Virtual Programming Protocol

I. Code of Conduct

Participants of all ages are expected to follow this Code of Conduct while engaged in The Fresh Air Fund’s virtual programming. All participants agree to:   

  1. Work cooperatively to create an environment that is respectful of peers, staff, instructors, mentors, and other volunteers.
  2. Avoid using profanity during virtual programming.
  3. Not record any content, snap pictures, take screengrabs, or audio-recordings of the content shared by The Fresh Air Fund, partners/facilitators, or other participants without express permission. 
  4. Not engage in cyberbullying or other harassing behaviors. 
  5. Not distribute or sell/resell any material created and provided by The Fresh Air Fund and its partners. 
  6. Not display inappropriate material during virtual programming. 
  7. Participants under age 18: Not “friend” on social media or engage in personal friendships and/or text relationships with staff or mentors outside of official programming.  
  8. Make every effort to attend confirmed sessions and make a reasonable effort to provide 24-hours’ notice to program staff when attendance is not possible. 
  9. Follow the rules and regulations of The Fresh Air Fund.
  10. Make every effort to be in as quiet an environment as possible during live sessions.

II. Fresh Air Fund Commitment to Safety

Participant safety is The Fresh Air Fund’s top priority. Any unsafe or problematic situations witnessed while in virtual programming spaces should be reported to our Community Outreach Team at 800-367-0003. 

III. Virtual Safety Protocols

At the end of the introduction to any virtual session, each participant will: 

  1. Know their staff/counselor(s)/instructor(s)/mentor(s) and their name(s).  
  2. Know to tell their staff/counselor(s)/instructor(s)/mentor(s) if someone they do not recognize contacts them as part of the virtual program.  
  3. Know to tell their staff/counselor(s)/instructor(s)/mentor(s) any time they have a problem with any other participant.  
  4. Know a staff/counselor(s)/instructor(s)/mentor(s)to contact if they have a problem with any staff member in their virtual space. 

IV. Policy on Bullying

The Fresh Air Fund is committed to creating a warm, safe, and welcoming virtual environment. There is no space for bullying or cyber-bullying at The Fresh Air Fund.

What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else to cause embarrassment or humiliation. 

How is Cyberbullying Different than Regular Bullying? Cyberbullying can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. Cyberbullying can be done from a physically distant location. Cyberbullying can reach an unlimited audience versus traditional bullying incidents that are witnessed by a limited number of people. The target of the bullying may not know who the bully is or why they are being targeted.   

Tips for Participants 

  • If you get a text or digital message that feels intimidating, harassing or threatening – tell an adult. Do not engage with the person that you feel is harassing or intimidating you.
  • Don’t be part of the problem. If you something that could be hurtful or intimidating toward another person, don’t forward it or “like” it.
  • If you are being bullied, tell an adult immediately to get help solving the problem.

Tips for Staff, Mentors, and Volunteers

  • When young people feel safe and accepted, they learn and retain more.
  • Do not ignore bullying-type behaviors if you see or hear about it.
  • Intervene immediately.
  • Stay neutral and calm. 
  • Maintain confidentiality where possible, but act: There are no “off-the record” conversations where it concerns children.

V. Participant Contact Policy

The Fresh Air Fund is committed to providing a safe environment for participants and staff. To ensure safety, The Fresh Air Fund prohibits one-to-one interactions between its staff and participants through age 17 without parental consent, except described below or in cases of emergency. 

While most programming happens in group sessions, one-to-one interactions may be made for counseling, advising, tutoring, and mentoring services. Such services will be provided by a licensed, trained Social Worker, social work intern, vetted tutor or volunteer, or other approved professional. One-to-one engagements that result from emergency situations will be documented and provided to our Social Work staff and a supervisor or someone in Fresh Air Fund leadership. Follow-up calls with parents/guardians may be made as deemed necessary.

With parental consent, staff may directly contact participants aged 11 and older via text, call, or email to provide program updates and reminders, and to follow-up when there are unexcused absences from programming. 

Staff and volunteers are not allowed to give participants or parents/guardians their personal contact information. They may only share their Fresh Air Fund issued number or email contact information. Participants and parents/guardians should not share their personal contact information with counselors, staff, or volunteers as we already have your information in our official data management system. If you need to provide updated contact information, we ask that you call our Community Outreach department at 1-800-367-0003 so that we may make the update in our official data management system. 

Other than during the live sessions, staff are not permitted to communicate privately with, give out personal contact information to, or become social media friends with participants. This policy includes a prohibition on in-person meetings and virtual communications such as texting and social media. In instances when facilitators are also Friendly Towns Program Volunteer Leaders, one-to-one communication limits are only applicable during the virtual session.

Participants should not try to find Fresh Air Fund staff or partners on social media. Staff may not accept friend/follow requests from participants. If a participant sends a friend/follow request, staff are directed to decline the request. Staff may send just one message in response to a friend/follow request: “I am unable to accept your friend/follow request. As a Fresh Air Fund employee, I cannot communicate with you via social media or outside of programs.”   

Staff will immediately inform a supervisor if a fellow staff member violates this policy. Should any employee violate this policy, The Fresh Air Fund will take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

VI. Video Recording Policy

To protect participants, especially children, The Fresh Air Fund may record live virtual sessions. Recordings will be password protected and stored by The Fresh Air Fund. Recordings will be used by The Fresh Air Fund and its partners for training, reporting, promotional and fundraising purposes, and will not be sold or otherwise duplicated. Recordings will be deleted at The Fresh Air Fund’s sole discretion.