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Safeguarding Our Community

Our mission is to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships, and to work together to build a more human society. These relationships are central to the identity and mission of L’Arche.

In order to fully live out this mission and to be accountable to our own standards and to the human rights of people with and without disability, we need to be particularly pro-active in safeguarding to protect our most vulnerable members across the Federation. This Code of Conduct seeks to establish clear guidelines and name the boundaries of these relationships.

Mutually transforming relationships refer to relationships between all those who participate in the life of a L’Arche community and beyond – people with and without intellectual disabilities, regardless of their specific roles.

Mutuality implies certain equality between both partners in the relationship. We affirm the fundamental equality between us as human beings. We also recognize that there can be an imbalance of power and/or capacity to function that creates an inequality in relationships, particularly between assistants and persons with an intellectual disability.


The vulnerability of this inequality needs to be acknowledged, and clear boundaries regarding how we touch and assist others must be respected in all circumstances, particularly in the domain of personal care. L’Arche therefore commits to establishing a protective environment with zero tolerance towards abuse/violence of any kind to our members. This Code of Conduct applies to those communities directly supported by L’Arche International. It therefore applies to all people taking part in the life of L’Arche, whether employed or in a voluntary capacity.


This includes any person who is in direct or indirect caregiving, working and/or personal relationship with community members such as assistants and leaders of all levels, employees such as office/administrative staff, Board members, friends who volunteer on a regular basis, or any member who provides spiritual accompaniment or mentoring support for the community or individuals. The code applies to all these people in all situations, during working hours and outside working hours. This policy is part of the L’Arche Ontario framework of policies that address the prevention of abuse. It sets forth the expected behaviours and practices constituting Daybreak’s minimum standards and actions to be avoided.

Patrick and Maria

L’Arche Daybreak policies and documents related to safeguarding members of our community include:

Abuse Prevention Policy

Complaints Process Policy

Confirmation of Compliance: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (March 2023)

L'Arche International News Update

Press Release and Study Commission Report (January 30, 2023)