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.
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.
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, officials, and other sport leaders, as well as to safe environments where adults are accountable for their actions and behaviours.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection provides expertise to 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, officials, sport leaders, volunteers, and parents to help keep kids safe in sport.
The materials consist of:
- Commit to Kids for Coaches eLearning module*
- Free 23 minute video — Commit to Kids: An Introduction to Safeguarding Children from Sexual Abuse
- Commit to Kids Kit and Policies and Procedures Workbook
- Parent guide
- Resource sheets that include information on the coach-athlete relationship, guidelines for interactions between adults and athletes, as well as how to report inappropriate behaviour and child sexual abuse:
*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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
How to use tools
Getting started — templates are provided that 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 phase in changes; some organizations are looking to update screening and hiring, others start with updates to code of conduct and reporting policies to protect children. 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. Three versions of the training are available:
Commit to Kids — An Introduction to Safeguarding Children from Sexual Abuse is a short online overview for individuals who work with children and are looking for introductory level information on child sexual abuse, or those looking to refresh their knowledge on the topic. Parents who have children in child-serving organizations may also find the content relevant.
Commit to Kids — Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for those Working with Children is online training for individuals who work or volunteer with children. This training results in a certificate of completion, comes with a downloadable resources guide and covers the following topics: the definition of child sexual abuse, the grooming process, handling disclosures of child sexual abuse, the impact of child sexual abuse, creating a Child Protection Code of Conduct, and policies and procedures to protect children.
Commit to Kids for Coaches Training covers all the same information as Commit to Kids — Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for those Working with Children but results in both a certificate of completion and three NCCP professional development points towards the maintenance of certification.
If you would like to discuss options that may be the best fit for your organization, contact us.