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#63651 - 08/15/06 07:16 PM keeping kids safe in public activities
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
There has been a lot of discussion recently, on both sides of the Discussion Board, that has to do one way or another with whether or not kids are safe as they engage in public activities these days.

I belong to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the UK, and in the latest newsletter they discuss this very issue. I thought it might be useful to repost their guidelines.

I put this in F&F so both survivors and partners and friends can comment if they wish.

----------------------------

KEEPING KIDS SAFE THIS SUMMER


If your child, or a child you know, is involved in community activities in the summer, use the checklist below to make sure they are properly safeguarded.

1. Are the staff and volunteers suitable to work with children? All staff and volunteers should go through a proper recruitment process which includes interviews, references and police checks.

2. Is there a written code of behaviour?
All organisations should have a written code of behaviour which outlines good practice when working with children. Bullying, shouting, racism and sexism are not acceptable.

3. How can you or your child (or a child you know) voice concern? Organisations should tell you where to go and what to do if you, or your child, have any worries. If you are unhappy about the way your concern is dealt with, contact the NSPCC's Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000.

4. Does the organisation have a health and safety policy? Find out if there is a leader qualified in first aid, that there is a first aid box, and that the premises have passed fire regulations.

5. What are the arrangements when children go on outings? You should be informed of arrangements - including the transport there and back - for every outing, no matter how long or short, and your consent should be requested.

6. Does the organisation have an internet safety policy? If the organisation allows children to access the internet, find out what guidelines or filtering software they have in place for safe surfing.

7. What should you be wary of?

  • Activities where parents are discouraged from staying to watch or becoming involved.
  • Behaviour or activities that encourage rough play, sexual innuendo or humiliating punishments.
  • Individuals who take charge and operate independently of organisational guidelines.
  • Individuals who show favouritism or personally reward specific children.
  • Encouragement of inappropriate physical contact.
  • Poor communication and lack of parental involvement, leaving you feeling uneasy.
  • Children who drop out or stop going for no apparent reason.
  • Invitations for children to spend time alone with staff or volunteers (or even to visit their home).


_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#63652 - 08/15/06 08:10 PM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Good pointers here. The other point I would like to make is to be aware of your childrens' general physical health, and to encourage them to speak to you about any health problems they might have.

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#63653 - 08/15/06 08:25 PM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Nobby,

that is the most important part as a parent, to be a best friend and open to the child.
Let them know that they can tell you anything and you will always listen.

If a child becomes withdrawn, or different, then it should be a warning sign which needs to be acted on, dont blame it on growing up stuff,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#63654 - 08/15/06 08:30 PM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Ste,

That's really it - making sure the child knows he can talk about anything. It will still be difficult for him to come to safe adults with difficult problems that make him feel ashamed or embarrassed, but some prodding and patience will usually bring it out if there's a good foundation of trust.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#63655 - 08/15/06 09:24 PM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 796
Loc: North Texas
Hi all, something else to think about, when a kid is young, parents keep a close eye on their kids. But when they get in the 10 to 15 year range parents start to let kids do things on there own, I know this is part of the growing up process. But I was looking at the sex offenders web site in my town, and it seems to me that they are targeting this same age group. So I know something needs to be done.

Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#63656 - 08/15/06 09:30 PM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Larry,

am I glad I never had kids, I would have been the worst parent I guess.
What I do though, is leave kids open to know they can talk if they want to.

They always greeted me when I came home from work, like I am their dad, but I never get close to them other than to talk, and see they are OK.

If one is a bit down, I would say, wanna share it?
Yeah, I am the guy who says you cant do this or that, talking about them riding motor cycles, but I taught them the history of where they lived and like it was magic for them.

I am made up when they tell me it is cool because they never knew that, but its worth a million to just watch a kid as they listen to what you are saying.

I guess its what I was when I was a kid, wanting to know everything.
I am broody over not having kids, but guess it was the best way in todays society.

That is why I talk to them, to know that they can talk if they need to, and believe me, it can save a life, so its worth it,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#63657 - 08/16/06 03:27 AM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Good advice Larry - most of it is common sense, unfortunately, no one checks to make sure parents have enough of it.

We just had a situation in my town just last week that re-enforces the need to know what's going on and to know whose care your kids are in. There is a day camp in town; pay a small fee and you can bring your kids to the park for the day. The “supervisors” are mostly kids themselves, between 15-18 years old doing a summer gig, although there is supposed to be an adult on site. A woman brought her 6 year old daughter and 7 year old son to the park, dropped them off and went to work. Well on that day there was a field trip planned. These two children did not have a permission slip. The 16 year old kid “in charge” called the township to tell them that there were 2 kids without permission to go. Now common sense would say, uh oh, better call Mom (every kid has emergency numbers on file) and find out the scoop so she could either give oral permission or come pick up the kids. Not this time though. Whatever dolt picked up the phone told the 16 year old kid, they don’t have permission, leave them there. WHAT! Yes, it happened. A busload of kids, along with camp supervisors got on the bus and left two 6 & 7 year old children in the park ALONE. The 16 year old was stupid, but I’m not going to kill him for it. He’s a teenager who did what the adult told him to do.

These kids sat there for 4 hours before the little girl waved down a passing car and asked for a ride. They were thirsty, hungry and had to go to the bathroom. Thank goodness the motorist was a decent person and not some perv, so he called the police who came and got the children. Everyone is OK but there has to be hell to pay by someone. Mom screwed up to be sure because she never checked the activities calendar, but the people whose care she left her children in should be shot for leaving those kids alone.

ROCK ON.........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#63658 - 08/16/06 05:48 PM Re: keeping kids safe in public activities
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Trish,

I'm glad you posted this. It looks to me like the Idiot Award goes to the adult supervisor of the day camp.

So we're back to the issue of public awareness and the need for people working at these camps to get some minimum of training. You're right. It wasn't the teenager's fault; he was just doing what he was told. That said, I AM surprised that a 16-year-old didn't think the order was just a bit crazy. But still, not his fault

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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