Your organization will need to be prepared to respond to interactions observed among youth and between employees/volunteers and youth. With a monitoring protocol, your employees/volunteers will be clear about their roles and responsibilities, and prepared to respond immediately to inappropriate or harmful behavior, potential risk situations, and potential boundary violations.
Here are some best practices to consider.
- Monitoring child safety and staff boundaries should be part of your staff job descriptions and measured in their regular performance evaluations.
- Child Safety should be owned by one specific staff member or a small team, depending on your organization’s size. This person or team serves as a resource to other staff and volunteers who have questions about your organization’s child safety policies or structure, and drives your ongoing efforts to assess and improve child safety within your organization.
- Other information-gathering your organization performs (annual surveys, internal audits, etc.) should contain embedded checks in the form of questions about boundaries.
- Regular trainings should help all individuals involved in the organization develop a healthy self-concept and feel empowered to speak for themselves, and provide parents with important information on sexual abuse prevention.
- Your protocol will need to be enforced so appropriate actions follow. Your supervisors need to redirect inappropriate behaviors to promote positive behaviors, confront inappropriate or harmful behaviors, and help to report these behaviors to DCF/law enforcement if necessary.
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