Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Best Practices on Informing Newcomers about a Sex Offender in their Community

Hello-

Have you/your staff ever had to educate refugee families about the possibility of a convicted sex offender living in their community or even in the same building where they live? If so, how did you handle it?
Thank you. -Anonymous

6 comments:

  1. We have not had that specific situation, but have had situations where refugee children were approached by sex offenders outside of their homes and on their way into the youth program. 1.) We did an educational program for the kids on safety with a speaker from another agency. 2.) We also informed the parents on telling their children not to talk to strangers or give out their phone numbers or addresses. 3.) We also informed the police, as we did anytime that we heard about a child being approached. 4.) It might be good to check the national sex offender registry, as they can search by address and the person's specific crimes will come up. It will let them know the level and whether the crime involved young children, stranger contact, violence, etc.

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  2. We have a Police Officer who comes in twice a month to talk to our clients about basic U.S. laws.

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    1. We also have police officers explain US Laws and after covering the basics they talks about how many there are in a particular area, examples of what crimes constitute, how someone can be classified as a sex offender, but also talks about duty to warn and shows what the flyers look like. It has been well received.

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  3. It may be helpful to explain to the families
    1.What is meant by 'sex offender' in the US?
    2.Explain about the 1996 federal ‘Megan’s Law’ and what the local laws say about sex offender levels, registration and the community notification process.
    3.How to protect their family, child safety and allowing strangers in homes/community
    4.Acknowledge the vulnerability of refugees and other newcomers to any community

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  4. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) has two bilingual guides, Keeping Safe (Children) and Keeping Safe (Teens) that review good and bad touching.

    http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/children-bilingual-safety-guide.pdf

    http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/teens-bilingual-safety-guide.pdf

    The Child Welfare page also has a lot of resources which may help staff, interns or volunteers navigate this topic. http://www.brycs.org/publications/index.cfm#welfare

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  5. Learn about the federal and state versions of “Megan’s Law.” Klaas Kids Foundation has a great state by state breakdown of Megan’s Law. Learn who is the expert at your local police department. http://klaaskids.org/megans-law/

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