Massachusetts Legislators
United States of America

Due to incidences of sexual abuse in summer camps in MA, The Camp Safety Project has been working to get camps better monitored. Better monitoring would include comprehensive background checks on all staff members and other necessary precautions. Currently the Department of Public Health (DPH) monitors summer camps. In October of 1997, we presented 70 cases of sexual abuse to the Legislature. We thought it may be more appropriate for the Office for Child Care Services (OCCS) to monitor the camps. In 1998, the MA government kept oversight of camps in the hands of DPH and mandated that they require some staff members be checked for a criminal record. We have been working to require that, at a minimum, all staff members be checked for a criminal record (CORI), sexual offender record (SORI) and that camp directors call the references of the applicants.

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I agree with the Camp Safety Project that camps should be monitored by an entity that explicitly cares for the safety of children. This would better prevent the possibility of abuse at camps.

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The Prevent Child Sexual Abuse petition to Massachusetts Legislators was written by Jane Palmer and is in the category Youth at GoPetition.