As an organization working with vulnerable children, A Family For Every Child (AFFEC) is committed to conducting programs in a manner that is both safe for the children we serve and to help protect the children with whom our staff and volunteers are in contact with. ThereforeAFFEC has implemented a Child Safety Policy.
While the vast majority of individuals have good intentions, AFFEC must safeguard against the few who do not. To help protect the wellbeing of the children we support the following procedures will be followed.
- AFFEC will conduct a background and reference check on all new AFFEC employees and members of the Board of Directors. In addition, all AFFEC volunteers who are in contact with children or have access to a child’s sensitive, private or personal information will be required to complete and pass a background check.
- All employees and volunteers will receive extensive on-going training and education on how to keep children safe which includes information on mandatory reporting and current foster care issues.
- All AFFEC mentors and adoptive familiesare to complete a comprehensive Inquiry/Application Form and a Confidentiality Form. AFFEC will check the three references provided and will conduct state and national background checks on each individual. Upon completion of the background check, AFFEC will conduct an extensive interview which includes an in-home visit to each individual or family.
- Each mentor and family will be required to attend a thorough orientation which includes training on the foster system, the children and the children’s needs. AFFEC will provide ongoing monthly training and will conduct monthly check-ins and additional meetings to ensure procedures are being followed.
- Each mentor must complete the DHS Child Welfare History Check which AFFEC obtains through the Department of Human Services (DHS). This ensures that all AFFEC mentors pass a criminal history check. DHS background checks are additionally required for any mentor in advance of any excursion, event or visit lasting more than one day.
- AFFEC will also thoroughly review any other history the mentors may have had with DHS, including any investigations which may have been done, even though no criminal charges were found.
- AFFEC Adoption Workers are required to spend 10 hours of mandatory training annually on the subject of keeping children safe in an adoptive placement. AFFEC’s Adoption Workers provide 24/7 support to families who might be experiencing difficult behaviors from their children. Accordingly, it is important that AFFEC’s Adoption Workers are able to provide accurate child safety training and support to adoptive families and children during situations involving difficult behaviors.
- Due to the continuing need to provide background checks and fingerprinting, AFFEC will maintain on staff at least three qualified background check managers (QBM) at all times.
- All AFFEC physical files containing sensitive, private or personal information pertaining to children in our programs are properly stored and locked securely. All AFFEC electronic files containing sensitive, private or personal information pertaining to children in our programs are secured by means of passwords and secure-access-only procedures.