Adopt appropriate prevention policies.

Parents, caregivers, and concerned community members can ask questions about these measures and advocate for youth-serving organizations and programs to adopt them.

Child safety begins with safe hiring policy. 

When hiring staff and volunteers, organizations should ask screening questions, conduct reference and background checks, and check the sex offender registries. Parents should avoid placing their children in programs that do not make use of all of these approaches.

Staff and volunteers should be trained to recognize and respond to suspected or disclosed child sexual abuse.

This training should include requirements for reporting. All staff and volunteers should immediately report suspected child abuse to authorities themselves. It is not enough for staff to report to a supervisor.

One-on-one interactions—especially in isolated locations—should be avoided.

Choose group activities whenever possible. Consider whether it is ever appropriate for one staff member or volunteer to be alone with one child. If one-on-one time is necessary or unavoidable, these interactions should take place in open, observable areas, or be subject to routine, random observation (such as check-ins with another staff member).

Organizations should also be aware of older children’s access to younger children.

For example, programs that pair younger students with older student “buddies” should also seek to eliminate or monitor one-on-one time between older and younger children.