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  • Mar27Tue

    Member Profile: Variety Village

    March 27, 2018 Article by: Meagan Gillmore
    Filed Under:
    Abuse Awareness, Vulnerable Sector, Case Study
    A Toronto not-for-profit that specializes in providing inclusive sports and recreation programs has strengthened relationships between staff and clients by increasing its abuse prevention.

    Variety Village runs inclusive fitness, sports and recreation programs for people of all ages. People of all ages use Variety Village. Programs range from activities for parents and infants to fitness classes for seniors. Elite athletes train there. Children return each year for summer camps and day camps.

    This familiarity creates a family atmosphere, so the organization has to be diligent to avoid anything that could lead to allegations of abuse. Today, staff, volunteers and campers congratulate each other with high fives and fist bumps. All participants must check in and check out for camp programs, regardless of how long staff or volunteers may have known the campers.
  • Feb28Wed

    Member Profile: Southwestern Ontario Youth for Christ/Youth Unlimited

    February 28, 2018 Article by: Meagan Gillmore, Freelance Writer, Toronto
    Filed Under:
    Policies and Procedures, Abuse Awareness, Vulnerable Sector, Case Study
    Rapid changes in youth culture and communication can make it hard for adults to know how to teach youth how to build and create healthy relationships. That's one reason why Southwestern Ontario YFC/YU prioritizes consistent training about abuse prevention...

    This hasn't hurt staff and volunteers' ability to build good relationships with students, said Deller. Students may wonder sometimes why a staff or volunteer can't give them a ride alone, butthey understand when staff and volunteers explain the safety reasons for it. These are the same reasons why staff and volunteers give students side hugs or fist pumps instead of letting them sit on their laps or giving them hugs.
  • Jan26Fri

    Member Profile: Cedarview Alliance Church

    January 26, 2018 Article by: Meagan Gillmore
    Filed Under:
    Abuse Awareness, Vulnerable Sector, Case Study
    An Ottawa-area church plans on spending part of 2018 teaching their community how to recognize and prevent elder abuse.

    Cedarview Alliance Church in Nepean has prepared workshops about the topic, with funding from the federal government's New Horizons for Seniors Program. The grant from Employment and Social Development Canada helps organizations deliver programs that benefit seniors, including public education about elder abuse.

    "I think some people may be at the hands of abuse and not realize it," said Mills. Seniors need to feel confident to report suspected abuse. Community members need to know warning signs so they know when they need to contact someone if they suspect abuse. People are often more educated about recognizing and responding to child abuse than they are to elder abuse, said Mills.
  • Earlier today I received a Facebook share from one of our clients, which was entitled, “Memphis Mega Church gives standing ovation to pastor after apology for sexual assault.” I followed the link and began reading the heartbreaking story of Jules Woodson (she wants her name shared according to the article below) who was sexually abused by her youth pastor 20 years ago.

    As more information about the Memphis Mega Church pastor, Andy Savage, who sexually molested one of the young people in his program 20 years ago comes out - we at Plan to Protect® are heartbroken for victim/survivors like Jules who have had to experience such traumatic incidences of assault.  

  • Dec4Mon

    #meTOO and #churchTOO

    #ChurchToo tweets are trending, because sexual abuse occurs in religious settings December 4, 2017 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Abuse Awareness


    What should our response be to #MeTOO and #ChurchTOO? 

    My initial reaction to #MeTOO, was to cheer these brave people on for finding their voice and bringing their secrets out in the open.  My sentiments were shared by many, for comment after comment encouraged the brave souls to speak up. I did comment, and unfortunately I did receive...

  • Are we being buried alive in paperwork?

    November 29, 2017 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Policies and Procedures

    Have you heard me say that, “we will buried alive in paperwork as administrators of abuse prevention and protection”? Today, I thought I’d answer some of your most pressing questions about documentation and electronic documentation.

    Why should you keep documentation permanently?

    There are many reasons we should be securely managing our documentation.

    • Statute of Limitations – in all provinces and territories in Canada and in many States, there is no statute of limitations on child abuse;
    • A means of demonstrating due diligence;
    • A means of striving for excellence, integrity and accountability for your leadership and the Board;
    • To document history within the organization;
    • For insurance purposes;
    • To demonstrate your duty of care to your participants, staff and volunteers;
    • It protects volunteers, staff and your organization if there is ever a false allegation; and
    • It protects the vulnerable sector.

    What documentation should we be keeping?

    To demonstrate our due diligence and duty of care, we should be keeping:

  • Why You Need a Children’s Check-In System

    November 24, 2017 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Vulnerable Sector

    We are often asked how implementing a children’s check-in solution can benefit organizations where children are placed in the care of others. A check-in system provides enhanced security and is vital to child safety, yet the benefits and success truly come from a combination of the check-in system itself and how well the staff in the organization uses it.

    Regardless of whether you are using an electronic solution or another method, certain tracking and safety measures are still a necessity. You must have accurate records of children checking in and out, know who is picking up the children in your care, be aware of any allergy or medical concerns and have a process to verify people are who they say they are, as well as a secure way of maintaining all documentation.

  • Supporting Reporters

    October 18, 2017 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Policies and Procedures

    Unfortunately, we have heard too often of individuals who obey the law and make a report, only to be told they shouldn’t have reported, or are reprimanded for reporting.  I heard about one staff member that was preparing for a volunteer training event.  She had brought her preschooler with her while she was setting up the chairs and tables for the training.

    She took her eyes off her daughter for a few minutes and a member came into the building and sexually abused the young child.  When the mother found out about it, she reported it to the Police and to leadership.  Leadership challenged her for reporting the abuse and said that it should have been handled internally not externally.  When she disagreed, they gave her notice that her employment was coming to an end.

    Over and over I hear stories of people being shunned, scolded, harassed and even fired for reporting abuse.  I find it so alarming that organizations that are committed to the protection of children, turn on the Chair of their protection committee, and reporters when they feel they have a legal duty to report abuse.

    Never is our commitment of protection tested as much as when someone feels called to report, and we have a choice to support the reporters.
  • Shout out for vibrant and creative trainers!

    Is abuse prevention training suppose to be boring? October 6, 2017 Melodie and Victoria Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Policies and Procedures, Abuse Awareness, Vulnerable Sector
    Training does not need to be boring, training does not need to be just a lecture, training does not need to be just reading a policy - and it shouldn't be! And, yes training is critical in ensuring everyone understands your policies and procedures and to ensure your staff and volunteers are all on the same page.
  • Canada: A country committed to abuse prevention and protection!

    Happy 150 Years Canada July 10, 2017 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Policies and Procedures, Abuse Awareness
    This year marks a special anniversary for Canada, as we celebrate our 150th birthday as a Nation. In honour of the occasion, we wanted to do a shout out to Canadians for their efforts protecting the vulnerable sector over the last 50 years.