Youth Protection – Child Abuse Prevention

Our comprehensive child abuse prevention program builds strategies that protect children, staff and the organization. Child abuse prevention has no single management technique and some strategies will not be effective for every organization so our approach is customized to your needs and operations. Our program emphasizes the strategies that must be embraced throughout the organization in order to reduce the opportunities for abuse. These strategies are based on recognized guidelines, principles and values. Through our program staff, children, families, the community and the organization will be empowered to work together in protecting one of our most valuable assets; our youth.

Youth Protection – Our Philosophy

Few issues associated with the operations of a youth-serving organization are as critical as youth protection. Organizations have the responsibility to ensure that all children in their care are both properly nurtured and safe. Child abuse causes harm to individuals, staff and the organization when it occurs. Sound risk management programs include procedures to prevent child abuse, protect youth in our care, protect staff from false accusations and educate families. Organizations can also serve the greater good by bringing, youth, families and the community in efforts to prevent abuse.

Safe-Wise Consulting focuses on the four types of child abuse; emotional, neglect, physical and sexual abuse. While many organizations focus their efforts on sexual abuse because of its severity, Safe-Wise encourages a more board approach because of our severity-frequency matrix and the prevalence of other forms of abuse. Also, studies show that youth who have been exposed to other forms of abuse are exponentially more likely to be sexual abused later on in life. The management strategies Safe-Wise encourages will help prevent all forms of abuse and better protect youth, staff and the organization from these risks.

Reviewed Prevention and Management Strategies

Policies: A thorough and comprehensive abuse prevention program must be in place in order to protect youth, families, community and the organization itself. A youth protection and/or abuse prevention policy that has been reviewed and adopted by the organization’s Board of Directors should be in effect and is the foundation of the organization’s abuse prevention efforts. This policy provides direction for staff leadership and establishes a structure for the ongoing efforts of the organization.

Screening: Thorough screening procedures are a crucial part of youth protection efforts. Organizations should follow proven screening practices for all employees and volunteers. Practices should be in compliance with all applicable regulations, rules, guidelines and laws relating to the organization and its programs.

Training: Abuse prevention training is necessary for all employees, designated volunteers and supervisors. Training should help staff understand, recognize and report abuse, as well as learn practices and supervision strategies that can protect youth, staff and the organization from harm.

Supervision: Supervision of employees, volunteers, youth and key facility areas is important for preventing abuse.

Communication: Open lines of communication should exist between staff, supervisors, youth, families the organization and the community.

Awareness: Abuse prevention activities should not cease with employees, program volunteers and the Board. Organizations should provide awareness activities and programs for youth, parents and the community.