Policy Assessment and Consultation
Prevention is always the best policy.
Essential to effective sexual abuse risk management, written policies help to communicate your commitment to abuse prevention to your employees, volunteers, consumers, and the community at large. Additionally, these policies define acceptable behavior within the organization—what is permitted between your staff and youth or vulnerable adults and what is not.
You must ensure your policies are appropriate for the nature of your programming. Praesidium’s policy analysis reviews your organization’s written policies and compares them to best practices and proper abuse prevention standards. The policy analysis also reviews supporting documents to ensure nothing written contradicts your overall abuse prevention efforts.
For example, does your policy state that you do not accept anonymous reports? Do you only require one reference in your screening process? Our abuse prevention consultants review these and take into consideration your special circumstances, for example whether you are a member of a larger federated organization with minimum standards or whether you must adhere to insurance requirements. And more.
Once our in-depth policy review is complete, we prepare a report that identifies existing risk exposures and make recommendations to strengthen your formalized policies.
If you do not have robust written policies or are new to this type of programming, we can help develop policies that meet best practice and safety standards to prevent sexual abuse.
Policies and procedures addressing professional ethics/boundaries/interactions with clients may be contained in employee or volunteer handbooks, Codes of Conduct, disciplinary or de-escalation materials and may address: physical interactions, verbal discussions and self-disclosure, whether team members can be alone with one client and how to manage those interactions, electronic communications or social media, and favoritism or gifts.
Screening & Selection
Documents used in the Screening and Selection process for individuals working/volunteering/interning with clients, including related policies, procedures, or forms outlining the interview, reference check, and background check processes.
Training materials or documentation that addresses the content, frequency, and audience for any abuse prevention training. These materials may address professional ethics, boundaries, client interactions, supervision methods, and/or reporting processes.
Policies and procedures addressing reporting and responding processes when a concern regarding professional ethics/boundaries/client interactions or program operations arises. These response procedures may address: suspicions that do not rise to the level of abuse, suspected abuse, and/or client-to-client behaviors and abuse.