Before allowing children to participate in an activity with an organization, ask the organization the following questions:
- Are all of the activities/programs open to observation by parents?
- Are your staff/volunteers trained in child abuse prevention and reporting?
- Do you check personal and professional references?
- Do you perform criminal background checks?
- What is your policy regarding isolated, one on one interactions?
Supervision of children is key. Keep in mind that 1/3 of reported sexual offenses against children are committed by other juveniles, often with other children present. Children should not be left unsupervised for extended periods of time, especially if there is an age or power disparity between them.