Our Shared Mission: Equipping Adults to Keep Children Safe from Sexual Abuse
The Youth-Serving Organizations (YSOs) across the Commonwealth support healthy child development in our communities in a multitude of ways, yet share one essential, universal duty: to provide safety and security for the children they serve. The prevention of child sexual abuse is mission-critical for these YSOs—and promoting prevention is the critical mission of the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. This interactive website represents years of research and collaboration by the task force to build an actionable set of best practices for adoption across the Commonwealth’s YSOs.
A statewide, multi-agency collaboration established by the Massachusetts Legislature, the task force draws from the collective experience of public and private youth-serving agencies, offices, and organizations to provide knowledge and tools that are recognized to effectively keep children safe from sexual abuse.
We want adults who interact with young people at our sports clubs, recreation programs, dance studios, child and family service programs, educational facilities, and other YSOs to be fully equipped to help children thrive, free from harm.
Violence against children can be prevented.
Safe Kids Thrive provides vital resources and guidelines to help YSOs develop and implement sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans, so they can safely help children play, sing, dance, learn, grow—and succeed.
Our Legislative Charge
Youth-serving organizations (YSOs) take many shapes and sizes across the Commonwealth—from public and private schools to childcare centers, Boys and Girls Clubs to dance and art studios. Every one of these YSOs seeks to protect their children from harm, and their policies and procedures for child safety and abuse prevention should provide an overarching framework to help them keep their children and youth safe. The Policies should reflect each YSO’s commitment to the safety and wellbeing of the children and youth it serves—in keeping with both Federal and Massachusetts abuse reporting laws—while guiding employees, staff, and volunteers in their responsibilities and actions if abuse or neglect is suspected.
That is the basis of the task force’s creation, and its legislative charge. Specifically, the Massachusetts Legislature outlines five key mandates for the task force and its work:
- Develop guidelines for the development of sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans by organizations serving children and youth.
- Develop tools for the development of sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans by organizations serving children and youth.
- Recommend policies and procedures for implementation and oversight of the guidelines.
- Recommend strategies for incentivizing such organizations to develop and implement sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans.
- Develop a 5-year plan for using community education and other strategies to increase public awareness about child sexual abuse, including how to recognize signs, minimize risk and act on suspicions or disclosures of such abuse.
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Customized child sexual abuse prevention guidelines to meet the unique needs of any organization that serves children.
- Evidence-informed guidance
- Actionable prevention steps
- Keeps track of your progress
- Tailored learning tracks