We can’t reduce a risk that we don’t understand.
The single most important step a ministry can take to protect children from sexual abuse is to train ministry workers to understand the problem. When staff members and volunteers have an awareness of the basic characteristics of the sexual abuser, the process by which an abuser selects and prepares a child for abuse, and key indicators of abuse, they are better equipped to recognize and prevent abuse in ministry programs.
Skillful Screening Processes & Training
Keeping the wolf out of the sheep pen.
The Skillful Screening Process encourages an applicant with inappropriate motives to ‘self-select out’ of employee or volunteer pools by utilizing forms and processes meant to elicit a high-risk response. Skillful screening helps intake coordinators and interviewers recognize high-risk responses on applications, reference forms, or during an interview.
Tailored Policies & Procedures
Rooted in the ‘grooming process’ of the offender.
Policies should be rooted in the grooming process of the preferential offender to be truly effective at preventing child sexual abuse. Policies must be succinct, understandable and tailored to ministry programs. Remember, policies are what you do, not what you say you do.
Criminal Background Checks
Necessary, but NOT a stand-alone screening tool.
Criminal background checks are no ‘silver bullet’ because more than 90% of sexual abusers have no criminal record to find, and they know it. Notwithstanding this reality, background checks have become a child-serving standard of care. In addition, STAIR STEP, GROOMING and PLEA-DOWN offenses are common, and should be known to ministry screeners.
Monitoring & Oversight
Ensuring ongoing child protection compliance.
Preventing sexual abuse requires a cohesive system of checks and balances designed to operate with efficiency and consistency.
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The 5-Part Safety System
Though Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris are attorneys, the information and training provided by Abuse Prevention Systems is not intended to be legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal counsel.