HOW TO USE COMMIT TO KIDS

STEP 7: REPORT ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT

Children can only be protected if suspicions of child abuse or inappropriate behaviour are reported and action is taken.

It is important for organizations to distinguish between:

  • Disclosures or reasonable grounds to suspect child abuse
  • An employee/volunteer’s inappropriate behaviour or misconduct

Events must be considered together. A complaint may not seem like cause for concern when considered in isolation; however, when considered with other actions, behaviours, or complaints, may require serious and immediate action.

Documentation of Inappropriate Behaviour should be:

  • Immediate
  • Detailed
  • Objective
  • First-hand
  • Confidential

Employees/volunteers are more likely to report if:

  • They know they are legally obligated to act on suspicions of abuse, and that they do not have to prove abuse
  • The organization has a clear code of conduct, and policies and procedures regarding reporting
  • They are clear about the process of reporting
  • The organization will support them
  • Confidentiality is maintained

OUTCOME: Your organization will learn about reporting obligations and the importance of addressing inappropriate behaviour.

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It is critical that you control your reaction when hearing a disclosure.
A child will often delay disclosure or not disclose at all if s/he fears judgment.