So, this is something that caught my interest. What if an insurance company was created specifically to work with organizations that work with children, and study what would really work, versus what doesn’t in regards to prevention? After 25 years of research, experience, and looking for answers, they came up with a few. The most important thing wasn’t doing background checks for volunteers and employees, it was much simpler than all of that.
The “first and most important rule” for preventing child sexual abuse is to not allow an organization’s employees to be alone with children, Trapani said.
“What we found most often was that the number one thing that happened was that there was inadequate supervision, or that the adult was allowed to be alone with a child,” he said.
This makes sense. Even something as common and necessary as background checks are only going to catch people who’ve already been caught before. It’s a good thing to do, but it leaves that gap. What doesn’t leave a gap is having policies and procedures in place that prevent anyone from being able to abuse kids when working with your organization. If being alone with a child is simply not acceptable for anyone, that closes those gaps.
As the article goes on, that means rules like not giving kids gifts, not driving them home, etc. That’s what works, and it has to just be the culture in the organization, no questions asked. Create that culture, and you’re making the best effort to protect kids that you can make.
It’s worth the effort, there’s nothing more important to your organization.