Safeguarding Children in Our Program
Sadly, all youth-serving organizations, including sports, schools, recreation, and mentoring programs, face the reality that the children served may be hurt by the adults who are supposed to protect them. Mentors for Youth has put in place important policies, procedures, and training designed to help keep children safer while participating in our program.
Child sexual abuse is a tragic and complex societal issue. Although leading experts report that annual rates of substantiated child sexual abuse in the U.S. have declined significantly over the past two decades, we recognize that childhood victimization remains much too prevalent. Experts believe that in the U.S., 1 out of 4 girls, and 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18.
Our child abuse response protocols were developed in consultation with local law enforcement. We are profoundly saddened by accounts of any child being abused, harmed, or exploited and work tirelessly to prevent harm.
The following safety measures, in compliance with Indiana Quality Mentoring Standards, are listed below.
1. Mentors who apply must provide at least three references from work, personal, or volunteer experience. A form in mailed to each reference provided.
2. Mentors must sit for a 60-minute intake interview.
3. Mentors are educated on how to spot & report suspected sexual abuse.
4. A local police and national background check is completed on each mentor applicant. This background check is repeated annually.
5. Online training must be completed by the mentors. This self-paced course teaches the mentors about best safety practices.
6. A mentor home visit is then completed by our case manager who ensures that the home environment would be a safe place for the child to visit. A questionnaire must be completed by anyone else who resides in the household.
7. Based on completed profiles, the match is then made at the child's home with the case manager, mentor, parent/guardian, and mentee all present.
8. Both mentor and parent/guardian are encouraged to contact the case manager at any time if they have questions or concerns.
9. Match contacts are done monthly for the first year, and quarterly after 12 months. Contact calls can be by text, email, phone, letter, or in person such as at group outings.