Program Policies and Guidelines 

Policies: (Healthy Kidz)

Affection Policy

Public Displays of Affection (PDA) are to be limited while in program at Healthy KidzÔ. Kissing, lengthy hugs, and inappropriate touching are not acceptable. Other forms of PDA may also be unacceptable and to be determined by the Healthy KidzÔ staff. If participants are seen engaging in PDA that is unacceptable, they will be respectfully spoken to in private and reminded of this policy. If participants continually refuse to follow this request, their parent/guardian will be contacted and they may be suspended from the program temporarily or permanently.

Attendance Policy

Healthy Kidz afterschool programming operates from Monday-Friday each week – with Monday being a “drop-in” day. There is an expectation that registered participants will attend regularly. Family SOS provides the Healthy Kidzprogram with resources in order to operate this program, giving children many opportunities to participate in a variety of activities. Resources are wasted and can be lost if there are not enough children participating in these activities. As a result, participants are expected to participate in programming a minimum of 3 days per week. If a participant does not meet this requirement, a phone call will be made to the parent/guardian and participant to notify of their low attendance. They will then be given another opportunity to come to program regularly. Should this happen again, the child may be deregistered from the Healthy Kidz program to make room for other children on the waiting list.

Personal Belongings

Personal belongings are not to be used during program time, unless there is an emergency. If participants bring personal belongings to programming they are responsible for any loss or damages.

Program Dismissal Policy

On many occasions, Healthy Kidz brings participants on outings outside of the Community Centre, and is often the last activity the program participates in that day. If the activity takes place and ends somewhere outside of the community centre, participants are to remain with staff and the program until they arrive back to the community centre. If a child refuses to return with the program the child is to be reminded of this policy. If they continue to refuse to accompany the program back to the community centre, the child will be informed that if they continue to refuse to accompany the program back to the community centre, the child will be informed that they are not to attend program the following day. Once staff returns to the program, they will call and inform parents/guardians about their child’s refusal to return with the program. They are also to be informed about the child’s resulting suspension from the program for the following day.

An exception can be made if the parent/guardian calls and gives prior permission to allow the child to leave the program from outside of the community centre on either a particular day or on a permanent, daily basis. If a particular participant has this permission for a daily basis, then a notation should be made somewhere that all staff can refer to and be made aware of.

School Closures/Snow Days

As mentioned previously, in the case of school closures due to bad weather, there will not be after school programming for that day (and the Family SOS office closes as well). If school is closed as a result of other reasons such as parent teacher days, etc. it is up to the discretion of the Program Coordinator and Executive Director as to whether program remains open that day. The Healthy Kidz staff will make their best effort in communicating closures and cancellations to parents/guardians.

Smoking Policy

During the hours of Healthy Kidz programming participants are not permitted to smoke cigarettes. This includes travel to and from activities. Smoking is a bad habit with health consequences. This habit is not to be condoned by staff and could negatively influence other participants. Should a participant smoke during the Healthy Kidz programming, they are to be reminded about this policy. The “warning system” should be applied to this if a participant does not adhere to this rule.

Drugs/Alcohol Policy

If a participant arrives either inebriated or smelling of drugs/alcohol, the Child and Youth Workers are to speak to the participant respectfully and in private about this. Explain to the participant that Healthy Kidz does not condone this behaviour and that it is unacceptable to come to program under this condition. This type of behaviour is illegal for children and can also negatively influence other participants.  Parents will be contacted and the participant will be asked to leave for the day as a result, but told they will be invited back to program once they are sober or have not engaged in these substances before program.

Expectations of Parents/Guardians

One of the core elements of the Healthy Kidz™ program includes teaching participants appropriate social behavior. This includes being polite, using manners and being respectful towards others. Healthy Kidz™ does not tolerate abusive behavior from participants such as swearing, yelling, threats or physical violence. When this behavior is demonstrated in program, consequences are issued. Similarly, Healthy Kidz™ will not tolerate abusive behavior from parents/guardians. If a parent/guardian is unable to interact with Healthy Kidz™ staff in a manner that is respectful, formal steps will be taken which may include anything from mediation to charges laid depending on the nature of the incident. Family SOS, including its Healthy Kidz™ program, is committed to finding positive proactive solutions while preserving the safety of its staff, volunteers and participants.

Policies: (Teenz)

Affection Policy

Public Displays of Affection (PDA) are to be limited while in program at Healthy Teenz (KidzÔ). Kissing, lengthy hugs, and inappropriate touching are not acceptable. Other forms of PDA may also be unacceptable and to be determined by the Healthy Teenz staff. If participants are seen engaging in PDA that is unacceptable, those youth will be respectfully spoken to in private and reminded of this policy. If participants continually refuse to follow this request, their parent/guardian will be contacted and they may be suspended from the program temporarily or permanently.

Attendance Policy

Healthy Teenz (KidzÔ) regular programming operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week in Spryfield/Dartmouth with Tuesday and Thursday being offered as a volunteer day. Program operates Tuesday and Thursday in Halifax. There is an expectation that registered participants will attend regularly. Family SOS provides the Healthy Teenz program with resources in order to operate this program, giving youth many opportunities to participate in a variety of activities. Resources are wasted and can be lost if there are not enough youth participating in these activities. As a result, participants are expected to participate in programming a minimum of 8 times per month (or average about 2 times per week). If a participant does not meet this requirement, a phone call will be made to the parent/guardian and participant to notify of their low attendance. They will then be given another opportunity to come to program regularly. Should this happen again, the youth may be deregistered from the Healthy Teenz program to make room for other youth on the waiting list.

Personal Belongings

Prior to structured activities, Healthy Teenz (Kidz) sometimes have free time to listen to music, socialize with one another, use cell phones etc…. Outside of free time, cell phones and personal belongings are not to be used, unless there is an emergency. If youths bring personal belongings to programming they are responsible for any loss or damages. Please use personal belongings at your own risk.

Program Dismissal Policy

On many occasions, Healthy Teenz (Kidz) brings youth on outings outside of the Community Centre, and is often the last activity the program participates in that day. If the activity takes place and ends somewhere outside of the given community, youth are to remain with staff and the program until they arrive back to the community centre. If a youth refuses to return with the program and instead leaves while in another part of HRM, the youth is to be reminded of this policy. If they continue to refuse to accompany the program back to the community centre, the youth will be informed that they are not to attend program the following day. Once staff returns to the program, they need to call and inform their parents about their child’s refusal to return with the program. They are also to be informed about the youth’s resulting suspension from the program for the following day.

An exception can be made if the parent/guardian calls and gives prior permission to allow the youth to leave the program from outside of the given community on either a particular day or on a permanent, daily basis. If a particular participant has this permission for a daily basis, then a notation should be made somewhere that all staff can refer to and be made aware of.

School Closures/Snow Days

As mentioned previously, in the case of school closures due to bad weather, there will not be after school programming for that day (and the Family SOS office closes as well). If school is closed as a result of other reasons such as parent teacher days, etc. it is up to the discretion of the Program Coordinator and Executive Director as to whether program remains open that day. The Healthy Teenz (Kidz) staff will make their best effort in communicating closures and cancellations to parents/guardians.

Smoking Policy

During the hours of Healthy Teenz programming participants are not permitted to smoke cigarettes. This includes travel to and from activities. Smoking is a bad habit with health consequences. This habit is not to be condoned by staff and could negatively influence other participants. Should a youth smoke during the Healthy Teenz programming, they are to be reminded about this policy. The “warning system” should be applied to this if a participant does not adhere to this rule.

Drugs/Alcohol Policy

If a participant arrives either inebriated or smelling of drugs/alcohol, the youth workers are to speak to the participant respectfully and in private about this. Explain to the participant that Healthy Teenz does not condone this behaviour and that it is unacceptable to come to program under this condition. This type of behaviour is illegal for youth and can also negatively influence other participants.  A participant will be asked to leave for the day as a result, but told they will be invited back to program once they are sober or have not engaged in these substances before program. Should this problem occur a second time, parents may be contacted.

Expectations of Parents/Guardians

One of the core elements of the Healthy Teenz (Kidz™) program includes teaching youth appropriate social behavior. This includes being polite, using manners and being respectful towards others. Healthy Teenz (Kidz™) staff does not tolerate abusive behavior from participants such as swearing, yelling, threats or physical violence. When this behavior is demonstrated in program, consequences are issued. Similarly, Healthy Teenz (Kidz™) staff will not tolerate abusive behavior from parents/guardians. If a parent/guardian is unable to interact with Healthy Teenz (Kidz™) staff in a manner that is respectful, formal steps will be taken which may include anything from mediation to charges laid depending on the nature of the incident. Family SOS, including its Healthy Teenz (Kidz™) program, is committed to finding positive proactive solutions while preserving the safety of its staff, volunteers and participants.

General Healthy Teenz/Kidz Guidelines

  1. Absolutely Zero Tolerance. This includes pushing, hitting, wrestling, kicking, etc. You will be sent home.
  2. No verbal violence. This includes yelling, swearing, putting people down, racism, bullying, sexism, ageism, etc.
  3. Respect each other, the program space, the leaders, community partners, and yourself.
  4. Take only one juice and one snack, taking more takes them away from others in the group.
  5. Participate in activities, we do these for you to enjoy.
  6. What is said by children in the program stays in the program; do not talk about participants outside of program.
  7. Attend regularly and be on time. If we are going outside of Family SOS site, you can call or text the Healthy KidzÔ phone to let us know you cannot make it, or if you are running late (902-446-3020).
  8. Let leaders know if you have any allergies or injuries we should be aware of.
  9. Be on your best behavior when we are out in the community, we are representing Healthy KidzÔ and are guests at these activities.
  10. Have fun!