FAQ: CAJ Investigation Frequently Asked Questions
1. This is called an “independent” investigation. What does that mean?
An independent investigation is directed by an independent person/entity, separate from the organization or parties being investigated. An internal investigation is directed by leadership within an organization. Either can be well-run or poorly-run, biased or not. However, it is generally recognized that independent investigations may bring more expertise and impartiality.
2. What are some steps you take to ensure that the CAJ investigation remains unbiased?
Probably the most independent investigation would be run by law enforcement or the government. Unfortunately, that isn’t normally possible for civil employers, so the organizations involved must be the one to initiate the independent investigation (and pay for it). But there are steps that can be taken to avoid bias.
- Firstly, we ensure that the complainants, the accused, or their various supporters do not direct the investigation. We believe that all of these parties must be treated with equality and fairness. Allowing the accused to direct or influence the course of an investigation would cast serious doubts on whether complainants had been treated fairly, while allowing a complainant to direct or influence an investigation would cast doubts on whether the accused had been treated fairly.
- We intentionally create distance from the involved organizations. We put safeguards in place so even the commissioning organizations have limited influence and ability to direct the investigation:
- We limit contacts within the client organization to one or two people.
- Neither complainants nor the accused can represent the organization.
- The actual interviews are set up and executed by a team of experienced investigators who have no ties to any organizations involved in this investigation.
- The organizations are not consulted or informed about who is being interviewed, and do not have veto power. Many interviewees will never be named to the organizations (at their choice).
- The Coordinator, advised by the investigators, makes choices about the scope of the investigation.
3. Who are your investigators?
The members of the investigative team are trained as state and federal law enforcement officers, private industry investigators, attorneys, or psychologists. Collectively, they have decades of experience in child abuse and historical child abuse investigations. Some members of the team have significant experience in mission school abuse cases from around the world.
4. How do we know you have the best interest of the victims at heart?
- Our investigators hold each person in highest regard, and they understand that it takes courage to tell a person’s account. We are committed to treating each person’s account with respect.
- To help ensure impartiality, the final findings of the investigation will be given to an independent Review Panel: this panel comprises people who represent missionary kids, missionary parents, counselors, and persons in spiritual leadership. No one on the Review Panel will be currently or formerly staff of any of the organizations involved in the investigation.
- We are working with an Alumni Representative selected by the Steering Committee of the ASSG (Abuse Survivors Support Group). This representative serves as a consultant and facilitator. She will express the background and desires and concerns of the alumni to the investigative team, and also provide input to the Review Panel and Summary Report.
5. What happens when the investigation is over?
The Review Panel will independently put together recommendations of appropriate disciplinary and other actions to be taken based on the factual findings of the investigation. These recommendations will be provided to the Boards of the involved organizations to assist them in appropriate responses.
The Coordinator will also verify whether adequate reporting has been carried out to law enforcement, and will report credible allegations of actions that are crimes, as needed.
6. How can I see investigation updates?
To see updates, we recommend creating a new account with our Telios Investigations website, which can be accessed here: https://teliosinvestigations.com/user/register.
This account will grant you access to the password-protected pages where updates are posted (Important Note: only individuals connected to the investigation—MKs who attended the school, CAJ staff, families, and staff from participating organizations—will be approved for access to the private pages where most updates are posted).
7. I want to submit a statement to the investigators. How do I do this?
Thank you for your interest! All statements submitted are a great help to the investigation. We ask that you submit your statement in one of the following ways:
- Enter your statement through our Contact Us page, either as a written message or as an attached document.
- Call us at 719-203-9591 and leave a message. You will receive a response within a couple of days.
8. Will my information be kept private?
- The mission organizations or CAJ will receive a Master Report. The final Master Report will be redacted of alumni victim and witness names unless permission to include them has been specifically given.
- Names of offenders will be included in the Master Report, whether adult or minor, to allow organizations to take appropriate action.