National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Safeguarding Our Communities

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

The National Children’s Alliance estimates that an average of 600,000 children in the United States are victims of abuse annually. In 2022, an estimated 3 million children received assistance or were provided an investigation from a state-authorized child protective services entity.

Sentinel places great importance on addressing abuse concerns in our clients’ overall risk management program. We recognize the complexity of managing a business or organization, with its fast-paced daily operations. The risk management and prevention consulting services we provide are crucial in safeguarding companies, individuals, boards of directors, and organizations.

What Is Abuse Coverage?

Abuse coverage is often misunderstood. We frequently see coverage included in programs at minimal or ineffective limits. For social services risks, especially those working with children or disabled or otherwise vulnerable adults, proper coverage is crucial. Claims related to abuse can be costly – with high settlements, judgements, and defense, especially when special defense experts are utilized.

In today’s world, where ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals is paramount, abuse coverage provides a layer of protection and peace of mind for your business or organization. Proper coverage and related programs help protect your financial interests and demonstrates a commitment to creating a safe and nurturing environment for those under your care. It is important to understand that incidents of abuse and molestation can happen even in the most well-managed environments, and having the right protocols and coverage can make all the difference in how effectively and efficiently such situations are handled.

By proactively establishing abuse protocols and processes and investing in robust insurance coverages, you are taking a step towards protecting your organization’s reputation and upholding its values and commitment to prioritizing the safety of our communities.

Key Steps To Prevent Abuse Incidents

Business owners, human resources professionals, and decision-makers can implement strategies to minimize the occurrence of abuse and molestation incidents including:

  • Conduct an internal audit of your company-wide abuse prevention efforts
  • Revisit the culture of abuse and risk prevention across your enterprise
  • Update your Employee Manual, Operations Manual, and Abuse Prevention Program. An effective Abuse Prevention Plan includes elements of Awareness, Prevention, Intervention and Evaluation
  • Develop and mandate internal reporting protocols
  • Establish thorough, transparent hiring procedures and annual reviews with a thorough background screening, reference check, and MVR review for all employees and volunteers
  • Introduce extensive onboarding practices
  • Provide continuous training of the organization’s Abuse Prevention Program, reporting strategies, recognition elements, investigation protocols, and resolution processes
  • Ensure you have the right risk and insurance programs in place

Safeguarding Our Communities

Sentinel delves deeply into risk analysis with our clients, offering guidance, advice and counsel regarding exposures faced. Through our collective efforts, we strive to make a positive impact by fostering a culture of awareness, prevention, and safety for all. Contact us today for a complimentary analysis of your risk and insurance program, policies, and procedures.

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About The Author

Rachel brings her extensive background in the nonprofit sector to her role as a Client Executive on our Risk Management team.

Rachel has held leadership and development positions at the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, where she successfully obtained substantial monetary donations from donors, making significant impacts in her local communities.

She has over 20 years of fundraising experience in charitable nonprofit management throughout the Carolinas. Rachel’s leadership skills and passion for making a positive impact in the community helps drive Sentinel’s mission and vision forward.