Child Advocacy Center
Policy Title: No Hit Zone Policy in Children’s Advocacy Centers
- To create and reinforce an environment of comfort and safety for children, families and staff.
- To provide clear procedures for addressing situations in which adults are using physical discipline with children, or to de-escalate a situation in which caregivers/staff begin to raise their voices or show other signs of stress and inappropriate behaviors that occur prior to physical discipline.
- The CAC shall implement a “No Hit Zone” which is an environment in which no adult shall hit a child, no adult shall hit another adult, no child shall hit an adult, and no child shall hit another child.
- The policy will be implemented on all CAC property including all owned and leased properties, buildings, grounds, and parking lots.
- When hitting is observed, it is all staff, interns and volunteers’ responsibility to interrupt the behavior as well as communicate system policy to those present.
- Staff will not be expected to place themselves in a dangerous situation by confronting violent behavior; security or police should be notified through established procedures whenever staff has concern for their physical safety or the safety of children, visitors or other staff.
- If necessary, the executive director or appropriate supervisor should be notified through established procedures.
Procedure: Training and Reporting Procedures
Training and Prevention:
- All staff, children, and adults will be made aware of agency policy that is in place to ensure and reinforce an environment of comfort and safety.
- All adult agency staff and volunteers will complete training upon implementation and ongoing training during orientation for new staff. Every new employee must be trained during new staff orientation.
- Each staff member will have access to a No Hit Zone toolkit. The toolkit will include materials and brochures to teach parents.
Reporting and Response Procedure:
- Staff will identify and respond to situations that compromise the safe environment utilizing the education they are provided with during the training.
- If the witness is a non-staff member, such as a volunteer or intern, he or she should report the account to a staff member and allow him or her to address the situation.
- The following steps will be taken when hitting or other disruptive behavior is witnessed:
- Respond in a nonjudgmental way.
- Empathize with the frustrations and stress the involved individuals may be experiencing. Remind them that the agency is a “No Hit Zone” –no physical violence is tolerated.
- Try to have conversations with the involved individuals out of earshot of others so that the individual is not embarrassed, and, if possible, include the child.
- Avoid making threats.
- Thank the individual(s) for respecting our policies and offer written educational material as appropriate.
- Any intervention/action should be documented.
- If indicated by the situation, notify Child Protective Services or Law Enforcement in accordance with Louisiana Law 14:403.
- If indicated by the situation, notify supervisor or police for assistance.
●Frazier, E. R., Liu, G. C., & Dauk, K. L. (2014). Creating a safe place for pediatric care: a no hit zone.pediatric s, 1(4), 247 -250.
● Gershoff, E. T., Font, S. A., Taylor, C. A., Garza, A. B., Olson-Dorff, D., & Foster, R. H. (2018). A short-term evaluation of a hospital No Hit Zone policy to increase bystander intervention in cases of parent-to-child violence. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 155–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.child youth .2018.09.040.
● Vaughan-Eden, V., Holden, G. W., & LeBlanc, S. S., (2018). Commentary: Changing the social norm about corporal punishment. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32 (1). DOI 10.1007/s10560-018-0592-y
● LeBlanc, S., Alexander, R., Mastrangelo, M. & Gilbert, H. (2019). No hit zones: A simple solution to address the most prevalent risk factor in child abuse. APSAC Advisor, 31 (1), 37-51.