Is Your VBS/Kids Camp Safe?
Is Your VBS/Kids Camp Safe?
 VBS/Kids Camp season is upon us. 
“Mama B” (now known as “Mama Bear”) is here, with my “if I knew then what I know now” list for you.
How much do you think you know about the adults you leave your kids with?
Disclosure of clergy/institutional abuse are pouring out EVERY SINGLE WEEK.
We can no longer hide our heads in the sand and pretend this reality away.
Criminal background checks only show CONVICTIONS. 
Many child predators are never convicted.
Some organizations don’t even run CBC’s.
Some things to consider: 
* Ask if adults have been cleared by CBC’s and if they have personal and professional references. 
* Ask about the organizations safety and emergency procedure polices. 
* What kind of insurance does the organization have? 
* Are convicted sex offenders allowed on the premises? 
* Are adults in charge mandatory reporters? (If a child discloses abuse, it is vital that the proper authorities are notified.) 
* Are children ever alone with an adult? 
* Are teens or young adults supervising children without a mature adult present? 
* How is discipline handled? 
* How is bullying handled? 
* Are custody orders honored? 
* Are there interior/exterior security cameras? 
* Are bathrooms closely monitored? 
* Is there a professional security person on site? 
* How are medical needs and food allergies handled? 
* Is the organization currently under investigation for abuse charges of any kind? 
* Will your child be asked to do or say anything they are not comfortable doing (coerced “alter calls,” “testimonies,” or “offerings.”) 
Pro tips: 
* If you have doubts or cannot get clear answers to your questions, DO NOT SEND YOUR KIDS.
* Volunteer and keep your eyes and ears open.
* Talk to your kids (ongoing) about safety and agency. Let them know that if anyone EVER does ANYTHING to them that causes them to feel unsafe, that you will listen, believe them, and protect them. Assure your gem that they do not have to return to a setting that they do not feel safe in. 
* Avoid overnight opportunities, the amount of abuse that happens in sleeping, bathing, dressing greatly increases.
* Ask for multiple references for an organization before you drop your kids off. 
* If you know of an unsafe institution, make other parents aware.
* Look over any curriculum that is sent home and talk through the lessons with your kids. If there is anything that you are uncomfortable with, you can reassess their involvement.
* If an organization is resistant to your questions or unable/unwilling to provide safety measures, please do not leave your children in their care.

Need more support as you navigate these waters? 

Ladies, you are welcome to join us on Facebook at Held & Healed: Christian Women Rebuilding After Abuse.

You are also welcome to join my monthly membership group, Held & Healed Haven, where I offer group coaching we focus on boundaries, truths to replace lies, healthy habits, nervous system regulation, etc.), community building, guest interviews, and so much more. 


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