dakota created an ICWA Program Specialist to help enforce a statewide compliance plan in regard to the placement/protection of native children.
Currently (as of April 2015) that position is filled by:
South Dakota Department of Social Services, Division of Child Protection Services (Pierre, SD)
605-773-3227 / joseph.Ashley@state.sd.us
An allegation of child abuse is a serious issue. In following the Simply Smiles Child Safe Policy and procedures, it is essential that all parties maintain confidentiality. Sharing of information, which could identify a child or an alleged perpetrator, should be purely on a “need to know” basis. Unless abuse has actually been proved to have occurred, one must always refer to “alleged abuse.”
If a Simply Smiles Associate raises a legitimate concern about suspected child abuse, which proves to be unfounded upon investigation, no action will be taken against the associate. Any employee who makes false or malicious accusations, however, will face disciplinary and/or legal action.
An alleged perpetrator of child abuse will be suspended from his/her normal relationship with Simply Smiles during the investigation of allegations. Simply Smiles will sever all relations with any Simply Smiles Associate who is proven to have committed child abuse.
To access the entire child abuse chapter in the official South Dakota Code:
This Child Safe Policy will be:
- Approved by the Simply Smiles Board of Directors and filed as a Simply Smiles, Inc, policy.
- Shared with all paid employees, board members, and interns of Simply Smiles, Inc.
- Shared with leaders of Simply Smiles Volunteer Service Teams/Groups.
- Posted on the Simply Smiles, Inc. website.
- Referenced as available in the La Plant Simply Smiles Summer Camp Parent/Guardian Permission Form.