May25MonMay 25, 2015
Yesterday, I opened my computer to the heartbreaking news of several instances of sexual abuse reported, including the claims about Josh Duggar's gross indiscretions and his subsequent confession. My heart sank, I had just spent an hour defending Plan to Protect® to a client.
With all the news stories of abuse, it truly astounds me that organizations are still struggling with the value, importance and purpose of abuse prevention and protection. I am left wondering, has there been a communication breakdown? Have we miscommunicated the purpose, importance and value of Plan to Protect®? Why after 20 years, are organizations servicing the vulnerable sector (the people group most susceptible to abuse), still resisting the need to be on high alert to individuals who could harm those they love.
Plan to Protect® was never meant to be about the letter of the law! The end purpose was never to be about policies and procedures! We never wanted it to be about restricting the ability to run programs and activities!
Having a safe organization is all about protecting your people! It is about protecting the children! Protecting youth! Protecting those with disabilities and protecting the elderly! Plan to Protect® can be a precious gift to parents and caregivers, demonstrating that we will care for their loved ones. Plan to Protect® is about fulfilling our duty of care for our precious volunteers and staff! Finally, I also believe that Plan to Protect® is about validating victims and survivors who have encountered harm and have painful memories of abuse. We can do that by demonstrating to them that we want to go the extra mile so that no one else has to experience their pain and torment.
So then, what's the problem? Why is there still so much resistance?
Is your policy too rigid? Has your policy become law, and is it being communicated as the law with no flexibility, resulting in your people getting angry and wanting to quit? As consultants and trainers, our role is to help you discover the level of protection that will work with your community and your organization. Within Plan to Protect® there is flexibility to embrace the good, better, best while at the same time avoiding the BAD!
We NEVER like to hear about programs and activities that have to be shut down or canceled because they don't work with Plan to Protect® in place. We love problem-solving and strategizing to find the ways and means of providing a safe environment to reach out to all children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
So, with that said, I invite you to re-look at your policies. It is time to update and amend your policies so that the spirit of Plan to Protect® is communicated as a life-giving initiative.
To help you do it, we are offering two amazing opportunities for you in June:
Whether you choose the update or a customized draft, this service includes a one-on-one interview, questionnaire, and a customized policy that we will draft on your behalf, designed for your organization. The policy will reflect the level of protection your leadership is striving to achieve. Within the policy, we will set out the best efforts your board and leadership desire to have in place. We will incorporate your exceptions to the policies to set out the good and better options if best cannot be achieved due to a shortage of staff or a needed exception.
Our promise: Your policy will be submitted to you for review and revisions on or before July 31st, 2015 providing you time to secure approval from your Board so you can begin implementing your new policy in September 2015.
I invite you to the discussion! Together let's raise our voices to communicate the true spirit of Plan to Protect®.