Bring parents into the conversation
Organizations often invest lots of time and resources training their employees and volunteers but they forget the most important link in the child protection chain: Parents.
In general, parents know and love their children more than anyone. That means they are your most dedicated partners for preventing child abuse. (Important note: While some parents are child abusers, that does not mean that ALL or MOST are.)
Unfortunately, parents are often the most overlooked adults in a child’s life when it comes to protecting them from abuse. Why is that?
When an organization decides to implement parent education, there will be many factors to consider and challenges to overcome. Here’s the reason we think most organizations ignore parents: It’s hard to get parents to participate. Parents today juggle long work hours, sometimes multiple jobs, plus their children’s calendars.
It is critical to understand that parent child abuse education and children learning are two very distinct and separate types of education. When a parent engages their child in the topics the child learned, they are connecting about that topic at their child’s age and level of understanding. Parents need to know parent related topics which are not appropriate to be taught to children.
In our experience, clients have told us numerous anecdotes about possible cases of abuse or boundary violations that were discovered not by the trained “official” employee or volunteer, but by a watchful and concerned parent.
Are you a parent? Do you have parents in your organization? Check out Keeping Your Child Safe: A Guidebook for Parents.