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Youth Protection Helpline: What you need to know

Jennifer Morlan | Sep 02, 2020

As part of our commitment to meeting the highest standards of youth protection, Kiwanis International offers a confidential, 24-hour helpline for reports of incidents, situations or behaviors that might put a youth at risk. The 866-607-SAFE (7233) helpline can be used by Kiwanis members, advisors, members of all Service Leadership Programs, faculty advisors, parents or anyone who thinks a youth involved in Kiwanis is at risk.  

It is staffed through our partnership with Praesidium, one of the leading safety experts in the United States. Praesidium answered questions about when to use the helpline, how it operates and more: 

Question: When should someone — a youth, parent or a Kiwanis member — call the helpline? 

Answer: Someone should call the helpline any time they have a question or concern about the safety of a youth participant. Even if it is just a suspicion of a policy violation or a behavior that raises a red flag, Praesidium experts are here to help guide you.  

Question: When Kiwanis family members call, who will they talk with?  

Answer: All calls are answered by an expert consultant. Our team includes social workers, psychologists, public health experts, attorneys and child-welfare professionals. We all have extensive experience taking hundreds of helpline calls from other youth-serving organizations. 

Question: What happens after a call is made? 

Answer: The Praesidium team will meet to staff the call, discuss the situation and develop our recommendations on next steps for the caller. This may include recommendations to report to authorities, report to local child-protective services, suspend a volunteer and other recommendations specific to the concern brought forth by the caller.  

Question: Does Praesidium contact Kiwanis after receiving a call? 

Answer: Yes.

Question: What happens to the information that is shared through the helpline? 

Answer: Praesidium will track the information in an incident-tracking system and share the data with Kiwanis so the appropriate individuals can follow up on the reported concerns, and so Kiwanis can continuously evaluate the need for policy and procedural updates based on reported incidents and concerns.  

The Praesidium helpline is NOT a substitute for reporting incidents to Kiwanis through established incident reporting channels. And it is NOT a substitute for reporting to the police or to local child protective services in accordance with mandated reporting laws

Question: Can the callers be anonymous? 

Answer: Yes, but we encourage callers to include at least minimal contact information so Kiwanis can follow up on the reported concerns.  

Question: Will anyone get in trouble after a call to the helpline?

Answer: We cannot determine if anyone will get in trouble. We will relay information to Kiwanis for appropriate follow-up. We always advise individuals to follow mandated reporting requirements.   

Question: Is there any follow-up with the caller?  

Answer: Yes, Praesidium will follow up with the caller to provide recommendations on next steps. Depending on the report, Praesidium may also advise Kiwanis to follow up with the caller. 

Question: Will Praesidium offer advice to the caller on what to do next?  

Answer: Absolutely! That’s the primary function — to assist callers with next steps. 

Question: Can you make a call about something that happened in the past?

Answer: Yes, absolutely. We recommend reporting as many details and as much information as you have so Kiwanis can follow up.  

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YOUTH PROTECTION HELPLINE 866-607-SAFE (7233)