With summer just around the corner, that’s when many parents send their children to Summer Camp. But, Lauren Book says it’s important that parents arm themselves with information that can keep their kids safe from sexual abuse. Book is a sex abuse survivor, who partnered with the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide tips for parents.
“The most thing that parents need to be aware of is having open and honest communication with their children, talk to their kids about what they’re doing, who they’re meeting at camp, make sure that those camp counselors, those CITs are trained in some ways to stop the signs of abuse,” said Book.
She adds just because people are background checked, doesn’t mean your kids away at Summer Camp are necessarily safe. She says an offender or predator can harm as many as 117 children before they are actually caught.
“Parents also should know that they should be able to pop into wherever their children are, whether they’re at the YMCA or camp, have visits where you could just pop into see what’s going on, who’s around your kids, does everything look safe? Just to have those safeguards are in place, so we make sure your kids are having fun and staying safe during the Summer months,” Book added.
Book says to help with her summer safety push, her organization, “Lauren’s Kids” as well as the Department of Children and Families have launched a free online parent toolkit as well as interactive educational tools for youth-serving organizations. For more information, visit Laurenskids.org.
The summer safety push includes:
- the launch of a free online parent toolkit (www.parenttoolkit.laurenskids.org) to help parents talk with their children about how to stay safe through videos, interactive scenarios and parent and kid tips.
- Also available is an online Web training (www.youthserving.laurenskids.org) handbooks (www.dontmissthesigns.org/materials) for youth-serving organizations to teach their staff and volunteers how to spot and report abuse, and protocols to keep children, staff and volunteers safe.
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