Finding and retaining a qualified and diverse workforce is one of the greatest challenges for youth-serving organizations like yours. Given the competition for support and staffing, you may be concerned about scaring people off with early discussions about background checks and screening. But balancing marketing with safety is easier than it sounds. In fact, clear statements about your commitment to keeping children safe can not only help deter applications from individuals who may pose a risk, but also appeal to the types of individuals you’re hoping to attract. It can provide you with a strategic advantage over other youth-serving organizations that do not undertake the same level of protection for the children and youth in their care.
Your safety-focused policies, procedures, and tools can also be attractive to employees and volunteers because these structures serve to protect them as well. Materials and statements on your website, job and volunteer postings, and advertising that demonstrate your awareness of child safety issues, express your serious commitment to safety, and describe the steps your organization takes to keep children from being harmed, will also be attractive to parents who seek out services or activities for their children.
Your recruitment and marketing materials should:
- Clearly state your commitment to overall child safety and well-being, including child sexual abuse prevention
- Inform applicants about background check requirements and what the “deal breakers” are
- Share your organization’s Mission Statement/Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
Here’s an example of the kind of statement you can make to express your organization’s commitment to safety in your materials:
“This organization is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and youth accessing our services. We have taken steps to educate our staff about the risks related to child sexual abuse, instituted policies and practices to protect children from the risk of child sexual abuse, and trained our staff and volunteers about proper reporting requirements.”
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