Monthly Newsletter
August 2020
Melodie's 10 Key Insights from COVID-19
How many of us are feeling like this young girl? We are seven months into 2020 and we are wondering why we celebrated the entrance of it.

I have certainly felt that. However, when I take the time to reflect on what 2020 has taught me personally, I can look back with 20/20 vision and identify ten key insights from this year; lessons that I have learned about myself and my world.

  1. A day spent with my family is my favourite day!
  2. That vision, values and calling remain, but there are seasons of life that require us to pivot our methodology with little to no warning!
  3. Never take for granted community, fellowship and meeting together in person!
  4. Good health and life is one of our most precious gifts!
  5. Never miss an opportunity to thank those that sacrifice relentlessly to provide us essential services!
  6. That I have been born with privilege and I should spend the rest of my life advocating for others to be given the same rights as I have.
  7. The devastating impact and destruction of abusive power, authority, influence and control.
  8. When there is a need, good people lay aside their differences and extend generosity. (I, for one, am grateful for the generosity of others including the government when financial hardship lands on our laps).
  9. That vulnerability increases when there is a shift in programming, staffing, and methodology. Individuals who are vulnerable will be more so during times of crises.
  10. We must stand together; we can't do this alone! We all need coaches to cheer us on and hold us accountable for our actions.

I have also observed that during a crisis, there will be some of us that freeze and wait for things to go back to normal, and others will pivot, asking what opportunities this new reality provides.

So how do you pivot for the purpose of protection?

There is no better time to ready your programs and activities with these new insights in mind:

  • Inventory the current list of programs and activities you are doing with children, youth and vulnerable adults.
  • Planning a new activity or program, measure the risk with our new Event Risk Assessment. 
  • Review your policies and procedures, comparing your current activities to your policies and procedures. What is missing? Where are the gaps? Do you have a policy for online engagement? Do you have a policy on elevated health and safety transitioning from a pandemic?
  • Review your current list of staff and volunteers to your master list of screened personnel? Who is due for screening and training? (Check out our specials this month)
  • Do you have a whistleblower policy in place? A whistleblower policy will provide a means of holding leadership, staff and volunteers accountable for any form of misuse of power, authority, influence and control.
  • As a leader, do you have a Crisis Response Plan in place? If not, consider our Crisis Response and Management Course.

Not sure where to begin? Reach out to our team to design an action plan for moving forward with Plan to Protect®.

-Melodie Bissell, President and CEO at Plan to Protect®
The Latest from Our Blog
7 Things to Remember when Communicating with Minors

"Female karate teacher sends nude photos to 11-year-old student and invites him over to her house for sex."

"Youth pastor accused of sending sexual texts to 15-year-old"

"Camp director sends inappropriate snapchat messages to campers."

"Teacher sentenced for texting student thousands of times."

"Eight-year-old posts backdrop of pornography on a zoom call."

Unfortunately, these are just some of the headlines regarding inappropriate technology use in child and youth-serving organizations. What's an organization to do?

Do you write a policy forbidding all social media, emails, text, phone calls and communication between minors and your staff and volunteers? But what if you need to let students know something about the program... "it's the way they communicate" ... "what if they message you?" How can we handle digital communication in a safe way in the 21st century?
New This Month
August Specials
This month, Plan to Protect® is offering TWO specials!

Getting back to normal means ensuring that during the last six months, your volunteers and staff are fully screened and trained.

To help you do that, we have discounted our options for training and screening.

During the month of August, Refresher Training on Transitioning back from COVID-19 will be discounted on our school as a new course: $20.00 plus tax per person (SRP $25.00 plus tax per person). Bundle codes and member registrations still apply.

CLICK HERE to access the training

CLICK HERE to purchase a bundle
As you are entering Stage 3 of re-opening for your organization from the COVID-19 Pandemic, we at Plan to Protect® realize that you have LOTS to do to get ready. We would love to help take one thing off your to-do list. Plan to Protect® ScreeningCanada is our own Criminal Record Check platform where your staff and volunteers will be able to complete their own Enhanced Criminal Record Checks online without the need to leave their home.

$29.00 per completed check for Plan to Protect® Members (SRP $33.00 pp)

CLICK HERE for more information on the setup
Training Highlights
Plan to Protect® will be Hosting Another MasterClass!

From September 21st to September 29th, Plan to Protect® will be hosting its second MasterClass! We, along with guest speakers and Advisory Board Members, will speak about abuse in organizations, and how to reach the HIGHEST standard of abuse prevention for organizations servicing the vulnerable sector.

To join the conversation, register below.
Plan to Protect® with Melodie Bissell

Join Melodie Bissell and Amanda Kelly on the safest podcast on the internet, as they break down some of the most frequently asked questions about reaching that HIGHEST standard of protection.

These sessions are geared primarily to individuals and organizations serving the vulnerable sector, whether you be positioned at a school, camp, church or other organization servicing this sector.

A new episode of Plan to Protect® with Melodie Bissell is posted every Wednesday, and is available on YouTube and on the Plan to Protect® Serious about Safety MasterClass on Facebook.

During the month of August, we will be covering Plan to Protect® for smaller organizations, legal requirements, high risk activities, and duty of care vs. standard of care.

Subscribe to the podcast on YouTube for your chance to win a $100.00 Amazon gift card!
FAQ: Who should we be screening and training?
According to Steve Chase, Senior Corporate Counsel for Brotherhood Mutual, less than 10% of predators have ever been caught. We recommend a holistic approach to screening and training including an application, interview, personal and professional reference checks, Criminal Background Checks, training and oversight, and supervision.

Volunteer Canada and Points of Light (USA) recommend that all volunteers be screened and receive an initial orientation training.

The same level of screening and training should be part of every staff member's on-boarding.