One proactive thing parents can do to be more involved in child safety is to ask the youth organizations that serve their children about the policies they have in place. Make sure organizations have all of the following:
- Policy for reducing or eliminating one adult/one-child situations. The policy should ensure that all activities can be easily observed or interrupted.
- Clear policy on the supervision of older youth who have responsibility for the care of children and careful monitoring of all staff and volunteers.
- Hiring practices that include background checks, personal interviews and professional recommendations for all adults who serve children.
- Guidelines on dealing with suspicious situations and reports of abuse. Should include how to respond to inappropriate behavior and policy violations.
- Training for staff and volunteers on how to prevent and recognize abuse.
Be bold and direct. Organizations that are serious about child protection should willingly share their policies with all parents and caregivers and should enlist the help and support of parents in these efforts.