Child Safety

Child Safety


child safety & protection

picture of young girl holding a bug

Camp Fire Heartland is devoted to the well-being of children and youth through safe, positive programming experiences.

Safety is our number one priority.

Statement on Zero
Tolerance for Abuse

Camp Fire National Headquarters (CFNH) affiliated councils are separate 501©3 organizations. While CFNH does require implementation of nationwide youth protection standards based on industry best practices, councils have the primary responsibility for risk management and youth protection in their organizations. This includes the establishment of local policies and procedures that best protect youth, effective screening and selection of staff and volunteers, and professional monitoring and supervision.

Consistent among all Camp Fire councils is a zero-tolerance for abusive behaviors; we do not tolerate any adult who sexual abuses or willfully harms a child (or attempts to do either).

How and where to report concerns

Our child abuse response protocols were developed in consultation with third party experts and require that affiliate councils train professional staff to recognize, respond, and immediately report any suspicions or allegations of child abuse or exploitation to child protection or law enforcement professionals. Camp Fire Heartland is required by national standards to report any allegation or suspicion of child abuse or exploitation involving an adult associated with Camp Fire Heartland, past or present, to the national leadership team and to law enforcement within 24 hours.

Parents, guardians, staff, volunteers, youth participants, and other community members are encouraged to report any unsafe behaviors, policy violations, or safety concerns. Concerns and complaints can also be made to the national office by submitting a form here.

Safeguards In Place

At Camp Fire Heartland safety is our number one priority. Camp Fire Heartland understands that child abuse, child sexual exploitation, and child sexual misconduct are pervasive problems that must be managed in a pro-active manner if we are to protect those in our care.

The following are a few examples of the national safeguards we have in place:

Background Checks:

Background screening of all staff and volunteers is an obligation contained in the Camp Fire Charter Agreement.

Mandatory reporting:

Affiliate Camp Fire Heartland is required to immediately report any allegations and/or criminal charges of abuse, child sexual exploitation, or child sexual misconduct to the appropriate authorities and then to Camp Fire National Headquarters.

Third Party Experts:

CFNH and affiliate councils engage third party safety experts for training, policy recommendations, and resources. CFNH works with Praesidium, a premier risk management firm, to conduct audits at the local and national levels on Camp Fire’s existing abuse prevention framework to identify potential gaps in the framework and provide recommendations to strengthen our approach to managing abuse risk.

Resources for Staff and Volunteers:

Camp Fire Heartland provides standardized, impactful training and resources for Camp Fire Heartland staff and volunteers on recognizing and responding to suspected or disclosed child abuse as well as offender behaviors and peer-to-peer sexual activity.

National Youth Protection Standards:

CFNH provides affiliate councils with a set of policies, procedures, and practices that must be implemented by local designated council staff and enforced by the Board and CEO/ED to remain in good standing with the national network.

Incident Reporting:

Camp Fire Heartland’s incident reporting protocol is streamlined to enhance reporting and response and improve CFNH’s ability to increase resources needed locally in the event of an incident. Camp Fire is a proud member of the Alliance of National Youth Serving Organizations for Children Protection. We partner with other youth serving organizations and group to collectively protect children from abuse within our organizations and shared communities.