When an employee or volunteer is accused of child sexual abuse, even organizations that want to address the problem in the most conscientious way possible can feel lost or misguided in reporting the situation.
They must report it, however, because any delay can be damaging, making a bad situation worse.
During the 2014 Risk Summit sponsored by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, Julie Novak of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), Susan Woessner of USA Swimming and Susan E. Yoder of the American Camp Association (ACA) urged swift reporting in all cases, and they offered the protocols that have been established by the BBBSA.
National organization standards require any incident or allegation of child abuse or exploitation involving a volunteer, board member or staff be reported immediately to law enforcement and BBBSA. National standards require affiliates to report any suspicion of child abuse or exploitation to child protection services or law enforcement.
The protocol was developed in consultation with federal law enforcement authorities and prioritizes:
- Protection of any child who might come into contact with an individual who might pose a safety threat;
- Full cooperation and coordination with authorities; and,
- Protection of the organization’s ability to carry out its mission into the future.