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What You Need to Know About Background Screening

July 26, 2013 Comments off

What You Need to Know About Background Screening (PDF)
Source: Community-Oriented Policing Services (USDoJ) and Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Protecting children from employees who may mean to do them harm is one of the most important roles youth-serving organizations can serve. Parents and community members trust that the employees and volunteers at their child ’s school, church, or gymnasium are there to support and guide and, above all, do no harm. Background screening is a vital component to help minimize the risk and protect our nation’s most vulnerable assets, our children.

Community members are vital partners to law enforcement regarding this issue, and I am proud to offer this basic guidebook to help educate, inform, and empower youth-serving organizations to help ensure the safety of the children within their care. This guidebook is designed for leaders within a youth-serving organization, community members who volunteer within youth-serving organizations, and parents of children who actively participate in youth-serving organizations. It describes six layers of screening an agency should consider when developing a comprehensive background-screening process. The guidebook offers links to useful tools and resources to help youth- serving agencies understand the best screening practices that are available.

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Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis for Professional Investigating the Sexual Exploitation of Children

July 18, 2011 Comments off

Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis for Professional Investigating the Sexual Exploitation of Children (PDF)
Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The sexual victimization of children involves varied and diverse dynamics. It can range from one-on-one intrafamilial abuse to multioffender/multivictim extrafamilial sex rings and from nonfamily abduction of toddlers to prostitution of teenagers. Sexual victimization of children can run the gamut of “normal” sexual acts from fondling to intercourse. The victimization can also include deviant sexual behavior involving more unusual conduct (e.g., urination, defecation, playing dead) that often goes unrecognized, including by statutes, as possibly being sexual in nature. There are, therefore, no step-by-step, rigid investigative standards that are applicable to every case or circumstance. Investigative approaches and procedures have to be adjusted based on the dynamics of the case. Larger law-enforcement agencies tend to have more specialized investigative units that investigate the different types of cases. One unit might investigate intrafamilial, child-abuse cases; another might investigate missing-, abducted-, or murdered-children cases; and another might investigate extrafamilial, sexual-exploitation cases. Offenders, however, sometimes cross these investigative categories. For example a father might produce and distribute child pornography images of his own child or might molest other children in addition to his own. Investigators have to be trained and prepared to address these diverse realities.

This discussion will focus primarily on the behavioral aspects of the sexual exploitation of children perpetrated by adult offenders who have an acquaintance relationship (i.e., not strangers or family members) with their child victims. Some of the information, however, could have application to acquaintance juvenile offenders and other types of child-molestation cases. Although some legal and technical aspects involved in these cases will be discussed, those are not my areas of expertise. The law and emerging technology can change rapidly and significantly in a short time. Experts in those areas should be consulted before applying this information, but underlying human behavior tends to remain the same.

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