[Ansteorra] protecting children

Judie Willey littledragon0861 at gmail.com
Tue May 15 12:06:42 PDT 2007

<<The good and bad of the background check and 2 deep
> policies
> :
> 1. anyone who has ever been convicted of such crimes
> will not consent to the check so will not be serving
> in a position to directly supervise children. However,
> this will not be a guarantee the person is trustworthy
> with the children. There is always the chance they
> just haven't been caught.

True...but it is also a deterrant to those who are trying to use the SCA as
a trolling place for their victims...they will be aware that this policy is
in effect, and be either less likeley to volunteer to be in the
position...or take their " problem" elsewhere. Not that I want any kid
hurt...but it will help protect ours better.

> 2. Speaking from experience, it is difficult to get
> adults to volunteer even to teach a short class to a
> group of children at events. There are just too many
> other things competing for their attention at events.
> Is is fair to require a parent to volunteer X amount
> of time to children's activities if the parent is
> cooking feast, running the list, nobility, etc. They
> rarely have time to devote to helping with children's
> activities but often have children who want to
> participate.
> Is it fair to refuse to include those children in the
> activity if their parent/s cannot volunteer to help?
> A couple might be able to trade off time but if the
> parent is single there will not be another to trade
> off duties with. So do we penalize single parents?

We are not trying to penalize either single parents...or those involved in
other activities. I also don't think we are saying ." .your child spent 2
hours at the MoC are today...so you have to spend 2 hours here also today"
 OK...so you are running feast, but your child wants to participate in MoC
events...what do you do?  1)  You sign your child in and out and 2) You
volunteer to work the children's activities at the next event you go to.

> 3. Without requiring ALL volunteers working with
> children (whether officers or just a parent able to
> assist last minute) to pass a background check there
> will still be a possibility for predators to work with
> the children. But requiring ALL to pass a background
> check gets to be a pain. It's done for 4-H and
> scouting but at least for 4-H the parent/volunteer
> pays for the check and is never allowed to drive or
> supervise or assist with ANY official activity until
> they have passed. This can cut down on the number of
> volunteers who are able to work with the kids. Some
> folks with nothing to hide have been hesitant to
> consent to a background check. They didn't trust there
> would not be more information solicited than just the
> criminal aspect and they didn't always trust the
> information would be kept confidential. Others were
> homeschooling and did not want any evidence brought to
> light they had children not enrolled in area schools.
> It is a concern in some states where homeschoolers are
> required to register with the school district. These
> same folks finally consented to and passed the
> criminal background check so their reluctance had
> nothing to do with past criminal convictions.

I believe it is the plan that those who work directly with the children, ie
MoC,  chirugeon, youth marshalls etc to have a card...those working under
them as volunteers do not need the cards as long as they are not alone
with the children. I also believe that children's activities should take
place in open areas ( ie if in a pavilion it should be a screen room, not
closed) where they are visable to the general community...not shunted off
away from the other activities.

4. Setting a requirement for the number of children
> supervised by each adult helps with camp activities
> I've found. You have more adults present so even if 1
> adult takes a group of kids to the bathroom there are
> usually a couple more present to watch the others. But
> you still have 1 adult alone with a group of kids at
> the bathroom, a place with potential for privacy.
> Nothing's foolproof.

I agree with this...it also helps the activity run more smoothly if you have
more hands. since you shouldn't be directly in the privy with the child, and
since it should be male with boys and female with girls, this is easier to
control as well. Any child who can't use the toilet by themselves,MUST have
their parent, guardian, or a baby sitter that the parent is paying with them
at all times.

5. Requiring a parent be present for any and all
> activity that does not have the 2 deep presence does
> not work well. I tried to form a youth guild but since
> it would be myself and husband and children only, I
> required parents to stay. It never worked out. Parents
> were too busy no matter the day of the week the guild
> met or the time of the meeting. You will end up
> without children's activity of any sort or without
> families. It's hard to keep kids interested if you are
> working gate or cooking, or fighting, etc. They will
> not be happy, you wil lnot be happy, and either family
> attendance/membership will drop or the number of folks
> volunteering to cook, run lists, etc. will drop.

Again we are back to the topic of expecting the parents to assist in being
invloved in the children's activities and not treating the MoC as a free
babysitting service. It is called Co-op... If they continue to abuse the MoC
and not help...ther will not be anyone who even wishes to run the ofice. And
this would be a bad thing.

6. If the children are with a single parent and the
> parent is fighting in a tournament and the parent has
> designated someone to look after the child...is the
> child still in the constant presence of the parent? If
> something happens to the child while under the care of
> a parent appointed babysitter, is the SCA liable if
> that person did not have a background check?

No, if the person has someone who they have designated to care for their
child, that person is not under the SCA banner as an officer with the
children, this is a private issue between the 2 parties involved.

My point with the rambling is there is just NO
> SUBSTITUTE for parental responsibility and vigilance.
> NONE, NOHOW, NOWAY. Get to know the person your child
> is spending time with. Before your child spends time
> alone with them. Predators wear no badges and have no
> identifying marks. Often it is a trusted family member
> or close friend who abuses a child. Be suspicious of
> everyone no matter how great they seem or how
> trustworthy. Predators often gain the trust of the
> parents before making their move on the children.
> Teach your children it is not okay for ANYONE to touch
> them in ways or areas that make them uncomfortable
> physically or emotionally. Communicate often with your
> child. Know your child. Often some subtle behavioral
> change will indicate something's not right. The child
> may no longer be interested in participating in
> previously enjoyed activities or being in the presence
> of that person. Teach your child it is okay to tell
> secrets and that you will do your best to see no one
> will harm them or you or anyone else in your family if
> they tell.
> No rule is foolproof and there is no substitute for
> good parenting.




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Rebbe Hadassah Sarai bas Yossi
MoC Barony of Steppes

Dragon's Laire Ceramics
"dragon's breath to fire our kilns"

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