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SCARS Suggested Policies & Procedures

These are simply guidelines therefore, alter the documents as you see fit for your organization
Our goal is to keep youth from situations in which they are at increased risk for sexual abuse.
It is our hope is all organizations entrusted with the care of children should adopt the following:

Conduct a Police Background Check

SCARS recommends to organizations entrusted with children to ask employees/volunteers to provide a Bermuda Police Criminal Record Check” (See form above.

Please note that Police background checks indicate those that have been convicted of a crime, such as child sexual abuse.  Keep in mind that not all child sex offenders have been reported and subsequently convicted.

SCARS recommends to all organizations entrusted with children, complete this form and submit it to The Department of Child and Family Services before hiring or obtaining volunteers:  Email: and

Hiring from Overseas

We recommend asking for a pre-employment criminal background check for at least the past two years. Google search each applicant!

Implement a Best Practice Code of Conduct

Organizations should have a clear code of conduct for staff, volunteers, and older youth who serve children. A code of conduct is a document that describes how staff, volunteers, and older youth will interact and conduct themselves with children.

A good code of conduct is balanced: it allows for interactions that are warm, encouraging, and appropriate, and it clearly prohibits interactions that are dangerous, inappropriate, and harmful.

The code of conduct should be shared with parents and with children. – Darkness To Light (

It should also be posted to the organization website, and in prominent places within the facility.

Safeguarding Release

Suggested wording for a Code of Conduct or Conduct Policy for all youth serving organizations before hiring someone responsible for children (Including volunteers):

“By way of signing this document below, as the individual named above, or as the Parent/ Legal guardian to the above named participant, I hereby confirm that the participant has not at any time perpetuated any offence connected to the harm, abuse or violence towards children.”

“You must advise the Director/Manager if any investigation is or has been commenced against you for an offence against a child.  You must also advise the Director/Manager if you are, or ever have been convicted of an offence against a child.” It is legal to suspend or not hire that person.  The risk of not adding this to your Code of Conduct is too great for a child and for your youth serving organization.   Every employee/volunteer/director in the youth serving organization should read, date and sign the Code of Conduct.

Conduct a In-Person Interview for New Hires & Volunteers

Ask specifically “what they would do in certain scenarios”

Conduct Personal & Professional Reference Checks

Ask specifically “Is there anything about this person that would concern you with respect to taking care of children”

Mandate Certified Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for Employees & Volunteers

Prevention training for staff & volunteers creates a culture of awareness. It gives people the skills to create safer environments. Prevention training for staff and volunteers creates an environment with much less opportunity for those who may offend.  Require all staff and volunteers to provide your organization with a copy of their Stewards of Children certificate.
Click here to register for a prevention training

SCARS recommends those working with youth become recertified every three years.   Research has found that 3 years is a common time frame at which renewal of this information is advisable.

Monitor Isolated one-on-one Adult Situations with Children

Implement Safe Policies

Transportation Policy – can a youth ride in a car alone with an employee/volunteer? If yes, what are the circumstances? What are the pick-up procedures at the end of the day or the event?

Travel Policy – it is our view that any mixed-gender activity, especially that relating to overseas travel should require the organization to have 2 adults one male and one female. With regard to overseas hotel accommodations, we recommend a minimum of 2 children (under the age of 18) and 1 adult – all of the same gender in a hotel room (The adult should not share a bed with a child– unless they are the parent of that child) but ALWAYS the rule of at least three – 2 being minors and 1 being adult.

Communication Policy – policies restricting private communication with children, this includes: texting, private instant messaging, private emailing, restricting adult to youth interaction; “friending” on Social Media platforms, do not allow exclusive, excessive, or private gift-giving even in times of achievement.

Establish a clear Reporting Policy for Disclosures, Discoveries and Suspicions in your organization

We are all considered mandated reporters in Bermuda.  Mandatory reporting of child abuse (Section 20) The Children’s Act 1998

We suggest requiring that every adult first report disclosures, discoveries and suspicions to Child & Family Services (278-9111)  or The Bermuda Police Service (211 or 295-0011).

Identify multiple people within the organization to whom a report is also made.

We recommend that all youth serving organizations offer training on their safeguarding policies so that all staff understand the details of the policy and have an opportunity to ask questions.  A policy on its own may not be followed. 

Child Protection Consulting

“The safer all our environments are, the less places predators can cause harm.”

Heidi Louise Smith MA, CASD,

Click here for more information


This content is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice. 

Additional Resources:

Government of Bermuda – Vulnerable Persons Policy 2014

Policy for Charities working with vulnerable persons because of age, physical or mental ability, ill health or because of affiliation with crime. Please Click here to download

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Policies and Procedures

Youth-serving organizations strive to create a safe environment for youth, employees, and volunteers so that youth can grow, learn, and have fun. Part of creating a safe environment is making sure that youth are not harmed in any way while participating in organization-sponsored activities.

One risk in any organization working directly with youth is child sexual abuse.

It is vital that organizations create a culture where child sexual abuse is discussed, addressed, and prevented.

– U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Please Click Here to download CDC Polices and Procedures

Other Resources

Additional Darkness To Light (D2L) Training

If you and your organization have been certified in our D2L Stewards of Children training – Please join the movement on D2L’s website (D2L.ORG) so you can receive on-going information about protecting kids and access to more video training options.  

Also on the website is additional training in 4 areas:

1) Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

2) Bystanders Protecting Children From Boundary Violations and Sexual Abuse

3) Healthy Touch for Children and Youth

4) Talking With Children About Safety from Sexual Abuse