98,500 children were sexually abused in the US in 1999, the last year for which data is available. As many JCC professionals know, abuse, sexual and otherwise, occurs nearly everywhere. Yet, there is a natural inclination to believe abuse won’t happen in our own communities, not to mention our own JCC. Awareness of the threat is key, and reinforcing proven abuse prevention strategies is an essential element in protecting the kids in our programs. Both are the goals for our “Abuse Alert” program. Each is a brief treatment of the topic, focussing on one real, recent, public event…reprinting the article about the event in its entirety (omitting names and identifying references to the YMCA) and providing a few important teaching points for you to share with your staff. As always, if you need additional guidance on this topic, please call us at 800-463-8546.
“Police Investigate Child who was “Duct-taped”
LARGE PENNSYLVANIA TOWN - June 6, 2002: [Town] police are investigating a complaint that a 2-year-old girl had her wrists and ankles duct-taped at a child-care center earlier this year.
Two employees at the YMCA Child-Care Center allegedly taped the girl's wrists and ankles and then swung her back and forth, officials said.
A third employee in the room saw what was going on and told the employees to stop, said [Executive Director], who heads the YMCA.
The employees removed the tape from the toddler and she was not injured. Management at the YMCA found out about the incident in mid-April and immediately started an investigation, [Executive Director] said.
“It was inappropriate and poor judgment,” he said.
Police said they are interviewing two employees. No charges have been filed.
The employees, whose names were not released, were suspended for two weeks without pay while the YMCA conducted an internal investigation and notified the Department of Public Welfare, [Executive Director] said.
What we do know:
What we don’t know:
What we can learn (how we can help prevent a similar incident):
Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about JCC risk management issues.