How to Banish Child Sexual Groomers

Daniel Pollack
Daniel Pollack

Daniel Pollack

Cockroaches, those infamous, hearty and adaptable bugs, can withstand hostile temperatures that few other creatures can endure. Chameleons, known for their ability to change their appearance, can effortlessly merge with their environment. In the desert? Go brown. In the jungle? Go green.

Child sexual groomers are far superior to roaches and chameleons. The challenge to law enforcement and the general public is that groomers hide in plain sight, not by enduring intense scrutiny or by blending in, but by appearing so positively friendly and caring.

The news headlines from just the past few weeks give a vivid picture of the many faces of child sexual groomers:

To get rid of roaches there are arsenals of traps and insecticide weaponry from which to choose. Locating an unwanted chameleon may take some subtle patience.

To catch a sexual groomer is much harder. First, is the groomer even there? They appear as do-gooder teachers, friends, scout leaders, coaches, neighbors, foster parents and first cousins.

Thorough background checks are strongly recommended but are not foolproof. Ironically, they may even lull us into a false sense of security. Alternatively, a vetting process that is too widespread and intrusive may cause an unwarranted sense of panic that will result in societal disquiet and fearfulness.

The simple but important response is to let people who interact with children know that sexual grooming is a concern. Human service agencies, schools, sports leagues and other child-serving institutions should have regular in-house trainings.

Child sexual groomers have the instincts of a cockroach and a chameleon, and the craftiness of a fox. Only occasionally do they get caught. When that does happen it’s usually because they’ve left an electronic trail of self-incriminating evidence.  

There is assuredly no guaranteed immunization booster against child sexual groomers. What to do? Just like roaches hate the glare of light, child sexual groomers dread being talked about. The job of the real do-gooders: Talk it up.

Because when organizations talk about their awareness of sexual groomers, they may just get scared and run away.

Daniel Pollack is a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work and a frequent expert witness in cases involving child abuse and foster care. Contact: dpollack@yu.edu; 212-960-0836.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Youth Today's ISSN: 10896724
Our XML website site map:

Recent Comments



Logo Grant professional Association Business Alliance
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2019 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
1200 Chastain Rd, MD 00310, Chastain Pointe Bldg 300, Suite 310, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591

To Top