Training should be used to increase knowledge and awareness of child abuse prevention, to teach staff about responding to children who disclose abuse, and to reinforce reporting requirements. Your Youth-Serving Organization (YSO) should create training protocols for all staff and volunteers at different levels. Leadership should determine which training programs will be implemented depending on the needs of the organization.
To establish training standards:
Review current training programs to determine where the minimum training standards are being met and where additional training is needed. Evaluate current trainings to better understand how they reflect the values, policies, and desired outcomes of your organization. Make changes where they’re needed in current trainings, to ensure your organization’s child safety mission is being met.
Determine how many staff and volunteers need training and at what levels, starting with those who will have direct, unmonitored access to children. Determine whether all staff and volunteers will receive the same training or if your organization requires training staff and volunteers at different levels. Training for staff and volunteers with direct, unmonitored access to children should emphasize appropriate, inappropriate, and harmful behaviors as well as responding to and reporting any concerns and suspicions of abuse.
Assess the resources and expertise at your organization to help determine the scope of the training program and your implementation strategy. It’s important to build or to look for products that reflect good teaching and learning practices, and offer participatory, interactive problem-based learning experiences that actively engage the learner. Whether your organization is large or small, one of the best ways to get started is to seek out and consult with local area experts, such as your regional Child Advocacy Centers.
Appoint an individual or team to take responsibility for all aspects of the training program. Create a leader or team to be responsible for your training program. They should take the lead on identifying resources, ongoing review of training programs and training methods, and the distribution of resources.
Empower selected individuals or groups with the authority necessary to enforce and accomplish compliance with the organization’s training requirements. An individual or team should be appointed to enforce training protocols. This team should ensure staff and volunteers are acting in accordance with organizational training standards.
Establishing training protocols requires evaluating current training as well as using current team members to help develop and enforce training protocols. Depending on the size and responsibilities of your Youth-Serving Organization (YSO), the same training can be provided to all staff and volunteers or adapted to different levels of staff and volunteers with distinct roles at the YSO.
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