Code of Ethics for Church Volunteers

1 May 2003 | BUILDING COMMUNITY

Volunteers are to be personally accountable for their decisions and actions so as to create a safe and supportive environment in working for the Church.

Volunteers are to be honest and trustworthy in all matters.

Volunteers are expected to ensure that all people understand the services offered and the nature and purposes of those services.

The Church respects the rights of all people to privacy and confidentiality. Confidential information should be shared with others only with the informed consent of the person, unless there is clear danger to their life, to others or to the public at large.

Church volunteers will treat all with whom they come in contact - regardless of race, gender, age, national origin, religion, political or other opinion, sexual orientation, status, health, intelligence or any other differentiating character - with respect and courtesy.

Church volunteers shall avoid all behaviour that could reasonably be interpreted as harassment. Harassment encompasses a broad range of physical or verbal behaviour, including but not limited to: physical or psychological abuse, racial insults, derogatory ethnic slurs, unwelcome touching or sexual advance and sexual jokes or comments. Harassment can occur as a result of a single incident or a pattern of behaviour where the purpose or effect is to create a hostile, offensive or intimidating environment.

Volunteers are not to access websites which have pornographic links or to use email material which is inappropriate and inconsistent with the behaviour required of a Church worker.

Volunteers shall not engage in any sexual activity with any person with whom they currently work, or make any sexual advances verbally, physically or by innuendo. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to maintain appropriate boundaries.

Volunteers have a responsibility to take all allegations of sexual abuse seriously. They should not attempt to assess or investigate any such allegations, but will document them and follow the appropriate diocesan procedures.

Volunteers should avoid any activities, whether connected with their position or otherwise, which would compromise their integrity, and/or bring their message, the people they work with, their colleagues or the wider Church community into disrepute.

At all times volunteers will conduct themselves in a manner which ensures that all people are supported and empowered through the services they provide.

Volunteers have a responsibility to recognise their strengths and limitations. This ensures that they know how their decisions and actions affect the people they work with.

Volunteers will honour the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in their work, endeavour to be culturally sensitive to all people they engage with and avoid imposing mono-cultural values.

Volunteers will offer only services that come within their competence, qualifications and mandate. They will refer matters outside of these areas to the appropriate body.

If volunteers consider that their mandate requires more expertise than they have, they will inform the appropriate body of their need for training or ask for a change in the tasks they are asked to perform.

Volunteers will seek regular supervision which will provide them with an avenue to talk through issues and seek advice.

Volunteers are accountable to the New Zealand judicial system.