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  • Nov9Fri

    Crisis Management -- Preventing a Fiasco

    Guest Blog: Barrie Doyle, Crisis Management Consultant November 9, 2018
    Filed Under:
    Case Study
    Two stories popped up this past week that illustrate the need for heightened sensitivity and realization around crisis management and training. Both happened in Ontario but could have just as easily happened anywhere.
  • I was recently interviewed by Faith Today magazine and they asked, “how many organizations and churches have a plan to protect?” 

    My hope is that every organization and church that serves the vulnerable sector, would have some sort of a plan to protect but not all plans are the same, nor do they all adhere to the same standard.

    As we review and customize hundreds of policies and procedure manuals a year, we see such a wide variety of policies including:

    • Policies which range from one page to 500 pages; 
    • Policies which addressing only sexual abuse, to policies that cover all types of abuse and neglect; and
    • Policies which are designed only to protect children, to policies that protect all vulnerable persons.
    Plan to Protect® was first written in 1996 and our desire has been and continues to be to provide the HIGHEST STANDARD of protection and abuse prevention. However, in the last 22 years Plan to Protect® has gone through many updates and revisions.  For example, we’re now on our third significant edition of the manual - please ensure your Plan to Protect® published manual was written after 2010 to make sure you have the most up-to-date one.
  • We are often asked if schools follow the same standard of protection that Plan to Protect® recommends.  Often the standards schools follow are the objections that Board members and leaders use to refute the best practices that are laid out in policies and procedures.  How safe are our schools?
  • Caring for Victims of Abuse

    Who do you reach out to when you need care and support? May 30, 2018 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Abuse Awareness, Vulnerable Sector, Case Study

    Who do you reach out to when you need care and support?

    Last week I was interviewed by a young journalist from Huffington Post and asked why victims of child abuse reached out to clergy to disclose their abuse. The interviewer was writing in response to recent disclosures of abuse: #MeTOO and #ChurchTOO.

    As I responded to the questions, I thought of many individual cases of abuse where each individual disclosed their abuse to someone they trusted. Some of the names have been changed to protect the victims.

  • 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: