Safe Harbor Resources
The OLD precautions are:
Based on Law Enforcement concepts. "Spot the likely
predator and screen him out."
Quick and cheap. Purchase of Criminal conviction histories
and check sex offender registries.
To Rely upon self-reported check-boxes on application
forms. ("Are you a criminal? YIN")
Applied to "new applicants" only, to save
money and to avoid perceived alienation of existing
The old precautions accomplish:
Some protection from negligent-selection lawsuits. (A
conviction history is "all" that is admissible
in court, so it's all that a court can compel a screener
to have done.)
A potential decrease in child abuse of up to 3% over
thirty years' time, because only 3% of predators have
criminal histories, and because these checks are only
done on new applicants.
The NEW precautions are:
Based on an Administrative concept, not a Law Enforcement
concept: The organization adapts the precautions in
order to qualify for accreditation.
In-depth. Checking includes opinions of parents, references
given by references, county Children Service referrals
and civil dockets, leaders of children's programs previously
worked in, driving record, military discharge, offender
lists, plea bargains as well as arrests and outcomes
Aimed at deciding whether the role to be offered is
high-touch or low-touch, not to screen-out.
Applicable to all staff and support adults, not just
Confidential. Results remain in control of the applicant.
Applicant decides whether to serve or not.
Not cheap. But consider the cost if just one abuser
is successful in fooling the "old precautions."
The NEW precautions accomplish:
Cautious job assignment (low-touch) to volunteers
with complaint potential in their backgrounds.
Separating the supply of children from any who might
Avoidance of stigmatizing or shaming anyone, since
there is no "detection" of likely offenders.
Deterrent of even the most subtle and charming predator,
incumbent or not, for an even better reason than
fear of detection: certainty of lacking access to
the supply line of victims.
for accreditation, display of the SHR Seal, assurance
Harbor Resources is an accreditation authority for youth and
children's programs. It provides a programmatic approach for
organizations that wish to adapt the New Precautions.
It acts as a quality control inspection service for assuring
parents that their children will not have close contact with
program volunteers whose backgrounds contain any questionable
factors. Only programs which use SHR's in-depth background checking,
and utilize SHR's policies and procedures, can display the Seal
of Safe Selection Practices.
it does it
Volunteers indicate to SHR where they have ever lived and worked,
plus sign notarized applications for records inspections by
Children Service agencies, bureaus of Motor Vehicles, and Civil
Court systems in all counties and states plus submit fingerprints
to state and federal law enforcement authorities. They furnish
six references and give those references permission to suggest
additional references. SHR checks everything and asks parents
how they feel placing their child in the volunteer's care.
processes the information into its proprietary "Instances
of Appearance of Potential for Complaint" which
becomes the structure for the program leader to privately interview
the volunteer. Those whose instances are not well explained
are offered roles and duties that do not involve "foreseeable
opportunity for unsupervised contact with the children or youth."
Thus no persons are screened-out per se. SHR
keeps a record of the results, including whether the volunteer
accepted the offer or withdrew. All incumbents are checked.
A policy of rotation-of-duties is instituted.
Volunteers who decline the offer of a no-contact role must withdraw
if the program is to receive accreditation. No implication is
made as to the reason for withdrawal. The net result is to preserve
voluntarism while interrupting the predator's supply-line of
6999 Dolan Rd.
Glouster, OH 45732