Amongst abused terms, “best practices” is more abused than most.
At one end of the spectrum, best practices are practices that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or appropriate; at the other, they are practices that have been shown by research to produce optimal results.
In our latest video on how to manage sexual abuse risk using risk management best practices (you can watch the video on YouTube here), we talk about the difference between best practices as that term is traditionally understood with sexual abuse prevention and best practices as we hope that term will come to be understood.
The traditional approach to developing best practices involves something of a negotiation between all those interested in the outcome of the practices – a negotiation between people from very different backgrounds, with very different perspectives and experiences, and often with opposing objectives and concerns. Nevertheless, they eventually agree on a set of practices they call “best” more because they are the best agreement they can achieve on how to proceed than because the practices will achieve optimal results.
This approach, which has evolved and been in use for eons, makes sense when you have limited ability to measure and analyze all of the possible methods that could be used to achieve a particular objective. But it no longer makes sense, given the analytical capabilities now available and how poorly the traditionally developed approaches for preventing child sexual abuse perform.
We can do better.
Instead of persisting with the traditional approach, we can start to measure all possible sexual abuse prevention controls and activities and identify the most effective ones. At the same time, we can encourage organizations to use the most effective practices by rewarding them for protecting minors and vulnerable adults as well as they can.
And that is BOKRIM in a nutshell.
You can watch the video here.