The Beau Biden Foundation launches The Shield of Protection Initiative
The Beau Biden Foundation is launching a new program, the Shield of Protection Initiative.
The initiative takes a holistic look at child protection policies, procedures and programming in place at organizations serving young people.
"This is an innovative program. We have been thinking about way we can work with smaller youth-serving organizations around the state for two years now since we started. The idea was always, let’s see what organizations are currently doing as it relates to child protection policies, procedures and programming,” said Beau Biden Foundation Chief Operating Officer Joshua Alcorn.
Alcorn says the program will help organizations evaluate their competency in three areas: organizational policies and processes; staff, volunteer, and parent trainings and resources; and youth programming and education. It will look at how strong their policies and procedures are and seek to improve on things they’re already doing:
“Most youth-serving organizations already provide background checks, or require background checks, for their staff. Are they fingerprint background checks? Are those just regular social security background checks? Are they checking the child sex offender registry? We’re sort of helping organizations who may not have the time to think through all the different iterations of things like background checks,” said Alcorn.
Alcorn adds the program is based upon Beau Biden’s conviction that its the adults responsibility to protect kids. Kids shouldn’t need to protect themselves.
“In the last 18 months, we’ve spoken to scores of school administrators, executive directors of youth serving organizations and summer camp directors. They are all committed to protecting the children under their care. The Shield of Protection Initiative will help ensure the policies and procedures they have in place meet best practices,” Patty Dailey Lewis, the Beau Biden Foundation’s executive director said. “We look forward to helping our partners improve upon what they’re doing and eventually exceed best practices.”
Initial partners include St. Edmond’s Academy, Archmere Academy, The Delaware Nature Society and the Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance.