Civil Air Patrol is a safe, positive environment that uses an age-appropriate, self-motivated learning model to challenge young people. While cadet life is regimented, we do not tolerate any form of abusive behavior or hazing. As part of our commitment to the safety and well-being of all cadets, we employ the following strategies:
Five Pillars of CAP's Cadet Protection Strategy
Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our Cadet Protection Policy stands upon five pillars:
1. Screening of prospective adult volunteers, with an in-person interview at the unit and a criminal background check using fingerprints
2. Standards of Practice, with two-deep adult leadership as the key standard
3. Monitoring of local practices by leaders, adult volunteers, and cadets
4. Reporting of reasonable suspicions of abuse
5. Training, with the Cadet Protection Basic and Advanced courses for adults, and an age-appropriate Wingman course for cadets
Cadet Protection Quick Facts
- Every CAP adult leader has been fingerprinted and passed a criminal background check.
- Every CAP adult leader has been trained in how to mentor youth in a positive way.
- Every CAP activity (with a few, rare exceptions) will be supervised by at least two CAP adult leaders.
- We structure our activities so that opportunities for isolated, one-on-one contact between adult volunteers and cadets are minimized.
- Local squadrons announce cadet activities via a web calendar, so families can know what events are upcoming.
- Families will be given written information each time a special activity is held, and parents will be asked to sign a permission slip.
- If an adult leader is transporting a cadet, at least one other person will be in the vehicle.
- While older, experienced cadets act as servant-leaders over younger, newcomer cadets, they always do so under adult supervision.
- Each cadet has a “wingman” for peer-to-peer support and safety.
- We teach cadets to look out for their wingman’s safety and we tell cadets that if they think inappropriate behavior is occurring, they are to tell any trusted adult, without fear of retaliation.
Addressing Questions and Concerns
We want parents and guardians to know that they can contact CAP adult leaders if they have questions or concerns about cadets' physical safety, training methods, hazing, or any topic relating to the cadets' well-being. CAP wants to hear from parents and work with them, adult-to-adult, to keep cadets safe.
Locally, the squadron commander or deputy commander is the best person to approach with a question or concern. You can obtain their contact information by having your cadet log-in to eServices and take a look at the top of the page. Better still, stop by the next squadron meeting to speak face-to-face.
If you believe local leaders are causing a problem, the wing (state) director of cadet programs can assist. The DCP is a potential mediator if local leaders are not resolving concerns to your satisfaction.
National staff is also available to help at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 877-227-9142 x410.