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  • We are often asked the question, whose responsibility is it? In our newsletters, we are offering a series on “Whose responsibility, is it?” Last month we focused on the responsibility of the Board, today we focus on Senior Staff Members.

    My grandson is 2 ½ years old and lives in Kijabe, Kenya. My daughter had a sandbox made for him with cement walls and a wood cover. She reminds him often that the toys and sand must stay in the sandbox. The cover protects the sandbox from spiders, monkeys, and rain (Grandma doesn’t even want to consider the reality of snakes). As we learned last month, the role of a board is to establish parameters for staff and volunteers when interacting with the vulnerable sector. It is the responsibility of staff and volunteers to demonstrate they care for the organization by staying within those parameters and adhering to a code of conduct.

    Here are six key responsibilities of senior staff members when it comes to Plan to Protect®:

    1. Lead by example and support the individuals who serve on the Plan to Protect® committee. You can do this is by being the first one to submit to the screening process, sign up for training sessions, and comply with the policies and procedures. 

    2. Be conscious of your own power differential and be very careful not to exert power, authority, influence, and control that will result in psychological, emotional, or spiritual harm. 

    3. Be willing to step in if individuals are unwilling to comply with the policies and procedures, challenging them and exercising progressive steps of discipline as needed.

    4. Hold staff and volunteers accountable to the policies and procedures, reporting significant breaches of those policies to the Board (as the risk of liability often falls on the Board). 

    5. Find ways to influence your community to be a safe place (through announcements, newsletters, sermons, and town halls). Remind your audience often that you have a plan to protect the vulnerable sector.

    6. Finally, avoid becoming a fallen leader yourself. 

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