Back to School – Child Abuse Prevention Tips!
This is the second in a series of four “Back to School” posts we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks.
As a parent, one of the things I struggle with is the realization that I will not always be there to protect my children; whether their returning back to school, attending Sunday school, or participating in an extracurricular program. The stats around child safety can keep even the strongest parent up at night. This post highlights safety & security tips regarding abuse prevention. Plus, at the end, check out the links for additional resources, they’re great for sharing with your teams, volunteers, and parents.
Top three points that every person who works with children should know.
- 90% of all childhood sexual abuse occurs by someone with whom the child knows and has a trusted, established relationship, not by a stranger.
- Childhood sexual abuse occurs among ALL socioeconomic, educational, racial, and cultural groups in the United States and in the world.
- Sex offenders do not usually look “weird”. There is no outward physical appearance to indicate an abuser, and they are experts at hiding their true selves. Sex offenders look “normal”. It’s part of the “con”.
Top five security tips for abuse prevention.
- Always have updated policies & practices in place and communicate them often to staff, volunteers and administration.
- Ensure a child is never alone with one adult. Establish the “Rule of 2’s” (minimum 2 kids & 2 adults) when moving kids or taking them to the restroom.
- Evaluate the physical environment of each room; open up hidden areas & secure private spaces. Make it impossible for an adult to be alone or out of sight with a child.
- Never allow children to be unattended in your facility! This will prevent one child from abusing another. Even the children of teachers, pastors, volunteers or staff need to be supervised.
- Establish consistent screening policies for volunteers, staff and individuals participating in special event activities.
Always remember…KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and worth sharing!
Safely Ever After – www.safelyeverafter.com
Stop It Now – www.stopitnow.org
Darkness to Light – www.darkness2light.org
Prevent Child Abuse America – www.preventchildabuse.org
Crimes Against Child Resource Center – www.unh.edu/ccrc
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