Youth Protection Program

Step 1 of 2: Submit

This is a read and understand module system. All Advisory Board Members must complete the modules and submit by March 10th. Thank you in advance!

Module VI -

Prevention and Risk Management

Explore options for strength-based approaches to keep youth safe

  • Prevention
  • Safety Factors
  • Physical Programmatic Safety
  • Assessing and Managing Risk
  • Personal Conduct

Prevention of Harm

  • Protect members from harm
  • Provide safe conditions for members and volunteers
  • Enable Rainbow to accomplish its goal of Getting Girls Ready for Life

In addition to maltreatment, it is important for us to address the wide variety of potential safety issues to minimize danger and prevent injury whenever possible on our watch.

Protective Factors

  • Freedom from Fear
  • Supportive Community
  • Praise
  • Fairness
  • Hope
  • Tolerance
  • Empowerment
  • Advocacy

We've reviewed these Protective Factors in previous training modules. These are factors which the CDC has identified as critical to the well-being of youth. They also provide the framework for prevention and for risk assessment.
Building trust in a supportive community works to eliminate fear. Empowering our youth with positive reinforcement and the teaching of fairness and tolerance helps build that trust. That, coupled with advocating for their well-being, creates strong and resilient young people.

Safety Factors

PHYSICAL SAFETY concerns the safety and security of the places we meet, have events, and how we get to and from them. It's important to consider all these factors.
  • Meeting Space
  • Security Issues
  • Special Events
  • Transportation
  • Visibility

PROGRAMMATIC SAFETY is addressed by our policies and practices that ensure safe space for girls and for volunteers to conduct their activities. Refer to IORG's Code of Conduct and the Youth Protection Policy and Program for specifics.
  • Screening Volunteers
  • Clear Policies
  • Safe Practices
  • Clear Communication
  • Consistency
Visibility refers to the fact that youth or a youth and adult should not be secluded somewhere away from the view of those leaders responsible for their safety. When confidentiality is an issue, conversations can be held outside the earshot of others while remaining in clear view.


The Nonprofit Risk Center defines Risk as deviation from what you expect to occur.

Others may define it differently. In any event, it is important for us to determine potential risks and address them sufficiently to prevent harm.

RISK = deviation from what you expect to occur.

Other definitions may include:
  • Danger
  • Hazard
  • Liability
  • Uncertainty

Risk Managing

Being mindful of risks, making decisions, and carefully planning activities (including contingencies) to manage reasonable risk and provide safety.

Risk management is a discipline for handling the possibility that an event could cause harm; being prepared with strategies for identifying and confronting threats that could cause harm to an individual or the organization.
Maintaining balance is also important. If overly cautions, the organization may not be able to fulfill its goals; yet insufficient caution may create risk of undue harm.

Process of Risk Assessment and Management

(see diagram of this flow chart on the YPP page)
  • Establish Context
  • Identify Risk
  • Evaluate & Prioritize
  • Control Risks
  • Review & Revise

Each of these steps is connected to the adjoining steps in a circular process. It is important to continuously review and revise risk management efforts, possibly implementing layers of strategies to handle contingencies.

Risk Management Choices

  • Understand the factors
-- Personnel
-- Environment
-- Nature of Activities
-- Needed equipment/supplies
-- Characteristics of Participants
  • Consider the relationship of factors
  • Layer strategies for contingencies
  • Planning level should equal risk level

Understanding these factors and their interconnection is key to a strong risk management plan. The complexity of the plan should increase in relation to the level or risk. The more potential for risk, the greater need for contingency planning. If Plan A fails, those in charge need to be ready with Plan B.
Many risks can be reduced or eliminated by prior planning. Risk may be mitigated by obtaining additional insurance, sharing the event with another group, or contracting services, e.g. arranging for a bus company to provide transportation. However, risk can never full be transferred. Loss of reputation or public confidence in the event of injuries or other harm should also be considered as risks.

Risk Management Planning

  • Understand the factors
- Personnel (leaders and support volunteers)
- Environment
- Nature of activities
- Needed equipment or supplies
- Characteristics of participants
  • Consider relationships among factors
  • Layer strategies to address contingencies
  • Planning level should equal extent of risk

Understanding of these factors and their interconnection is key to a strong risk management plan. The complexity of the plan should increase in relation to the level or risk. The more potential for risk, the greater need for contingency planning. If Plan A fails, those in charge need to ready with a Plan B.

Personal Conduct

Policy and established procedure provide the framework, and sound decision-making practices are critical. All involved must understand the chain of command and the decision-making process to create necessary trust.
  • Policy and Practice
  • Chain of Command
  • Sound Decision-making Practices
  • Trust and Safety

Additional Information

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center -

The Season of Hope: A Risk Management Guide for Youth-Serving Nonprofits is available online. This is highly recommended reading and includes a breadth of information on risk management including violence, injuries, accidents, internet access, and health-related risks.

Karen Askew, IORG Supreme Assembly
315 East Carl Albert Parkway
(918) 423-1328