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Commit to Kids

Helping Organizations Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

Commit to Kids is a program of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection

About Commit to Kids

Commit to Kids teaches you how to proactively develop and implement policies and procedures to improve the personal safety of children. It provides clear information and steps for your employees/volunteers to achieve this goal.

Many prevention programs focus on education for children, but fail to address the specific risks that child-serving organizations face. Offenders may target an organization for employment or volunteering in order to gain access to children. Commit to Kids helps organizations reduce the likelihood that an offender will successfully gain access to and sexually abuse a child. It will also help organizations to more quickly identify and intervene if abuse has occurred. Employees/volunteers will benefit from having clearly defined behavioural expectations when interacting with children. This sends a clear message to all — the protection of children comes first.

Schools and Safeguarding Children

As hubs in our communities, schools are well placed to help combat the problem of child sexual abuse by improving their safeguarding practices, and creating an understanding of child sexual abuse beyond common duty to report training and criminal record checks. Senior management, principals, teachers, and student support staff are all in positions to protect children and it is imperative a culture of safety is created throughout the entirety of the education system to better safeguard students in their care.

The Commit to Kids program builds educators’ awareness of child sexual abuse, how they can help mitigate risk and helps schools highlight strengths and gaps in their policies in order to build a sustainable culture of child protection — one where people’s actions and behaviour are less reactive and more proactive.

Learn more about the importance of safeguarding children in schools by reading the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s study on child sexual abuse by school personnel in Canada.

Working with University and College Students to Keep Kids Safe

University and college students preparing for careers that involve interaction with children are in a unique position of trust and have a responsibility to protect those in their care. Professional development focused on increasing child safety is essential. Our Commit to Kids training can empower post-secondary students to become informed, prepared, and active in child protection before they leave school, as well as giving them an important skill set to bring to their profession upon entering the workforce.

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Working Together to Keep Kids Safe in Sport

Sport offers incredible experiences and opportunities for children, which are integral to enhancing child development. Positive experiences are tied to healthy relationships between athletes and coaches, as well as to safe environments where adults are accountable for their actions and behaviours.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is part of the Coaching Association of Canada’s (CAC) Responsible Coaching Movement through the Commit to Kids program, and has created tailored resources available to sports organizations, coaches, volunteers, and parents to help keep kids safe in sport.

The materials consist of:

The Commit to Kids program looks beyond what to do when abuse is suspected, and emphasizes expectations for adults interacting with children in sport, encourages bringing forward any concerns of misconduct towards children, and helps organizations develop policies that enable coaches and volunteers to uphold standards of conduct that protection children and youth participating in sport.

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The Commit to Kids Kit

The Commit to Kids kit offers a step-by-step approach to help mitigate risk and protect children. Highlights include:

  • How to assess your organization — a child protection questionnaire helps to highlight strengths and gaps in your organization for preventing child sexual abuse.
  • Understanding child sexual abuse — information on grooming, disclosure, offenders, and offending behaviours.
  • How to manage risk — risk charts, check lists, and a sample risk management plan.
  • Creating a child protection code of conduct — a sample code of conduct will help guide you in creating the most important tool an organization will develop to help establish boundaries between adults and children.
  • Bettering your hiring process — examples of best practices for job postings, screening, interviews, and reference checks to help keep high-risk individuals from working/volunteering in your organization.
  • When and where to report inappropriate behaviour and child sexual abuse — report forms provide support with what to report, documenting reports, and where to report.

The kit includes a printed Commit to Kids program, sample policies, and reporting abuse and inappropriate conduct cards.

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Online Training

Online training empowers employees and volunteers in their role as protective adults and helps them to understand the importance of adhering to an employer’s child protection policies. In the training employees/volunteers will learn:

  • The prevalence of child sexual abuse in Canada
  • Appropriate boundaries between adults and children
  • The process of grooming and disclosure
  • The impact of child sexual abuse

Commit to Kids online training is part of the Commit to Kids program. The training can be completed and purchased independently from the kit, but it is recommended that individuals who take the training have a copy of the full C2K program available to reference.

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