It isn’t news that whenever we allow someone else to take care of our children, we risk our children won’t be as well looked after as you would.
What’s different today is that we know how badly so many formally unimpeachable institutions have looked after children. We are also more aware of the damage children can suffer if they are, for example, sexually abused.
What’s also different today is that it is no longer enough to hear that someone or some organization is complying with some required rules around sexual abuse safety. Most people have no idea what it takes to be compliant, and we often see that compliance fails. Further, when millions of organizations are required to be compliant, we know most organizations must be self-certifying because there aren’t enough resources to verify more than a tiny fraction of organizations.
And even if everyone was compliant, we know compliance rules are minimum standards, not best practices; we don’t want anything less than best practices for our children.
Parents need to know that an organization is using the best practices for protecting their children from sexual abuse and implementing comprehensive protection without becoming abuse prevention, child safety, and risk management experts themselves.
The SAM Risk BOK (for Body of Knowledge) is a complete set of everything we know and learn about sexual abuse and how to manage sexual abuse risk. When an organization uses our service, they are automatically given a rating that compares its controls and activities against what we consider a complete set of best practices.
Now, just as I will never have Bill Gates’ credit rating, a local sports club will never be able to manage sexual abuse risk with the same resources as Harvard. But note this; if an organization complies with most safe environment programs, they obtain a BOKRIM score (out of 100) of 6 or 7, but to get beyond NR (for Not Rated) into C territory, an organization must score higher than 30. That is how deficient we think compliance is.
A rating is a simple signal of how well an organization is managing sexual abuse risk compared to the very best practices. One day, we hope a SAM Risk Management Rating will function like a credit rating; organizations will be rewarded (more customers or lower costs for services like insurance) the higher their rating. For example, the leading SAM insurer at Lloyd’s of London already trusts our rating enough to offer up to a 25% premium discount to highly-rated organizations.
That sexual abuse risk management must be capable of being trusted easily is a BOKRIM core principle.