It may seem premature to start thinking about summer camp for the kids, but good camps fill up early. The closer it gets to summer, the more likely you’ll be on the waiting list for your first choice. However, before you make any final decisions, for your child’s safety, you should do a little homework.
Sexual Abuse at Summer Camp
A report by CBS in 2018 revealed that many kids have allegedly been subjected to sexual abuse while attending summer camp. According to their investigation, within the last 55 years, over 500 cases of child sexual abuse have been reported. It is suspected that the number is much higher because cases like this are not always brought to light. In 2018, according to the CBS investigation, 21 cases had been reported.
Millions of children attend summer camp each year and parents expect their children will be properly cared for and safe during that time. For the most part, this is the case, but kids are away from home and parents, which may give them a false sense of security because they feel independent. This factor may prepare the way for some kids to become victims of sexual abuse.
What’s Lacking in Summer Camp
Regulations for camps is on a state-by-state basis. Currently there are no national regulations for summer camps. Some states, like California, require background checks for camp staff. Eight states do not have any requirements for overnight camps to be licensed. Eighteen states do not require background checks for camp employees. Additionally, there are thousands of foreign camp counselors whose background check may not pick up misconduct from their home country.
A Parent’s Due Diligence
Summer camp can be an important part of a child?s life. The experience provides a chance for children to widen their horizons, explore the world, get close to nature, and more. Most children have fond memories of camp, but for those who are sexually abused, the experience is a nightmare. Parents can take preventive action.
A highly-recommended camp is not immune to less-than-desirable camp staff. Talk to camp owners to find out how extensive background checks are especially if your child is going to go to a camp located outside of the state. Also, teach your kids about being safe. Make sure they know the difference between what is appropriate and what is not.
Know the signs of child sexual abuse. If your child seems changed in a negative way when he or she returns from camp, you need to find out why. No child should be subjected to abuse of any kind and it is up to parents to do what they can to keep kids safe.
Sexual abuse can leave emotional and/or physical scars for life. Martin Gasparian and Maison Law work to help victims of personal injury secure compensation for their loss. Located in Visalia, California, we also work with clients in Bakersfield and Fresno. Call on us when you have a personal injury case. We represent people, not corporations.