Policy Statement: Children’s Theatre of Southern Maryland Inc (CTSMD) has ZERO tolerance of child abuse. As an organization that primarily serves children, our highest priority is child safety. It is the policy of CTSMD to diligently empower and protect our Youth by providing safe spaces for theatre education and experiences. We work every day to ensure our policies, procedures and practices embody the highest safety standards for the young people that we serve. We are committed to doing everything we can to create and strengthen a culture that protects and respects children, while embracing the joy and impact of theatre.
This policy is communicated and applied to staff, student actors, students taking CTSMD classes, and volunteers. It is also shared with parents of students engaged at CTSMD. Questions about interpreting this policy should be directed to the Children’s Theatre of Southern Maryland’s Artistic Director or President of the Board of Directors at CTSMD.
Policy Summary: This policy is a codification of the Youth Safety Policy language included in CTSMD’s Volunteer Handbook and found throughout CTSMD’s procedures, manuals and agreements. The following areas are covered by this policy:
Definitions: For purposes of all areas of CTSMD’s Youth Safety Policy and any related policies, the following definitions apply:
Background checks, including criminal history and the National Sex Offender database checks, are conducted for every volunteer prior to beginning any volunteer position prior to beginning the function that individual volunteered for. These background checks are conducted in compliance with the Fair Credit and Reporting Act and other legal requirements. Background checks are not permitted for individuals under 18.
CTSMD will conduct periodic rechecks for positions working directly with children. CTSMD will recheck all volunteers at least every 5 years and will
recheck those with direct contact with children at least every 3 years. CTSMD reserves the right to randomly check any volunteer more frequently than the stated 3-year or 5-year intervals.
TSMD prohibits Adult interaction with Youth outside of scheduled rehearsals, performances, classes, or CTSMD-sanctioned activities.
Safe Ratios/Rule of 3: CTSMD practices safe Adult to Youth ratios with a “Rule of 3n, meaning no Adult will be one-on-one with any Youth in a private space. Specific guidelines with respect to fraternization include, without limitation:
Adults are prohibited from “dating” Youth or otherwise having outside
personal contact with Youth, or encouraging an emotional and/or sexual
relationship with a Youth who is in any way affiliated with CTSMD or its
programs. State laws prohibit sexual contact or sexual intercourse with anyone under the age of 18. Consent of a minor is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.
This included improper touching. Adults must be aware that even a casual
gesture may cause emotional injury, particularly to a child.
Adults are not permitted to be “friends” with Youth on any social media
platforms, to send email and/or text messages, conduct phone calls, or
photograph or post images of Youth outside of formal communications
relevant to the business of CTSMD. Where pre-existing relationships exist
between an Adult and a Youth related to social media or other electronic
communication, the Adult will notify in writing the Artistic Director or
President of the CTSMD Board of Directors.
Consistent with Maryland Law, CTSMD is committed to protecting children
whose health or welfare may be jeopardized through neglect or physical or
sexual abuse. CTSMD requires its volunteers to be familiar with the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors law (See Maryland Statutes, Family Law Article 5- 704, 5-705 at
https://cdn.ymaws.com/naswmd.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/imported/chil d%20abuse%20reporting%20checklist.pdf that mandates, in certain
circumstances, reporting of possible child neglect or abuse. Under Maryland Law, Adults may have a mandatory obligation to report actual or suspected child neglect and physical or sexual abuse. Therefore, Adults who know or have reason to believe that a child is being neglected or physically or sexually abused, or has been neglected or physically or sexually abused within the preceding three years, are required to immediately (as soon as possible, but in no event longer than 24 hours) report this information to the local welfare agency or other appropriate governmental agency. If the person making the report is unsure about the appropriate governmental agency to which the report should be made, contact one of the following:
If the child is in immediate danger, call 911. In addition, the person making the report should notify one of the following CTSMD officials as soon as possible:
CTSMD strictly prohibits retaliation against any person of any form in response to reports made in good faith under this policy, including retaliation against the reporter, the child with respect to whom the report was made, or any persons involved in a related investigation.individuals who are found to be engaged in retaliation will be subject to discipline up to and including termination from being a member of or having the honor of participating in any and all activities at CTSMD. If there are any questions or concerns about retaliation please contact CTSMD’s Artistic Director or any active member of the current Board of Directors.
Due to the nature of our programming, we cannot give refunds for missed classes/programs. Once you have completed your purchase, it is assumed that you will be completing the class/program. We understand things can happen and should you have an extenuating circumstance, please contact email@example.com with your name, class/program purchased and your reasoning for cancelling. Excessive absence cannot be accommodated and CTSMD is not responsible to credit or refund these situations to a future class/program