12 federal agencies have been given the task of developing a joint federal youth policy. We would like to see them include a requirement that youth-serving organizations receiving federal funds have organizational policies and procedures and training in child sexual abuse.
They have been collecting input from the public and professionals in a variety of ways. We would like to present them with a petition. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we don’t want to let it pass without doing everything we can.
Read below, and if you are willing to have your name and/or organization affixed to the petition below, click on this link, ctownsend@D2L.org. No response needed EXCEPT your name, or name and organization.We would love to have as many organizations represented as possible. Thank you for your participation!
INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP PETITION
We are committed to increasing awareness of child sexual abuse. This includes awareness of its life-long effects on individual victims and their families and its considerable impact on society as a whole.
We believe that child sexual abuse can be prevented. We believe that practices and policies exist that can reduce the risk of children being sexually abused.
We stand united in our belief that schools and other youth serving organizations have a responsibility for providing safe environments for the youth they serve. Further, we believe that youth serving organizations and their staff are uniquely positioned to:
- Actively prevent child sexual abuse both inside and outside the organizational environment.
- Recognize possible signs of current or past sexual abuse in the youth they serve.
- Respond to concerns or incidents of abuse in a lawful manner that also: directs youth and their families to appropriate professional help; prevents further abuse; and produces the best possible outcome for the victim.
We believe that increased child sexual abuse awareness and education for child-serving professionals will create safer environments that result in fewer incidents, earlier and more appropriate interventions, reduced harm, and greater overall safety for children.
We appeal to the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs to include child sexual abuse prevention organizational policy standards and staff training requirements in their recommendations for federal youth safety policy.