Many organizations have learned to their great cost something about dealing with accusations of the abuse of children in the following ways: Ignoring, denying, covering up, blaming the victim.
Lesson: They don’t work. They don’t work so much that they cause almost as much damage to the organization as abuse does to victims.
During the 2014 Risk Summit in Chicago, 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) emphasized the need to make every effort to protect children who come in contact with adults, from thorough screening to swift, decisive action. That also includes monitoring the behavior of adults working with children.
They said that the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the following recommendations for monitoring behavior.
- Ensure response preparedness based on clear protocols of appropriate/inappropriate behavior.
- Consistent enforcement.
- Defining clear roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers.
- Setting out a clear reporting structure within the organization.
- Using multiple monitoring methods to observe individuals’ interactions.
- Document that monitoring has occurred.
- Additional strategies for the CDC’s Ensuring Safe Environments, such as the use of monitoring devices like video cameras.