To determine what screening tools are most appropriate to use for a particular position and to ensure consistency in your screening protocols, we recommend that you inventory the strengths and risks associated with your paid and volunteer positions. That includes:
- The likelihood of unsupervised contact with children and youth (both routine and incidental)
- The level of supervision the staff members or volunteers are subject to
- The kinds of interactions the staff members or volunteers are expected to have with the children/youth in their care
- Factors such as the likelihood of interaction with children and youth of a certain age, or with those who have other conditions or characteristics which may make them more vulnerable (e.g., are preverbal, have limited communication skills or mobility, or have had adverse experiences that impact their ability to report abuse or to do so accurately and with credibility)
- The level of decision-making or autonomy within the position
To sum it up, whether your youth-serving organization is large enough to have a risk management or human resources office that can conduct a formal assessment, or is a small business with a single proprietor, our risk inventory translates into some basic questions that can help determine the appropriate level of screening for your potential employees and volunteers.
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