protection and prevention of
The JCC recognizes that we serve many vulnerable populations through our programs and services. We strive to create a Culture of Safety that helps prevent inappropriate conduct and identify ways to recognize and report any suspicious or inappropriate behaviors.
Over the last year, the Minneapolis and St. Paul JCCs worked with Praesidium, a national leader with over 20 years of experience in prevention of inappropriate conduct, research and results. Their work included an extensive accreditation process to assess and improve our practices, policies and processes focused on:
- Staff and Volunteer Screening and Selection
- Internal and External Reporting Systems
- Response and Communication Protocols
Some of our protection and prevention of inappropriate conduct standards include:
- Prohibiting inappropriate conduct or mistreatment of members, visitors, volunteers or staff by anyone associated with our JCC at any place, at any time
- Defining and prohibiting inappropriate physical contact between employees, volunteers, members and participants
- Defining and prohibiting inappropriate verbal interactions between employees, volunteers, members and participants
- Prohibiting verbal, electronic (including texting and friend requests) or in-person interactions between employees or volunteers and underage or vulnerable participants outside of regularly scheduled program activities
- Prohibiting employees, volunteers, members and participants from accessing, displaying, or possessing inappropriate information or pornography on the JCC’s property, during JCC programs or using JCC equipment
- Prohibiting employees, volunteers, members and participants from exposing others to inappropriate information or pornography at any time
Minnesota JCC Leadership
A Culture of Safety requires support and oversight from leadership. To that end, the Board of Directors are informed in our Culture of Safety Standards. The executive leadership team has established relationships with key community legal and law enforcement officials and has established criteria for contracting with collaborators, partners, or vendors.
The JCC takes any allegation of inappropriate conduct seriously. We will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities to investigate any allegation that violates our written policies or is deemed to have put members, visitors, volunteers or staff in an unsafe environment.
STAFF SCREENING AND SELECTION
We carefully screen all individuals who will have access to participants in our programs. While we recognize that no pre-employment process is completely foolproof, the JCC’s specific screening and selection procedures are designed to prevent hiring an individual who poses a threat to the well-being of our community.
Some of our screening and selection standards include:
- All applicants must complete an onboarding process designed to screen for the potential of inappropriate conduct, including face-to-face interviews, reference checks, including a personal or family reference, a national sex offender registry check and a criminal background checks on all new hires
- The JCC repeats criminal background checks on all continuously employed employees at least once every two years, or more frequently if required by state or program-specific regulations, and at time of rehire for returning or seasonal employees
- All employees are required to immediately notify their supervisor and human resources if they are arrested for or convicted of a crime while they are employed by the organization
- The JCC prohibits the use of drugs and alcohol while working and may request drug screenings on employees or volunteers with or without cause
As part of the on-boarding process, all applicants are required to read and sign a Code of Conduct agreement which includes information about behavioral expectations of all employees.
Ensuring that our employees and volunteers are well trained in prevention of inappropriate conduct is essential in creating a safe environment. The more we know, the more comfortable we will feel reporting any concerns. The Minnesota JCC’s training program is designed to ensure prevention of inappropriate conduct training is available, completed, and documented. This sends a powerful message that inappropriate conduct will not go undetected and will be addressed if it occurs.
The Minnesota JCC is in the process of reviewing, improving and documenting some of our training standards which include:
- All JCC employees and volunteers must complete prevention of inappropriate conduct training that includes how to identify and report suspicious or inappropriate behaviors and how to respond to allegations or incidents of inappropriate conduct
- All JCC employees who make hiring decisions must complete screening and selection training that includes techniques for screening out potential offenders
- All JCC supervisors are trained in effective supervision practices related to identifying, reporting and preventing inappropriate conduct
MONITORING AND SUPERVISION
Staff supervision is a critical component in protecting participants, employees, volunteers, and the community. When employees are monitored, potential inappropriate behavior is less likely to occur because they face detection. In addition, allegations are more easily and accurately investigated and resolved.
Some of our monitoring and supervision standards include:
- Identifying each visitor that enters the facilities and restricting access within the facilities
- Monitoring activity in the facility
- Providing Staff:Participant low ratios
- Limiting situations where a staff person is alone with a vulnerable person
- Ensuring staff supervisors are randomly and consistently observing activities and programs
- Ensuring JCC staff are easily identifiable with name badges and JCC apparel
- Identifying (at all of our sites Sabes Center Minneapolis, Capp Center St. Paul, Camp Butwin and Camp Olami) where facility “architecture” may compromise supervision, and developing methods to minimize and monitor the risks
INTERNAL REPORTING SYSTEMS
Creating the space where our employees feel safe to share reports of high-risk activities and/or suspicious or inappropriate behaviors without fear of retribution. The JCC provides our employees with a clear way to report concerns and the steps that we will take in response to such reports.
The Minnesota JCC is in the process of reviewing, improving and documenting some of our Internal Feedback Systems which include:
- A clear process to report concerns and/or grievances
- A method to make anonymous reports
A Culture of Safety is a covenant and partnership between the JCC and our entire community. Parents, caregivers and community members play an important role in the overall safety at the JCC. If members and participants know how to recognize and report suspicious or inappropriate
interactions, they can be part of the risk management team of the organization. We create an open and transparent approach to programming and welcome parents to observe our programs.
The Minnesota JCC is in the process of reviewing, improving and documenting some of our
Community Participation standards which include:
- Sharing our expectations, practices and standards with our community
- Encouraging parents and/or caregivers to observe our programs
- Having a clear process to report concerns and/or grievances in writing and available to the community
- Sharing the steps that the JCC takes in response to a concern, complaint, or grievance
RESPONDING TO SUSPICIOUS OR INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR
We understand that how we respond to suspicious or inappropriate behaviors, incidents or allegations of inappropriate conduct can drastically impact the effects to the individuals involved, to our employees and to the JCC. Once an employee, parent, or member has expressed a concern or made an allegation, we take immediate steps to reduce any further risk.
Our response standards include suspension pending an internal review and an external investigation of the circumstances surrounding the allegation or incident of inappropriate conduct.
The Minnesota JCC takes any allegation of inappropriate conduct seriously. We cooperate with the appropriate authorities to investigate any allegation that violates our policies or is deemed to have put members, visitors, volunteers or staff in an unsafe environment.
Thank you to Benson Blackburn for your corporate support of our work with Praesidium.