Child sexual abuse is predictable and preventable when we surround children with knowledgeable and outspoken adults. Whether you have ever stopped to acknowledge it or not, your children are surrounded by adults...but are they knowledgeable and outspoken about child sexual abuse on behalf of your children?
 
Although having a core group of staff members go through the Child Sexual Abuse Best Practices training is essential, it's simply not enough. You need to surround your children with staff, volunteers and even parents who are knowledgeable about how abuse happens and specifically aware of the boundaries you have put in place to reduce the risk of sexual abuse. This is a crucial component needed to stop child molesters in their tracks.
 
Deliver Mandatory Staff and Volunteer Training
Mandatory child sexual abuse training for staff and volunteers is a crucial component of the Child Sexual Abuse Best Practices program because it provides the basis for everyone in the organization to learn to talk about the pandemic and specifically educates them to recognize grooming behaviors in child molesters as well as signs of abuse in children. More importantly, it sets the stage for proactive protection of children in your care which serves as a deterrent to potential offenders who are looking for easy access which would allow them to exploit children.

Training Content
The training program consists of two modules as follows:

Module #1 - Child Sexual Abuse Basics – Who, Where, When, Why, What? How?
This training module is a key part of your child sexual abuse prevention program and participation should be mandatory for every staff member and volunteer and it should be repeated annually.

The objectives of this module are to:

  1. Raise your level of awareness of the CSA pandemic and its consequences
  2. Visualize and transform YOUR world into a safer place for kids
  3. Teach you to recognize vulnerability patterns, risky behaviors and signs of abuse
  4. Discuss barriers that keep people from talking about abuse and taking appropriate action
  5. Understand your responsibility to protect kids and respond to abuse
Module #2 - Child Sexual Abuse Boundaries – For Youth Serving Organizations
As we mentioned earlier, written boundaries are at the heart of protecting children. Without them, every day is filled with a myriad of subjective choices that are far too often hindered by our emotions, opinions, relationships, and quest for personal gain (acceptance, security, promotion, raise, etc.). When boundaries are established and documented in writing, they provide a mechanism for objective decision making that applies to everyone who comes in contact with children in your care. No exceptions!

This training module covers the boundaries discussed in Best Practice #3 which now need to be communicated to your staff and volunteers. Training participation should be mandatory for every staff member and volunteer and the training should be repeated annually.

The objective of this module is to discuss in depth the boundaries included in the following 6 categories:
  1. On-Site Boundaries
  2. Off-Site Boundaries
  3. Off-Hours Boundaries
  4. Electronic Communication and Social Media Boundaries
  5. Child-to-Child Boundaries
  6. Gift Boundaries
Engage Parents in Enforcing Boundaries
Although training your staff and volunteers is essential, it's still not enough. We need to engage adults who are not part of your organization and therefore not inclined to protect it. This is a crucial component needed to stop child molesters in their tracks.

This level of accountability is essential to the success of the Child Sexual Abuse Best Practices program and is only achievable by training parents on the established boundaries and engaging them in the enforcement process. Your organization can simply extend access to both on-line training modules referenced above to the parents and caregivers of children in your care.