As you prepare for summer activities and events, this is a good time to communicate your organization’s abuse prevention commitment to your program participant’s parents and guardians. While many organizations shied away from talking about this topic in the past, Praesidium is encountering more and more organizations that are proud to publicize their hard work in abuse prevention. Here are some helpful tips for drafting this communication.
- First, let parents know that your organization takes abuse prevention seriously. You have policies in place to keep kids safe, you screen and train your staff, and you take reports seriously.
- Next, it’s important for parents to understand your organization’s abuse prevention policies. You can provide parents with a copy of your organization’s Code of Conduct so they know what behaviors are appropriate and what behaviors they need to report. For example, if your organization prohibits babysitting, and one of the counselors offers to babysit for a family, that family knows that babysitting violates the policies of your organization and they know to make a report.
- Then, ensure parents have a way to report concerns to your organization. For example, you can include names and phone numbers of organization employees in parent and participant handbooks. You can also include information on your website. You might also consider providing an anonymous reporting method for parents too. For example, you can provide a comment box somewhere in your program area that is accessible to parents. Providing multiple ways to provide feedback helps minimize barriers to reporting.