You’ve probably noticed that the tips we’ve provided this month are directly tied to the Praesidium Safety Equation operations. That’s because, at Praesidium, we firmly believe that abuse prevention in organizations is most effective through a systems-based approach. This week, we turn our attention to the next two operations: Internal Feedback Systems and Consumer Participation (click here for our discussion on Policies and Screening and here for our review of Training and Monitoring and Supervision).
Internal Feedback Systems
Internal Feedback Systems is the gathering of information from within your organization and program operations to identify high-risk programs and individuals. By collecting, compiling, and analyzing data, we can recognize where and when there is a need to increase monitoring, supervision, and training or implement policy changes. For example, complaints from employees, volunteers, or youth, serious or frequent incidents, and violations noted by external licensing bodies can be used to identify potential gaps in safety practices. We recommend regularly reviewing information for trends and patterns to identify and address concerns systematically across the organization.
Consumer Participation focuses on how we empower youth to establish and recognize personal boundaries. Though ultimately it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of the youth in our care, youth, as well as their families, can play a role in protecting themselves and communicating to others when their boundaries are being crossed. Whether a youth is in your care for one day or an extended period of time, your organization has the incredible opportunity to empower youth with life-long self-protection skills and recognition of their own boundaries and agency. Evaluate the type of information you currently provide to youth and determine how you can further enhance their self-protection skills. Consider educational opportunities like age- and developmentally- appropriate videos or pamphlets as well as one-on-one conversations with parents or guardians.
Leveraging available information allows us to make informed decisions and positive organizational change. Empowering youth to hold the organization accountable for meeting the highest standards in child abuse prevention helps us maintain a safe environment.
For more information about Praesidium’s Consumer Education materials, please contact us at Praesidium@PraesidiumInc.com.