Foster care and adoption programs provide services to children who may have slipped through the cracks: children who have been abused, abandoned, neglected or whose parents cannot provide adequate care for them. Commonly, children receiving services in foster and adoption programs are at risk for sexual abuse, and many have already experienced the devastating impact of abuse or neglect.
- How can this vulnerable population be protected?
- How can program staff members and volunteers be protected from from false allegations?
- How can we protect children from other sexually aggressive children?
Why are children at risk in foster care and adoption programs?
Adoption remains a vital component of the foster care system because it provides proper care and loving homes to children removed from their biological parents. However, many in the “adoption family” fail to understand how and when children are at risk of sexual abuse during and following the adoption process. Many adopted children have been previously victimized, and are therefore at high risk for re-victimization. While protective barriers may be high related to candidates applying to adopt, this is often not the case for all other adults or teens who will interact with these children.
What should foster care and adoption programs do to prevent sexual abuse?
Foster care and adoption initiatives and programs are critical; in many cases, lives depend upon them. However, the need for these programs should not enable administrators to ignore the very real threat to children in these programs—saving children from one threat while exposing them to another. Employees, volunteers and respite caregivers must be aware of the risk sexual abuse and sexual abusers pose to the children in their care.
MinistrySafe provides unique resources for foster care and adoption programs, including:
- Sexual Abuse Awareness Training appropriate for employees, volunteers and respite caregivers
- Sample forms for applications, references and interviews as part of the Skillful Screening Process
- Safety Policy and Procedure forms that dovetail with Sexual Abuse Awareness Training
- Background Checks adapted by client to fit position
- The MinistrySafe online Control Panel, giving administrators the ability to easily monitor the
5-Part Safety System
The services provided by MinistrySafe have helped Lena Pope Home further develop our risk management programs to protect children from abuse. They have also educated our staff as to the importance of our diligence as well as legal requirements related to their behavior with children and their responsibility to observe others with children.
Lena Pope Home
Are you ready to prevent sexual abuse in your foster or adoption program? Become a MinistrySafe member.