Youth Services Law

Showing 334 posts by Deborah A. Ausburn.

New Field Guide for Camps

Posted In Youth Camps

New Field Guide for Camps

The American Camping Association has updated its field guide for 2021, designed to help camps reduce exposure to COVID. The publication offers guidance for all sorts of camps, ranging from adventure programs to day camps. It also has a new chapter about vaccines. If you are a parent thinking about sending your child to camp this year, the publication will tell you what to look for. If you are part of a camping program, this field guide is an essential tool for your organization.

Mandated Reporter Arrested

Mandated Reporter Arrested

Another mandated reporter has been arrested for failing to report suspected child abuse to law enforcement. According to this story, a principal in Orlando has been charged with two counts of violating Florida's mandated reporter law. Florida law requires an immediate report of "known or suspected" abuse, and treats failure to report as a felony. This particular principle also is accused of preventing another person from making a report, leading to the second felony charge against him.

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New Guide For Preventing Child Abuse

New Guide For Preventing Child Abuse

Johns Hopkins has published a new guide to preventing child sexual abuse.  I have not had time to read it all the way through, but it promises to be an important contribution to the literature in this area. If you work or volunteer with a youth-serving organization, it needs to be in your library. You can read the highlights and download a copy here.

Don’t Let Your Resolutions Set You Up for Trouble

Posted In Risk Management

Don’t Let Your Resolutions Set You Up for Trouble

The first of the year, after the end of the holiday rush and before spring holidays kick in, is a natural time to regroup and plan ahead. It is a good time to be sure that your organization has good policies, particularly employee handbooks and child protection policies. It’s also an important time to be realistic about which policies will actually work in your program. This is one area in which good intentions can be very bad for business. If you set up policies that you do not follow, then your policies will come back to haunt you.

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Changes for Georgia Childcare Centers

Childcare Center

Effective October 1, 2020, Georgia childcare centers have a new set of rules to follow. You can get a copy of the entire set of regulations at the DECAL website. Some of the major changes are:

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Mandated Reporting Protocol

I have received several questions lately from youth organization about what sort of procedure they should have in place for mandated reporting. Each situation is unique, but there are several principles that you can follow.

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Responding to Suicidal Students

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, and this year it comes amid reports of increased suicides and depression during the pandemic. Those of us who work with children and teenagers are likely to encounter clients who express suicidal thoughts. The good news is that there are many resources that can help us respond.

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Accommodating Anxiety and Depression During the Pandemic

One unfortunate side effect of coronavirus measures has been an increase in anxiety among our children. Most of the reports are anecdotal, but one study of Chinese students showed a significant increase in anxiety and depression among children quarantined for a mean of 34 days. Closer to home, 30% of parents participating in a May 2020 Gallup poll reported harm to their child’s emotional or mental health. These problems come on top of already rising rates of teen suicide.

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Cyberbullying

With so many children learning virtually this fall and otherwise having to keep in touch with their friends by electronic, cyberbullying is likely to be a bigger problem than usual. According to an industry study last year, almost 30% of children had experienced some sort of cyberbullying before the pandemic isolated everyone. Another study estimates that cyberbullying has almost doubled since the pandemic began.

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Pods and Paperwork

With the coronavirus closing so many schools this fall, “learning pods” have become very popular. Many childcare centers, day camps, and other organizations have developed programs to provide on-site learning pods for children, with tutors, computers, and dedicated rooms. Other groups do not have the physical plant but provide tutors to meet with groups of children in private homes. If your organization is gearing up to meet this need, do not forget some important basic principles.

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