Safety: Protecting Children Is Our Top Priority | Concordia Language Villages

Safety: Protecting Children Is Our Top Priority

Concordia Language Villages hires staff members with the safety of your children foremost in our mind. 

Our Approach to Safety

Our approach is three-fold: 

  1. We hire carefully. 
  2. We train carefully. 
  3. We supervise carefully. 

We follow camp industry best practices, and our approach complies with standards of our accrediting agency, American Camp Association, as well as pertinent laws and insurance regulations.

We take extreme care in making hiring decisions.

Staff complete a lengthy and thorough application:

  • We interview new applicants via webcam or phone.
  • In the interview, we ask for a voluntary disclosure regarding criminal history, including acts against children. (Minnesota state law prohibits these questions on the application.)
  • In the interview, we routinely ask specific questions that could raise red flags—and we know what kinds of answers indicate that the applicant needs to be questioned further.
  • We submit every applicant’s name to the National Sex Offender Public Website (U.S. Department of Justice).
  • We submit every new applicant’s name for a criminal background check.
  • We verify the school and employment record for gaps.
  • We will not hire without two references indicating the applicant is an appropriate person to work with children.
  • We verify references.  

We train staff members with care and attention.

  • We train staff:
    • to keep children safe,
    • to be aware of signs that children are not safe in the Village (or in their life outside the Village),
    • not to be alone with villagers, and
    • to report any potential villager emotional issues promptly to the dean and health care provider.
  • We train staff during a week-long orientation, for summer positions.
  • We use materials developed by a nationally-recognized expert in caring for children in camp settings.
  • All staff members sign an affidavit that they have received training in, understand, and agree to act in ways that keep children safe. 

We supervise deliberately.

  • We actively supervise staff during Village sessions.
  • We provide a high level of supervision of children.
  • Staff are trained in what it means to supervise children. 
  • We provide “double coverage” in cabins and bathrooms is provided; in these sensitive settings, at least two staff members are expected be present. 
  • During staff orientation, deans, leadership staff, and administrators are constantly assessing all staff members in the areas of character, quality, and skill.
  • Staff members have carefully and tightly prescribed roles at each site and are supervised by staff counselors, language facilitators and deans.