Child Sexual Abuse: It’s More Prevalent Than You Think
Know the signs of abuse and the common behaviors of offenders so you can protect the children in your organization.
Vetting Campus Staff and Volunteers Who Work With Children
- Conduct background checks on current staff, as well as on all adults and adolescents who are applying to be teachers, coaches, band leaders, club sponsors and volunteers. Some people with criminal records will attempt to gain access to children through schools, campuses and other programs aimed at children. Be mindful, however, that these checks can provide a false sense of security because many offenders don’t have criminal histories.
- Check references
- Rigorously screen applicants who will have more autonomy
- Consider more in-depth written applications and personal interviews for adolescents. Background checks probably won’t reveal anything on these applicants.
- Do not make exceptions for people you know or have worked with in the past
- Let applicants know your organization is serious about protecting youth, and let them know about your policies and procedures. This might deter some at-risk individuals from applying.
- Ask applicants if they have any issues with any of your organization’s policies and procedures
For more information on the policies and training that can help to prevent abuse, click here.
Helpful Web sites
Cordelia Anderson is the founding president of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.
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