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  • 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

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

    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.

  • Shout out for vibrant and creative trainers!

    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.
  • Let's Talk!

    Let's Talk!

    Mental illness out in the open January 25, 2017 by Victoria Bissell, Director of Training
    Filed Under:
    Vulnerable Sector

    Hi everyone, my name is Victoria and I’m the director of training at Plan to Protect®. I’ve been working for Plan to Protect® for the past 3 years and have been overseeing all of our online, LIVE webinar and onsite training.

    Today, I really wanted to open up and share a little bit more about myself.  Social media gives you a window into someone’s life. You can spend so much time listening to someone, hearing about their life or seeing photos of them that you think you know them. Feel like you’re friends.

    But…social networking sites are a curated glimpse at someone’s life. It’s a small piece of the puzzle that makes up the whole.

  • Nov8Tue

    Professionally Speaking

    Learning from Public Schools on staff disciplinary issues November 8, 2016 Melodie Bissell
    Filed Under:
    Abuse Awareness, Vulnerable Sector, Case Study

    All three of my children are teachers. My son teaches grade three students. My youngest daughter graduated with her Early Childhood Education. Victoria, as many of you know, is a licensed teacher in Ontario but is applying her education to abuse prevention and protection, as our Director of Training with Plan to Protect®. 

    Each month, we receive a few copies of Professionally Speaking: The magazine of Ontario College of Teachers. Each issue has inspiring articles on bullying, classroom management, and modernizing teacher education. We often try to integrate the learnings from the magazine into our training initiatives at Plan to Protect®.