Chapter Five: Identifying Sexual Predators and Registered Sex Offenders in Your Area

Most sexual predators and registered sex offenders look like "normal" people. Therefore it may be very possible that one is living in extreme close proximity to you and your child, and can even be your next-door neighbor. It is for this reason that Kids Live offers a monthly service to check for registered offenders near you.

Registered sex offenders

Kids Live offers a monthly service that allows you to check for registered sex offenders and child abusers in your area. What makes Kids Live Safe unique and different from government-operated sex offender registries is that parents have access to the most comprehensive family protection solution on the market. While consumers can get some sex offender data for free from the FBI and Department of Justice, search functionality is limited and cumbersome. Checking for sex offenders in your area is extremely important, as children tend to play outside and ride around the neighborhood, and if there is a sexual predator living nearby, you should try to keep your child safe and away from that area at all times. With Kids Live Safe’s services, you can easily look up zip codes and the number of registered sex offenders in that area with clear photos of their faces and the nature of their offense. Though some offenses may be minor and less threatening in comparison to others, it is still important to be aware of the people around you to protect your child.

As previously explained, most sexual abuses and abductions occur with someone the child, or you, knows. This bracket includes potential babysitters and caregivers you leave your child with. It is extremely easy for a potential sexual abuser to cause harm to your child (or children) when you are gone and leave the responsibility to them. This is especially true for younger children who may or may not know the difference of what is appropriate or not when they are left with people to take care of them. For this reason, there are a number of babysitting sites that pre-screen potential babysitters before their services become available to you and your child, and many other resources that help you screen and watch for warning signs before it is too late.

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Tips for hiring a babysitter

To make things easier for you, we have included interview questions and tips to watch for when hiring a new babysitter or hiring a neighborhood teenager to watch over your child or children. If you personally know the individual you are hiring, an application may not be necessary. But for those that you are hiring off a website or through a friend, it is recommended that they include a resume, or that you send them an application to fill out and present to you when you meet with them in person. Once you meet with the potential babysitter, you can begin to ask them questions in varying topics ranging from their philosophy on discipline to if they have any siblings of their own. Some good questions may include:

  • What is your discipline philosophy?
  • Do you have children of your own?
  • What made you want to begin babysitting?
  • Do you have any siblings?
  • Have you ever been in an emergency situation while babysitting? If so, what did you do to resolve it?

You can find out a lot about a person and if they are right for your children just by asking these simple questions. If your child has special needs, ask the babysitter if they have ever dealt with children with special needs, and if so, were they able to properly care for them? Are they willing to work with a child who may or may not have an outbreak of tantrums? Their responses to each of these questions should be thorough and exactly what you want to hear. If the sitter does not fully answer a question, don’t just move on without hearing a substantial response. Wait silently and elaborate on the question to ensure they continue to speak, giving you enough information to evaluate their response. Another important question that some parents tend to blindly skip over is finding out whether or not the potential babysitter is CPR or First Aid trained and/or certified. Although this is usually not a "make or break" criterion, it is most definitely an added bonus and can be extremely beneficial.

Being aware and mindful of your child’s surroundings can help protect them and save them from potential dangers. Just knowing the logistics of each neighborhood can dramatically affect how you deal with your child going outside and playing. Having the freedom to background check people in your neighborhood can curb specific disciplining plans and techniques. Kids Live Safe offers parents this wonderful opportunity and helps keep children and their families smart and safe.