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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

The Commit to Kids program helps child-serving organizations reduce the risk of sexual abuse and create safer environments for children in their care.

The program’s tools provide organizations with information on the issue of child sexual abuse which forms the basis for educated policies and procedures — from hiring and screening to reporting and staff training. This enables all employees and volunteers throughout an organization to uphold standards of conduct that protect children and youth in their care by focusing on healthy interaction between adults and children.

Through the use of print material, with customizable templates, check lists, and electronic resources, as well as online training, Commit to Kids offers tailored options to help organizations create a culture of safety in which employees/volunteers feel confident in both their interactions with children and their decision making when it comes to reporting inappropriate behaviour.

To learn more about the Commit to Kids kit and online training, and how to use them in your organization, visit the How to Get Started section.

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 for all staff regarding 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.

Schools across the country are using Commit to Kids in individual schools, division wide, and everywhere in between. To learn how to implement Commit to Kids is your school visit the How to Get Started section, or contact us.

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 will be 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, which is being implemented by instructors and faculties across Canada, 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:

Upon completion of the online training and a successful knowledge validation test, coaches will receive three professional development points toward maintenance of certification as part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).

Contact us to find out more about how Commit to Kids can help your organization.

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Safety in Child-Serving Organizations

Child-serving organizations such as daycares, camps, after-school programs, faith-based organizations, and foster programs are dedicated to the safety, health and well-being of children and youth. Such organizations recognize the importance of physical safety in their programming and services, and must do the same in preventing sexual abuse.

Large or small, staffed or volunteer-run, organizations across Canada are creating safer spaces for children.

To learn how to get started implementing Commit to Kids in your organization visit the How to Get Started section, or contact us.

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How to Get Started

Which tools are recommended?

The Commit to Kids Program Kit comes with worksheets that can help child-serving organizations assess their programs, services, procedures, and provides templates to assist in updating or creating policies and procedures, and a code of conduct from a child protection lens. Information in the Commit to Kids kit guides the organization through this process and acts as a reference tool for future updates, questions, or considerations.

Highlights include:

  • Questionnaires, risk charts, and check lists to help highlight strengths and gaps in your organization for preventing child sexual abuse.
  • A sample code of conduct which will help guide you in creating the most important tool an organization will develop to help establish boundaries between adults and children.
  • Examples of best practices for job postings, screening, interviews, and reference checks to help keep high-risk individuals from working/volunteering in your organization.
  • Customizable report form templates to provide support with what to report, documenting reports, and where to report inappropriate behaviour and misconduct, as well as sexual abuse.

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The Commit to Kids Online Training is ideal for administrators, staff, front-line workers, and volunteers. 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

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How to use tools

Using the Commit to Kids Program Kit is simple — the templates can be adapted to work with current polices you may have but are in need of updating, or can act as a starting point for new policies. Organizations can choose how and what they want to implement; some organizations are looking to update screening and hiring, others simply their code of conduct and reporting policies. The guide provides the information and tools for an organization to use at their own pace.

The Commit to Kids Online Training can be utilized throughout all levels of an organization. The flexible format allows users to complete the training in a single session or over the course of multiple sessions.

If you would like to discuss options that may be the best fit for your organization, contact us.