As the new school year begins, children go off to school and caregivers continue to work. Gaps in scheduling can mean finding others to pick up kids from school or finding an after-school program or daycare to ensure they are supervised and safe.
When selecting a program for children you care about, you want to make sure to ask questions about the care they will be receiving. Asking questions such as: What is your approach to discipline? How have the staff been background checked? are great questions! Read below to learn questions that take safety a step further.
Questions to ask a youth-serving program can include:
- What is your child protection policy? Can I have a copy of your employee handbook? By knowing what is expected of the staff interacting with your child, you will have a better idea of processes and protocols implemented at the organization.
- Do children of different age groups interact? This is an important question because 90% of children are abused by someone they know and 40%-50% are abused by older or more powerful children. By learning if your child will be interacting with other age groups, you can better identify ways to keep your child safe.
- Is your staff required to take a Child Abuse Prevention course? Not all programs or organizations that serve youth require this type of training. If this is something you would like the organization to take you can let them know about free training such as ChildSafe’s “Recognizing & Reporting Child Maltreatment” training that can be completed online or in person.
Finally, talk to the kids in your life about their day. Ask who their favorite teacher is, what subject they like most in school. Ask them what the best and worst part of their day was. 60% of children who have been victimized never tell anyone. By opening the lines of communication and asking open-ended questions, you are letting a child know that they can talk to you. And if a child knows they can open up to you about little things, they will be more likely to open up about important things.
If you would like more information on how you can help protect children, visit www.childsafe-sa.org.