WICHITA, Kansas – The experts say there are several things you can do to keep your child safe.
Topping the list is talking with your children.
“The more we can do to make talking about our bodies comfortable to children, we actually are giving them the tools to be able to communicate to us when things are good or things are confusing or bad,” says Diana Schunn, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County. “I think the public would probably be overwhelmed if they knew all of the cases that come into the unit at any given week.”
The Child Advocacy Center coordinates with police and parents alike, to help kids and families impacted by child abuse of all kinds.
Schunn says there are a lot of resources parents can turn to, if they have concerns about keeping their kids safe.
“The Junior League of Wichita is putting together a comprehensive website… as a way to help stop child abuse,” says Schunn. “As for parents, they should definitely check out the sex offender registry. That is a good start. But also recognize the limitations of a sex offender registry in that a person has to be convicted of a crime before they are listed on the registry. Oftentimes we have offenders make statements saying this is the first time they have offended. But, in too many cases, it’s just the first time they got caught.”
Other resources for parents are the KASPER website. It allows you to check out your daycare provider, or anyone they are associated with, for free. If there is a criminal history in Kansas on a person living at a home, KASPER should have the listing.
Tips on looking into the right daycare provider include checking for licensed daycare in Kansas.
To get a license in Kansas, a daycare provider has to undergo a background check.
But, Schunn says, parents need to be a bit of an investigator when it comes to their kids.
“Do more as a parent,” says Schunn. ” Listen to children. Children, historically, don’t just make up things about abusive situations, about dangerous or scary situations. They have a reason to tell us.”
Beyond looking for a licensed daycare, parents are encouraged to stop by daycare centers at random to check on their child. Other tips include checking, and re-checking information a daycare provider gives you.
You can check out Junior League of Wichita to see what it’s working on to keep kids safe.
Also click on Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.