Child abuse prevention for caregivers
When you have children in your care — as part of your job or in your role as a volunteer — you must take care to prevent them from being abused.
- Develop an abuse prevention program.
- Analyze your abuse prevention measures with management every six months, and review them with the staff and/or volunteers every three months.
Tips to keep in mind
An abuse prevention program is designed to protect youth, as well as adults including parents, employees, volunteers, and members.
A good program satisfies parents, as well as the organization, and should provide clear expectations for both groups.
Maintain video surveillance of all key areas. Not only will this keep the children safer, but it will also reduce the chances of false accusations. Also, in the event a real issue arises, a video will assist in the prosecution.
Emotional abuse vs. physical abuse
Each state has its own statutes relating to verbal and nonverbal behavior (mental exploitation, bullying, inappropriate communication, humiliation).
Volunteers vs. employees
You should treat a volunteer the same way you treat an employee — if they work with children, they should sign the same forms, undergo the same screening process, and be bound by the same procedures. Never use unscreened volunteers.