Our camps and programs were designed to uniquely serve children who have been abused, abandoned, and neglected.
For The Children recognizes that our volunteers serve a vulnerable population of children who have already been hurt or wounded by others. In spite of numerous policies and procedures in place, it is recognized that serving over 8,500 children per year with over 13,000 volunteers in over 200 locations means that no one can give an absolute guarantee of safety.
Unfortunately, abuse happens everywhere – sports teams, school districts, day care centers, churches and at camps. To understand the depth of this problem, experts estimate that one in every four girls and one in every six boys have been abused. Unfortunately, potential abusers gravitate to where kids are.1 Therefore, diligence, enforcement, and cultural shifts within our programs and the community will be required to ultimately keep kids safe. Still, even with the best designed plans, it is important to recognize that predators will still try to work around the system.
With that in mind, the FTC Child Protection Plan is extensive. It is designed to qualify eligible volunteers, identify inappropriate behavior, and limit the impact of abuse.
The plan includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- National criminal background checks.
- Written applications
- 30-minute interviews with volunteers
- Initial and annual refresher training for all volunteers
- Sexual abuse prevention training
- Stringent policies and accountability designed to avoid private one-on-one situations
- Age-appropriate information for the children about safety, personal boundaries and reporting
- Training key leaders in screening and interview techniques
- Educating all volunteers to report inappropriate or questionable behavior
- Regularly updated training of leaders through National and Regional events
- Regularly updated training materials provided for local volunteers
- Working closely with Social Services to follow their protective policies and procedures in additional to those listed by FTC
Our goal is to make sure every child is safe and protected in our organization. We know that children are society’s most prized possessions, and we take our responsibility very seriously.
- The Advocacy Center. “The Facts About Youth Sexual Abuse.” Accessed February 21, 2014, www.theadvocacycenter.org