The Task Force will explore the feasibility and make recommendations about whether the Commonwealth should adopt formal requirements for the implementation of the child safety and sexual abuse prevention practices outlined in this report in YSOs throughout the state. A state-wide voluntary or mandated accreditation system for “Child-Safe Organizations” would be an unprecedented abuse prevention tool for Massachusetts, and would assist in building communities of practice where children and youth are less likely to be sexually abused. Likewise, if abuse is already taking place, such a system would make it more likely that the abuse will be discovered early and stopped.
- A visible symbol or certificate that indicates a YSO is implementing a set of child-safe policies and practices, to a recognized standard, is likely to be an incentive for organizations to comply with the requirements, and would serve to provide greater assurance and confidence to children, youth, parents and caregivers. Administration of the accrediting system would need to be accomplished by an agency using the guidelines, resources and tools contained in this report.
- Alternatives to state accreditation or certification will also be explored. For example, after a YSO participates in a regional outreach session and completes training, its leadership could be presented with a “YSO Pledge for Child Safety” that expresses, by means of their signature, the intent to comply with the safety and abuse prevention vision and standards expressed in the Task Force report (See Resources section for example).
- Executive Summary
- How to Read This Report
- Mission & Purpose of Taskforce
- A Brief History of How the Taskforce Was Organized
- The Charge of the Legislative Language
- Key Sections
- Section 1: Developing Policies and Procedures for Child Protection
- Section 2: Screening and Background Checks for Selecting Employees and Volunteers
- Section 3: Code of Conduct and Monitoring
- Section 4: Ensuring Safe Physical Environments and Safe Technology
- Section 5: Recognizing, Responding to, and Reporting Allegations and Suspicions of Child Sexual Abuse
- Section 6: Training About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
- Additional Considerations
- Applying the Framework: A Five-Year Plan
- Definitions, Acronyms, Glossary
- Legislative Mandate
- Taskforce Committees and Membership
- Guest Presenters
- Schedule of Meetings
- Section-Specific Appendices
- Downloadable Resources
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