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6 Key Questions a Parent Should Ask of an Organization

As you evaluate camps, programs, and other activities for your children, ask specific questions about the Organization to ensure they take abuse prevention seriously.

What Abuse Prevention Policies and Procedures does the Organization have in place?

Answers to look for:

  • They have a Staff Code of Conduct they can share with you that addresses the following:
    • Limitation of one-on-one interactions
    • Policies about electronic communication and social media
    • Professional ethics/boundaries/interactions with consumers
    • Policies around gift-giving and favoritism

How Does the Organization Handle Screening New and Regular Staff and Volunteers?

Criminal background checks are industry standard, so they must be done. While some offenders may not have a criminal history, it is still vital to screen employees and volunteers by conducting criminal court record searches. Background checks can be bolstered with interviews and reference checks – both personal and professional on prospective staff. Since not all offenders have criminal records and juvenile records cannot be included in background checks these additional checks can provide a more complete picture of the candidate.

Answers to look for:

  • Other screening methods being used in addition to criminal background checks and designed to assess for abuse risk such as:
    • Interviews
    • Reference checks
  • Regular re-screening of year-round staff and volunteers at least every two years
  • Re-screening annually for seasonal staff and volunteers

What Type of Abuse Prevention Training are the Staff and Volunteers Required to Take?

Answers to look for:

  • Training is provided that addresses:
    • How to identify and respond to red-flag behaviors and boundary violations
    • How to prevent youth-to-youth abuse
    • How to recognize and manage high-risk activities and areas
    • How to report suspected abuse and mandatory reporting requirements

How Does the Organization Handle Consistent Supervision of Consumers?

Answers to look for:

  • Consumers are supervised at all times. The organization maintains the rule of three or more.
  • There should never be one staff member or volunteer alone with one consumer or program participant. If, for some reason, this happens, the staff/volunteers are trained to report it immediately.
  • Volunteers are supervised by a lead staff who checks in randomly to make sure volunteers and junior staff are following the correct supervision procedures.
  • Specific procedures are in place for monitoring shower times, bathrooms, transition times, free time, transportation, and night activities.

What is the Organization’s Reporting Process Should a Situation Occur that Makes Someone Uncomfortable?

Answers to look for:

  • Staff, volunteers, consumers, and parents are provided with multiple ways, including anonymous methods, to report any concerns.
  • The Organization is aware of and follows all state-mandated reporting laws.

Is your Organization Accredited by Praesidium?

Answer to look for:

  • Yes!


If your organization would like to learn more about Screening, Training, or Praesidium Accreditation, contact us today!