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Creating a Safe Sanctuary Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
Current Statistics • 3.6 million children in 2005 were investigated • More than one-half of the victims were 7 years or younger • More than one half of the child victims were girls 50.7% & 47.3% were boys • Approximately one-half of all victims were White (49.7%) • Each day in the US, more than 4 children die as a result of child abuse in the home.
Our Theological Rationale • Children are to be provided for and included in the Kingdom of God • Baptismal Responsibility • Address issue
For the kids For our adult workers and volunteers For our families For our church …if we don’t, who will? …Protect from false accusations …a trusted place that is safe for all children …mission and ministry to children & youth ..wise stewards of our resources—kids, adults, & finances Why Bother?
Screening Process • Forms of Act 33/34 & FBI completed • Informal Interview • Wait 3 months; pair with cleared person • Sign the Covenant of Caring • Participate in training
Supervision • Two+ adults preferred • Rule of Three • Window and/or door open • Parental notice when going to be alone • Closets, stage, other areas • CPR defibulator in CLC Entryway call 911 • Fire Extinguishers—look around
Reporting Process • Tell your Director! • Laurel or Sue = Preschool • Betty = Drop Off Child Care • Tammie = Before & After School Care • Tami = Youth • Erin = Children’s Ministries • Faith = Any others • Ron, Bruce, or Faith for any issue or concern
Response Plan Child Abuse Allegations Procedures Any allegation will be treated seriously! Clergy Laity Staff ￬ ￬ ￬ Report to DS Report to Pastor Report to Pastor ￬ ￬ ￬ Report to DS Report to DS Report to PPR ￬ Notifies Parents Notifies Chancellor DS notifies Ministry Team ￬ ￬ Report to authorities Notify Insurance Co. * No one confronts the accused *Accused suspended from duties * Confidentiality for all –accused and victim * Media = Bishop * Sincere commitment to spiritual and emotional well-being
Outside Groups • Groups will be asked to comply with our Safe Sanctuary Policy • Need a pool of available people • Sign-up sheet on table