Working with Young People
Working with young people can be heaps of fun and very rewarding - but it carries a whole range of risk too. You need good advice both on the “working with children” aspect and the musical/performance elements.
Risk Management Checklist:
1) Have a written policy on preventing abuse, molestation, and sexual harassment. Include guidelines for reporting suspected abuse or neglect of children, and investigations.
2) Communicate these policies and guidelines to all employees, trustees and volunteers – and document the communication.
3) Ensure all staff and volunteers sign an acknowledgement of receipt and understanding of the abuse policy.
4) Run background checks on players, teachers, camp counselors, conductors, freelancers and any contractors engaged in your youth programs – and document it.
5) Include questions in employment applications for both staff and volunteers around prior convictions for any crime, including sex-related or child-abuse related offenses.
6) Use a “volunteer application” and require them to complete orientation training with regard to your abuse policy.
7) Have a waiting period before a new member/volunteer can work with children or youth programs.
8) At staff orientation meetings, discuss child/sexual abuse, how to recognize it and what to do if a member / child reports someone molested him/her.
9) Limit volunteers and staff from being alone with any child (requiring more than one adult at all times).
10) Encourage and allow parents to visit their child at any time unannounced to observe children’s activities.
11) Appoint a coordinator to review and investigate any allegation of an abusive or harassment situation.
12) Check your insurance coverage extends to outreach and day camp activities.
13) If you’re transporting children, extend your insurance.
14) Make sure you have the right levels of Directors & Officers Liability in place for your Trustees – they could be personally sued if anything goes wrong.
15) Molestation coverage should be declared on your liability policy – unless it’s specifically listed, it’s unlikely to be covered.
16) Have accident coverage in place for any injury to youth.
Take the time to really assess your risk – in this case it’s not just your organization that’s at risk.
For more advice on managing risks in working with young people, contact Mark Boon:
T: 212 702 3342
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E: Mark Boon