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News Release

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Issues New Standards for Protecting Child Athletes from Sex Abuse

Sound Practices aimed at eliminating child sexual exploitation released in response to sex abuse scandals

Alexandria, Va., April 17, 2013 –The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, today released "Sound Practices for Keeping Children Safer in Youth-serving Organizations."

This document, published in the wake of "Safe to Compete: Protecting Child Athletes from Sexual Abuse," sets precise guidelines and standards for youth-serving organizations that seek to eliminate occurrences of child sexual exploitation.

The summit included more than 50 of the nation's leading youth-sports organizations, including USA Swimming, Special Olympics, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, as well as national experts and advocates. Attendees included Cal Ripken, Jr., John Walsh, and Erin Merryn, victim advocate and GLAMOUR magazine's 2012 Woman of The Year.

NCMEC's standards provide a framework for all youth serving organizations to:

  • Report suspicions of child sex abuse and misconduct.
  • Implement screening policies that includes criminal background checks, in-person interviews, reference checks and ongoing observation.
  • Train employees and volunteers.
  • Strengthen child protection policies.
  • Perform an organizational self-assessment.

"Sound Practices For Keeping Children Safer in Youth-serving Organizations" can be viewed at

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and exploited children, the organization operates the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 3,716,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 183,100 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 1,868,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 87,742,000 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit its web site at Follow NCMEC on Twitter and like NCMEC on Facebook.

Media Contact:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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