YMCA of Greater Erie

Thank you for completing the Volunteer Application, the next step is to complete the Code of Conduct form below. You can contact [email protected] with any questions.

Volunteer Program Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Y Volunteer Program is to engage volunteers in a mutually rewarding relationship between the volunteers that donate their time, talents, skills and enthusiasm and staff who will support them in their efforts to build a stronger community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Purpose of Volunteer Code of Conduct

The purpose of these policies is to provide overall guidance, structure and direction to volunteers and staff throughout the volunteer process. This Code of Conduct does not constitute, either implicitly or explicitly, a binding contractual or personnel agreement. The Y reserves the right to change the Code of Conduct at any time and to expect adherence to the changed policy.

Definition of “Volunteer”

There are four types of volunteers for the Y.

  • Program Volunteers –provide leadership, instruction and/or support to a program. They are individuals that volunteer on a regular basis, typically at least once per month.
  • Administrative Volunteers – Individuals that volunteer in an office and assist with data entry and organization
  • Special Event/Special Project Volunteers – Individuals that volunteer for one time projects (i.e. community events, clean-up projects, etc.) Groups/corporate are encouraged for special events.
  • Policy Volunteers – Serve on the Branch Advisory Board or committees for the YMCA.

Volunteers receive no payment, membership or discounted fees for their service. Hours invested in board or committee meetings, campaign meetings, board recruitment meetings, executive or other staff search committees etc. are all included. Hours spent in training are not included as these and are reported separately.

Code of Conduct

  • (a) volunteers should never be alone with program participants, staff members must be with volunteers during program time. (b) Volunteers shall not abuse participants or staff members in any way including: physical, verbal, sexual, emotional/psychological abuse and neglect. No type of abuse will be tolerated and is cause for immediate dismissal and the incident will be reported to the appropriate authorities. (c) Volunteers will respect program participant’s rights to not be touched in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, and their right to say no. Program participants should never be touched in areas that would be covered by a bathing suit, and volunteers must be careful and respectful of other’s comfort level even when giving a pat on the back or a friendly hug. (d) Volunteers use positive techniques of guidance, including redirection, positive reinforcement and encouragement rather than competition, comparison, criticism and anger. Volunteers are not allowed to discipline the participants; this responsibility is for staff only.
  • Under Pennsylvania State Law, volunteers taking an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity, or service and accept responsibility for a child, are considered mandated reporters of child abuse. This includes both paid (staff) and unpaid (volunteers) individuals. Child abuse, according to the CPSL, includes any recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious physical injury, or non-accidential serious mental injury to a child under 18 years of age, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation to a child under 18 years of age, and serious neglect. “Recent” is defined as an abusive act within two years from the date ChildLine is called. Sexual abuse has no time limit. Child abuse also includes any recent act, failure to act, or series of acts or failures to act by a perpetrator that creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or exploitation of a child under 18 years of age. The law says that mandated reporters must immediately make a report or notify the person in charge. The person in charge or the designee must make a report of suspected child abuse immediately to ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.

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