News and Media


For Immediate Release
November 19, 2008

Commit to Kids helps child-serving organizations identify possible threats

WINNIPEG — Children are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse by adults who are well-known to them. This is particularly concerning when we consider that sex offenders often intentionally target child-serving organizations for work or volunteer opportunities. Today, with the launch of Commit to Kids, those organizations will have the tools and know-how to prevent that from happening.

Commit to Kids, a program of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, will help organizations create safe environments for children. It provides strategies, policies and a step-by-step plan for reducing the risk of child sexual abuse. The program encourages organizations to take an active, participatory role in protecting children in their care.

“We know that criminal record checks are not enough to keep predators out of organizations,” said the Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Family Services and Housing. “Manitoba has always been a leader in the fight to protect children, and Commit to Kids is just another example of how collaborative projects can make a huge difference. We look forward to partnering with ten child care centres in Manitoba to pilot and evaluate the program.”

The cutting-edge program will help organizations to prevent child sexual abuse through increased awareness and education. It will teach employees and volunteers the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, and provide them with specific strategies on how to prevent abuse. Additionally, those using the program will learn about their legal obligation to report child sexual abuse and ensure that allegations of abuse and misconduct are handled in a sensitive, timely and effective manner.

“We are thrilled to be announcing another tool in our circle of child protection,” said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “This program is designed to be comprehensive, easy-to-use, and adaptable to organizations of all sizes. I have no doubt that it will improve child safety in organizations.”

Over the next year, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection will be evaluating the program's usability and effectiveness with a number of child care centres in the province.

“We are proud to be a part of this pro-active plan to create safe environments for children,” said Cathy Gardiner, Executive Director of Learning & Growing Daycare Inc. “In an industry where the safety and well-being of children is a primary focus, Commit to Kids offers us the tools to provide our employees and volunteers with specific strategies on how to prevent and detect abuse.”

Commit to Kids includes:

  • A training kit for organizations, including information on: child sexual abuse; risk assessment and management; creating and enforcing a code of conduct for employees/volunteers; reporting disclosures of sexual abuse and addressing inappropriate behaviour; and policies on hiring, supervising, and training
  • A 30-minute training video and presentations for employees, volunteers, and parents
  • A sample child protection manual, complete with draft policies and procedures, that can easily be amended to suit the needs of individual organizations
  • A guide for parents that teaches them about the issue of child sexual abuse and helps them choose safe programs for their children
  • Supplemental tools such as reporting cards, website information, checklists and worksheets, and statistics

More information about the program can be found online at
Commit to Kids.

- 30 -

If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:

Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

204-801-2979 (Cell)