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Keeping Children Safe USA

Introducing Keeping Children Safe

By Robert A. Shilling Jr.
Keeping Children Safe Secretary

Former Head of Crimes against Children for INTERPOL
robert.shillingjr@keepingchildrensafeusa.org
Linkedin: Robert Shilling, Keeping Children Safe

These are alarming and challenging times, changing daily as governments around the world strive to contain the coronavirus. The impacts of this pandemic will last for many months. One thing I know for sure, as the former Head of Crimes against Children for INTERPOL, criminals do not take a holiday.

An emergency such as this crisis offers abusers many more opportunities to abuse their power in organisations, when attention is being drawn into dealing with the spread of the virus – at the expense of safeguarding practices. They double their efforts posing as ‘helpers’ while preying on the young and vulnerable. We have seen it for many years during natural disasters, and this worldwide pandemic will be no different. Criminals are master manipulators who WILL take advantage of the chaos.

INTERPOL has already published a press release stating, ‘Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus anxiety to defraud victim’s online.’ The article is true, but It’s not just restricted to online crimes. Criminals who abuse children will take advantage of the pandemic by trying to gain access to children offline too, while children are out of school and parents are distracted with world events or safeguarding professionals are self-isolating. In organisations child safeguarding policies are in effect for a reason and shortcuts of any kind due to the pandemic puts children at risk and should be avoided.

After retiring from INTERPOL, I was asked to sit on the Board of Trustees of Keeping Children Safe (KCS), a UK registered charity with a global reach. I agreed to join KCS because this independent not-for-profit has a proven track-record of helping to protect children. They have developed and fine-tuned tough international child safeguarding standards and established an independent committee of child safeguarding experts to make sure these standards remain cutting-edge.

Keeping Children Safe works with governments and organisations around the world to build staff and network capacity, ensuring child safeguarding is high on their agendas. Their work includes central assurance assessments, technical assistance training, international conferences on safeguarding and sharing best practices through their online community of practice and webinar programs. Our CEO, Sarah Blakemore, is an internationally recognised as an expert on this subject and has testified before the UN Security Council at the request of the United States. She is knowledgeable, extremely credible and has an excellent reputation in the field.

We need your help, now.

Like many charities, we have found it necessary to cancel fundraising events because of the pandemic. These activities help us generate the income we need to maintain financial independence and allow us to carry out our international training work. As Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy at the Institute of Fundraising, said: ‘There will be a financial hit and charities are already revising down income estimates for this year. No charity is going to be insulated from this.’  With expected losses for the sector likely to run into hundreds of millions of pounds, with many organisations already struggling financially. Keeping Children Safe is not immune from this crisis.

That is why I hope you will consider donating to our charity. We’re a lean and efficient organisation, independently audited and regulated by the Charity Commission, with a proven financial track record as shown in our Annual Review (you can download a copy from our website). One hundred per cent of your donation will go towards our work with organisations, helping to audit, train and certifying these, so that many more children worldwide are protected from abuse.

So, please do consider funding our work. Your money will help us to develop a new online programme, with which we can deliver online workshops and seminars – allowing us to reach even bigger audiences and train more professionals in child safeguarding. In short, you will be helping to give our work more impact – and thereby protect so many more children from abuse.

Please note that we do NOT use professional fundraisers who keep a portion of your donation. And we promise that we will never bombard you with ‘crisis of the month’ letters. We like to keep things simple, personal. This letter is it. I promise! After all, we want to be partners with you in child safeguarding, not a constant source of irritation always asking for funding.

There still is so much work to be done. But, in these difficult times we couldn’t do it without your help. So please, do consider funding our work today and help us protect more children from abuse. Your generosity really does make a difference. To help, you can donate online or send a check to: Keeping Children Safe USA, PO Box 8387, Lacey, Washington 98509-8387

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to speak directly to me about your donation, please call  360-706-2132 or contact me online.

Thank you so much for your time and efforts.

Respectfully,

By Robert A. Shilling Jr.
Keeping Children Safe Secretary

We are here to help

From assessments using the International Child Safeguarding Standards to providing experts that deliver high-quality audits and certification services to global organisations, Keeping Children Safe is here to help and guide you.

To find out if your organisation is doing all it can to keep children safe, start by using our free self-assessment tool that will help you to discover your strengths and weaknesses, or for more advice and more information on how we can help you, get in touch with our team today.

Keeping Children Safe USA, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization, contributions to which are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Tax ID number 85-0827780.

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