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When California enacted a law in 2015 to expand efforts to protect school children from abuse and neglect, Keenan & Associates, a unit of AssuredPartners Inc., responded by developing a training program that can be used by school districts and the public statewide.
“Keenan decided that this issue was bigger and more important than just our clients,” said Kathy Espinoza, Keenan assistant vice president of ergonomics and safety, and project manager for the Keenan SafeSchools online training program. “This matters because we believe one child abused is one child too many.”
Based in Torrance, California, Keenan won the Community Outreach Project of the Year-Pro Bono at the U.S. Insurance Awards.
A.B. 1432 requires California school districts, charter schools and county offices of education to train employees each year in identifying child abuse and neglect and knowing their legal obligation to report that abuse and neglect.
Keenan responded by creating the Keenan School Safety Center, a free online program that provides the training required by A.B. 1432, plus other school safety courses for clients and nonclients.
The state-mandated training program is open to nonclients including parents, school volunteers, substitute teachers and others who come into contact with children.
Eight other courses also are offered free to the public, while 249 courses are available to clients, Ms. Espinoza said.
More than 500,000 client employees have completed the Keenan SafeSchools Mandated Reporter course at least once, along with more than 56,000 nonclient completions, she said.
The company estimates its pro bono service has saved California schools $19 million in training expenses.
“We want to protect kids. That’s first and foremost,” Ms. Espinoza said. “But we also started seeing claims coming through with students being abused within the school community, so we wanted to help our clients because this is a huge liability issue for districts.”
• American International Group Inc.
• Aon P.L.C.
• XL Group Ltd.
• Zurich North America
Business Insurance recognized achievements by outstanding executives and teams of professionals working in the field of risk management and commercial insurance at its inaugural U.S. Insurance Awards presentation in New York on March 8.