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Screening & Selection for Staff
March 28th, 2013
Aaron Lundberg, LMSW
800.743.6354 I PraesidiumInc.com
About Praesidium
• Incorporated in 1992.
• National leader in abuse risk management.
• Over 4,000 clients internationally.
• Train, screen, investigate, assess, and accredit
organizations worldwide for organizations
worldwide.
• Partners with University of California
1
What We Believe
• Abuse can be prevented.
• Everyone is responsible for preventing abuse.
• Abuse prevention requires a commitment to
quality.
• Commitment starts at the top.
2
The Problem
• Adult-to-Child Abuse
• Child-to-Child Abuse
• False Allegations
3
The Solution:
Praesidium Safety Equation™
The role of screening
4
Types of Child Molesters
• Type I. Predatory / Preferential
• Type II. Opportunistic / Situational
• Type III. Indiscriminate
How They Operate: APC Model
• Access
• Privacy
• Control
5
Know The Warning Signs
Pay attention to an adult who…
1. Always finds reasons to spend time alone with children or youth.
2. Prefers time and friendships with children or youth more than
adults.
3. Gives special gifts to children or youth, especially without
permission.
4. Goes overboard with touching children or youth.
5. Always wants to wrestle and tickle with children or youth.
6. Bends the rules for certain children or youth.
7. Allows children to engage in activities their parents would not
allow.
8. Has “favorite” or preferred children or youth.
9. Favors children or youth with certain physical characteristics.
10.Prefers to be with children who are particularly vulnerable.
6
Know The Warning Signs (Cont.)
Pay attention to an adult who…
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
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Treats children or youth as if they were adults.
Discourages other adults from participating or monitoring.
Wants to keep secrets with children or youth.
Ignores standard policies about interacting with children or youth.
Seems to think the rules do not apply to them.
Uses inappropriate language or swearing with children or youth.
Tells “off-color” jokes to children or youth
Introduces pornography to children or youth.
Takes photographs of nude or partially nude children or youth.
Seems to have an “obsession” with children or youth.
Why Screening And Selection
Is Important
• First line of defense against abuse.
• Restricts access to youth-the only opportunity
to stop an offender prior to access.
• Protects organization.
8
Why Organizations Can’t Rely on
Criminal Background Checks
• Most offenders do not have a criminal record.
• Criminal background checks are not always
accurate.
9
Managing Your Screening Resources
• Consider your time valuable.
• Place responsibility on the applicant during the early stages of the
screening process.
• Save time and effort intensive tasks for the latter stages of the
screening process.
• Screen for disqualifiers early in the process.
• Use the observation of others.
• Eliminate unfit applicants as soon as possible.
• Include interim decision-points in the application process.
10
Encouraging High-Risk Applicants
To Self-Select Out
• Will you offend good applicants?
• Inform applicants that you take abuse seriously.
• Inform applicants that you are screening specifically to ensure the
safety of children and vulnerable adults.
• Inform applicants that the organization fully cooperates with
authorities in cases of abuse.
• Inform applicants that interactions with children will be monitored.
• Require applicants to sign a Code of Ethics.
11
How to Use Your Application to
Assess for Abuse Risk
• Use an application that allows hiring managers
to quickly assess for red flags.
• Identify red flags in the application.
• Communicate a zero tolerance for abuse.
12
Red Flags In Applications
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•
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Gaps in dates (employment, residence).
Conflicting information.
Incorrect information.
Omitted information.
Incomplete information.
Unstable work history.
Vague reasons for leaving previous jobs.
Unwilling to use former supervisors as references.
Short term relationships with references.
Overeducated for position.
Moving to a lesser-paying job.
Patterns or themes of preferences for a particular age range.
Patterns or themes of problems with authority.
Found out about position without a clear connection.
Best Practices In Interviewing
• Set the right tone.
• Structure the interview.
• Ask the right questions.
14
Set The Right Tone
• Create a sense of privacy.
• Minimize barriers.
• Use an open communication style.
• Create an environment that encourages
honesty.
• Decrease the consequences of telling the truth.
15
Structure The Interview
• 20/80 principle.
• Introduction.
– Greeting/Creating the Right First Impression
– Realistic Description of the Position
– Discuss Hiring Process and Importance of a Honest Assessment of
Strengths and Areas of Development
– Zero Tolerance for Abuse Statement
– Review the Application
• Take notes.
• Use more than one person.
16
Ask The Right Questions
• Use behaviorally-based interview questions.
• Ask questions designed to assess for abuse risk.
• Ask questions designed to assess desired
applicant skills.
17
Behavioral Interviewing Techniques
• Best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
• What past behavior do you want to learn about?
a.
Skills
Examples:
b. Work Habits
Examples:
c.
Ethical Behavior
Examples:
• Creating behaviorally based interviewing questions.
18
Performance Skills
• Trainability
• Policy adherence
• Patience
• Supportiveness
• Judgment
• Boundaries
19
Interview Questions
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why are you interested in this position?
With what group of children would you prefer to work? Why?
Tell me about some of your hobbies or volunteer work.
Tell me about a time in your life when you had to quickly learn how to do something.
What did you have to learn? How did you learn it? Did you use the new information?
5. Often in school or work, we’re expected to adhere to policies that don’t really make sense
to us. Tell me about a time when you had to stick to a rule, even though it didn’t seem
reasonable. How did you handle that situation?
6. Give me an example of a time when a child or vulnerable adult really tried your patience.
Specifically, tell me what happened. How did you respond to the situation?
7. Describe the two most frustrating situations you have ever had to deal with involving
children and how you handled them.
8. Have you ever abused or molested a child?
9. Describe a time when you were personally supportive and reassuring to a person who
needed a friend. How did you know that person was in need? How did you show your
support?
10. Tell me about a time when someone commended you for your good judgment and
common sense. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
20
Red Flags In Interviews
• Defensive/angry responses
• Patterns of gaining access to children
• Themes of preferences for particular children
• Found out about position via “Drop in”
• Perception that children are “helpless” or
“vulnerable”
• Patterns consistent with high-risk characteristics
• Evasive responses
21
Deceptive Responses:
16 Ways To Lie Without Really Lying
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
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Unfinished
“I Can’t…”
Hypothetically structured phrase
Hard question
Objection
Non Reflective denial of knowledge
Maintenance of dignity
Interrogatory
Projection
No proof
Accusatory
The answer is…
Rambling dissertation
The answer does not equal the question
Denial of presence
Speech errors
Best Practices in Reference Checking
•
•
•
•
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Check the right type of references.
Put the responsibility on the applicant.
Ask the right questions.
Document, Document, Document.
How To Obtain
High-Quality References
1. Review the list of references with the applicant.
2. Inform the applicant that s/he is responsible for making sure that the
references are willing to talk with you and provide a reference.
3. Give the applicant a deadline for contacting the reference.
4. Make sure the list contains accurate phone numbers.
5. Use a standard reference form for each call, but be sure to modify questions
so that you can learn about the specific experiences the reference has had
with the applicant.
6. Be friendly and always treat the references with respect. They will feel more
comfortable in the hands of a professional.
7. Take notes during the call. Write short quotes from the reference to prompt
your memory.
8. Review and elaborate upon your notes immediately after the call.
9. Note areas of concern or questions to be clarified with other references or
the applicant.
24
Questions To Ask
Professional References
• We are looking for someone who will adhere to the standard policies
of our organization. How would you rate the applicant’s ability to
follow policies and procedures?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to relate to children?
• Can you give me an example of how the applicant relates to children?
• In what types of situations have you observed the applicant not
working well with children (becoming frustrated, angry, resentful or
non-productive)?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to maintain appropriate
boundaries with children?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to use good judgment in
stressful conditions?
• Are you aware of any reason why we should not allow the applicant to
work with the children we serve?
25
Questions To Ask
Personal References
• How long have you known the applicant?
• What is your relationship to the applicant?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to work with and relate to
children?
• Can you give me an example of how the applicant relates to children?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to be patient and stay calm?
• Have you ever known the applicant to use harsh or abusive discipline with a
child?
• Would you be comfortable placing one of your own loved ones in the care of
the applicant? Why or why not?
• What are the applicant’s hobbies and recreational activities?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to relate to adults?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to be genuinely supportive and
understanding to a person in need?
• How would you rate the applicant’s ability to maintain appropriate
boundaries with children?
26
Red Flags For Reference Checks
• Reluctant references.
• Reference did not know the applicant well.
• No references from recent position.
• Do not know the applicant well.
• Deceptive responses or refusal to answer.
• Differs from the applicant’s account.
• Characteristics associated with adults who abuse.
• Would not rehire the applicant.
• Not informed they would be used as a reference.
• References that cannot be contacted.
27
Making Selection Decisions
• Follow a process.
• Document the process.
• Review all data.
• Don’t get rushed.
• Allow time to follow-up.
• Identify who is responsible.
• Make a decision.
28
Risk Level Evaluation
Use the following checklists to evaluate applicant levels of risk to abuse youth.
Consider information gathered throughout the screening process.
High Risk Checklist for Application
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Application has gaps in dates for employment, education or residence.
Application includes conflicting or incorrect information.
Application has omitted or incomplete information.
The applicant has an unstable work history.
The applicant provides vague reasons for leaving previous jobs.
The applicant is unwilling to use former supervisors as references.
The applicant is overeducated or overqualified for this or other positions with youth.
The applicant is moving to a lesser-paying job.
The application shows a pattern of work and volunteer positions with the same type
of youth.
The work pattern shows themes of problems with authority.
The applicant found out about position through dropping in on the program.
The applicant describes youth as helpless, vulnerable or perfect.
Risk Level Evaluation (Cont.)
High Risk Checklist for Interview
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Applicant gave higher risk responses from the interpretive guide.
Applicant gave defensive/angry responses.
Applicant gave evasive responses.
Applicant described patterns or themes of gaining access to youth or vulnerable
adults.
Applicant described preferences for particular youth with no reasonable explanation.
Applicant described patterns or themes of problems with authority.
Applicant is not applying for a specific position and is willing to accept positions
which vary significantly in pay and/or responsibilities.
Risk Level Evaluation (Cont.)
High Risk Indicators for References
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References were reluctant.
References did not know the applicant well.
References have short term relationships with the applicant.
References refused to answer particular questions.
Reference information differed from the applicant’s account.
References described applicant as having high-risk characteristics.
References provided evasive responses.
References reported specific concerns about the applicant.
Risk Level Evaluation (Cont.)
General High Risk Characteristics
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Social Isolation or difficulty interacting with adults.
Uses excessive physical affection, particularly tickling or wrestling.
Difficulty working as a team player or working with authority figures.
Lets youth get away with things their parents would not approve of.
Fails to set limits with youth.
Having numerous positions which relate to the same type of youth.
Having positions for which the applicant is overqualified.
Using poor judgment with youth or vulnerable adults.
Having difficulty handling stress or managing stressful situations.
Presents a poor role model for youth.
Excessively involved with individual youth.
Gives gifts to youth.
Supervising for Safety: Abuse Risk
Management for Supervisors
Your Role As A Supervisor
1. To support the staff and children.
2. To supervise and coach staff.
3. To ensure children and staff remain safe.
34
Role: To Support the Staff
and The Children
1. Relationships with staff.
2. Relationships with children.
Offer support by…
1. Listening for needs and offering resources.
2. Advocating for staff’s and children’s needs.
3. Allowing staff and children to vent.
4. Offering encouragement and empathy.
35
Role: To Supervise and Coach Staff
1. Create clear expectations.
2. Assess their skill set.
3. Monitor expectations and performance.
4. On the job training and modeling.
Teaching Expectations:
Teaching Skills:
Using Incidents and Mistakes as Learning Opportunities:
36
Role: To Supervise and
Coach Staff (Cont.)
5. Provide corrective feedback.
Step 1. Find a good time to meet with staff.
Step 2. Use a general praise statements.
Step 3. State the behavior that needs to change and why.
Step 4. Ask for clarification.
Step 5. Introduce the corrective feedback.
Step 6. Follow-up.
37
Role: To Supervise and
Coach Staff (Cont.)
Barriers to Feedback
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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Factors That Effect Staff Success
What are 10 things you do to increase the likelihood staff are
successful?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
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Role: To Ensure Children
And Staff Remain Safe
1. Assess risk in the program.
a. When to visit
b. How often to visit
c. What to look for on visits
d. Conduct interviews
e. Use other information
f. Assessing for specific risks
2. Respond quickly to red-flags.
a. Avoid the tendency to minimize the concern or incident
b. Respond quickly
c. Communicate to others
3. Educate and empower children.
a. Topics to discuss with children
40
Assess Risk In the Program
1. When to visit
2. How often to visit
3. What to look for on visits
a) Watch how the staff interact with the child.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
41
Do they seem at ease?
Do they make eye-contact?
Do they display appropriate affection?
Do the staff and children interact?
Do they know where the children are at all times?
Do they set limits?
How do the children react?
Assess Risk In the Program (cont.)
b) Watch how the children interact with each other.
c)
•
Are their interactions age appropriate?
•
Do they respect each other’s boundaries?
•
Does anyone bully, tease, dominate, or display sexualized
behaviors towards others?
•
Do they problem solve without fighting?
Watch how the staff are supervising children.
•
Where are they standing?
•
Are the children in line of sight?
•
Can they account for all of their children?
4. Conduct interviews
a) Interviews with staff
b) Interviews with children
42
Assess Risk In the Program
6. Use other information
a) Written records
b) Incident reports
c) Talk to others
7. When to increase supervision?
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Assessing for Specific Risks
The risk of physical abuse or inappropriate discipline.
Adult Indicators:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
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Raising their voice when speaking with children and other adults
Belittling or teasing children or other adults
Getting in power struggles with children
Not remaining calm under stressful situations
Failure to complete required documentation
Failure to report incidents or injuries
Failure to complete required training
Not attending meetings
Personalizing children’s behaviors
Breaking policies and training related to de-escalation and discipline
Assessing for Specific Risks (Cont.)
The risk of adult to child sexual abuse and boundary violations.
Adult indicators:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Allowing children to take staff roles
Rough-housing or horse playing
Swearing and/or telling off-color jokes
Having staff/personal discussions with children about:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
5.
6.
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Other children
Other adults
Personal problems
Personal relationships
Dating or sexual activities
Secrets
Giving inappropriate physical affection
Having a “favorite” child
Assessing for Specific Risks (Cont.)
7.
8.
9.
10.
Bending the rules for certain child
Giving special gifts to only certain children
Unnecessary one-on-one interactions
Ignoring policies related to interacting with children
The risk of child-to-child abuse.
Adult Risks:
1.
2.
3.
4.
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Lack of knowledge of warning signs
Lack of awareness of their own behaviors and how their
behaviors impact the child
Allows children to set the tone
Immature and acts more like a child than a staff
Warning Signs in Group Dynamics
1. One or more child dominating others
2. Bullying
3. Verbal aggression
4. Exclusion of a child
5. Changes in leadership
6. Avoiding supervision
7. Sexualized nicknames
8. Teasing about sexual orientation
9. Exchanges of personal items
10. Testing privacy and personal boundaries
47
Respond Quickly to Red-Flags
Here are some key guidelines for
responding:
1. Avoid the tendency to minimize the concern or
incident
2. Respond quickly
3. Communicate to others
48
Educate and Empower Children
Topics to discuss with children
49
–
Children
–
Adolescents
The Seven Characteristics of
a Culture of Safety
1. Standards are Clear.
2. Standards are Enforced.
3. Everyone Knows Safety is Part of Their Job.
4. Everyone Takes Warning Signs Seriously.
5. Employees Report Their Concerns.
6. Moral is High.
7. Quality is Institutionalized.
50
How Safe is Your Program?
The Seven Characteristics of a Culture of Safety…
Please assign a grade of A, B, C, D, or F to the following
Aspects of your job
Grade
1. Standards are clear.
2. Standards are enforced.
3. Everyone knows safety is part of their job.
4. Everyone takes warning signs seriously.
5. Employees report their concerns.
6. Moral is high.
7. Quality is institutionalized.
What do I need to do differently to cultivate a culture of safety?
___________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
What do my administrators need to do differently to cultivate a culture of safety?
___________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
51
Praesidium Resources
• Online Program Self Assessment
• Onsite Risk Assessment
• Model Youth Protection Policies
• Armatus® Online Training
• On-site Training
• Confidential Reporting Helpline
• Incident Response and Investigation
• Implementation Consultation Services
52
Contact Us
Aaron Lundberg, LMSW
Vice President of Account Services
[email protected]
817.801.7773
www.PraesidiumInc.com
53
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