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«SUBJECT: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND SAFETY POLICY INTRODUCTION The main objective of this policy is to provide a safe environment for the children ...»

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SAMPLE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

ANY BAPTIST CHURCH

SUBJECT: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND SAFETY POLICY

INTRODUCTION

The main objective of this policy is to provide a safe environment for the children

(newborn through age seventeen) entrusted to the Church. In seeking to accomplish this objective, two other important objectives are being accomplished: the protection of the Church’s workers from false allegations as well as the reduction of the Church’s risk and liability exposure.

To accomplish the above, the Church must implement the Prevention Policy and then proceed to monitor its effectiveness. Accordingly, those in leadership within the Church,

must regularly, consistently and without exception, ask the following questions:

(1) Has every paid and volunteer worker involved in any manner within nursery/children/youth ministry on behalf of this Church been trained regarding this policy and has each such worker fulfilled the corresponding requirements? If not, immediate steps need to be taken to remedy the situation.

(2) Are all workers following the required policies? If not, what obstacles still exist which are holding back the required level of cooperation? How can full cooperation of every worker be achieved?

(3) Is every new member of this Church being introduced to the policies and procedures that have been established? If not, copies of the policies must be distributed and their contents communicated accordingly.

This policy must always be monitored. If not, the risk of child abuse and personal injury is likely to increase, along with the Church’s legal liability An integral part of implementing this policy is ensuring that the Church’s insurance policy provides coverage for liability arising from abuse situations.

1.0 Screening and Selection of Workers

1.01 During the screening process, the Church shall use its best efforts to maintain confidentiality.

1.02 The screening and selection policy shall apply to all paid and volunteer workers involved in any manner with child/youth ministry on behalf of this Church. The policy applies to new applicants and to those who are currently working with minors (newborn through age seventeen).

1.03 Before a person can be selected to serve in child ministry, the following steps are

necessary:

(a) review of the completed application form (b) completion of required interview (c) completion of reference checks (d) completion of a Police Check, when required. See section 5.00, page 3, for details.

2.0 Application

2.01 Everyone who is involved in any form of ministry with those up to and including the age of seventeen (17) shall fill out an application. Applications and supporting documents are to be kept in a locked cabinet.

2.02 Copy of the Application Form is attached, marked Appendix “A”.

3.00 Interviews

3.01 An interview is required for everyone who is to be involved in any form of ministry with those up to and including 17 years of age.

3.02 Interviews will be carried out by a minimum of 3 Church Members.

3.03 All interviews will be conducted in the church. Those conducting the interviews will focus on the qualifications and interests of the applicant and other matters as deemed appropriate.

3.04 A record of the interview showing name, date, time and subjects discussed shall be recorded. The notes compiled during the interview will become part of the applicant’s file.

4.00 Reference Checks

4.01 Churches, Organizations, and Personal References listed on the application form may be contacted by a member of the interview group. It is recommended that a minimum of two (2) references be contacted.

4.02 When a reference is contacted, a “Reference Contact Form” must be completed by the contacting person and the form becomes part of the applicants file.

4.03 Copy of “Reference Contact Form” is attached, marked Appendix “B”.

5.00 Police Checks

5.01 Police checks will be required for all workers who have the opportunity of being

alone with children/youth. This will include the following positions:

–  –  –

5.02 The cost of Police Checks will be at the expense of Any Baptist Church.

6.0 Additional Screening Safeguards

6.01 Applications may be accepted from Church Members. Applications may also be accepted from Adherents if they have attended on a regular basis for a minimum of 6 months. Exceptions may be granted, at the discretion of the Board of Deacons, following careful review of the volunteer’s application and reports of references contacted.

6.02 Board of Deacons must approve all applicants before a position is assigned.

6.03 A person, who has been guilty of abuse, may not work with children who are seventeen years old or under.

6.04 If there is a medical reason(s) a potential volunteer may not be suitable as a leader, he/she may be considered for a “helper position” and paired with a leader but never left alone with the children.





6.05 From time to time, parent volunteers are needed to assist in a particular program’s event. When a parent is not an active participant in the Church congregation group of volunteers, he/she is to be screened by the coordinator of the program and teamed with an approved leader. Under no circumstances is a parent volunteer to be left alone with a child or a group of children and out of the sight of the other leader(s).

6.06 Appropriate adjustments to the screening process may be implemented for paid staff positions.

7.0 Child Abuse: Prevention and Procedures

7.01 Definitions

–  –  –

This is the use of physical force by the caregiver (parent/guardian, babysitters, or foster parent) of the child. This injury is sometimes described as a nonaccidental injury by health professionals.

–  –  –

This is the chronic or episodic withholding of necessary or essential physical care from the child with resulting injury or damage to the child. Necessary physical care can include food, nutrition, shelter, clothing, medical care, safety, supervision.

–  –  –

This is the acting out by the parent or caregiver of the child of their negative or ambiguous feelings towards the child, resulting in some degree of emotional damage to the child. This kind of behaviour may consist of constant chastising, belittling, verbal tirades, ridicule, humiliation, or the out and out rejection of the child’s sense of self-worth and dignity.

Emotional Neglect This is the chronic or episodic withholding of necessary emotional care and support of the child which results is some degree of emotional damage to the child. This kind of neglect might consist of withholding affection and love from the child; it might also include the withholding of affirmations of the child’s self-worth, trust and belongingness. In extreme forms, emotional neglect can involve the complete withdrawal of any verbal and/or non-verbal interactions with the child, manifesting the complete rejection of the child.

–  –  –

This is the sexual exploitation of a child by a caregiver or other family member, or any adult, resulting in damage or injury to the child sexually, either psychologically or physically. Forms of sexual exploitation include behaviour of a sexual nature, touching of a sexual nature and sexual intercourse.

7.02 The Responsibility To Report Why Should We Report As individuals, we have a legal responsibility. Each person who believes, on reasonable grounds, that a child is or may be in need of protection must report the matter to The Children’s Aid Society of Grey County.

As a congregation we have a responsibility. We must ensure our workers are trained to identify inappropriate behaviour with minors. If a person sees inappropriate behaviour, the person shall immediately report the incident to the Board of Deacons and/or the Pastor. The Church leaders shall ensure appropriate action is taken in accordance with this policy.

We have a Spiritual Obligation: God has given everyone the responsibility to care for children and to develop and maintain a safe environment for them.

How Should We Report The Children and Family Services Act requires that each person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is or may be in need of protection shall promptly report the belief and the information upon which it is based, to The Children’s Aid Society of Grey County. In addition, the person shall also report the occurrence to the Board of Deacons and the Pastor.

Each person who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or has suffered abuse shall promptly report the suspicion and the information on which it is based to the Board of Deacons or the Pastor. The Children and Family Services Act requires the Pastor or the designate from the Board of Deacons to promptly report the occurrence to The Children’s Aid Society of Grey County.

No investigation is to be conducted by Church officials or volunteers, in circumstances where a report has been made to The Children’s Aid Society of Grey County, until civil authorities authorise such action.

7.03 Responding to an Abuse Allegation Should an allegation of abuse be received, based on reasonable grounds, the Church leadership, consisting of the positions listed below shall review and

respond, in accordance with the following guidelines:

–  –  –

10.00 Safety Procedures

10.01 Training Each new paid and volunteer worker, involved with children, must receive training on this policy. The policy should also be reviewed with all volunteers on an annual basis to refresh their awareness of the contents. The Video REDUCUNG THE RISK” should be viewed by all new volunteers as part of their initial training and by all volunteers on an annual basis.

10.02 Teaching Classes

There will be a minimum of 1 adult teacher for every Sunday School class. If an additional volunteer is required he/she will be selected from the Sunday School supply list. Whenever there is only one adult leader in a classroom with children, the door will remain slightly open or a window should be available allowing anyone passing to look in without interrupting the teaching process.

10.03 Junior Church

A minimum of one adult leader assisted by a helper to be present at all sessions.

The helper could be a Church member, member of the Youth Group or an Usher who would be available to go for assistance if needed, ensure children remain in the group setting, outside doors are secure, etc. The helper must not be left alone with the children. The leader will record the names of the children in attendance and sign the record sheet. Records to be maintained as outlined in the section “Record Keeping” - page 8. If an adult leader, or a helper, is not available, Junior Church will be cancelled and the children returned to their parents.

10.04 Nursery/Toddler Rooms The Church nursery is an important aspect of our children’s ministry and as such we seek to provide the best care for our children. The following guidelines are in place to make the nursery/toddler area a safe place for young children.

There will be a minimum of two adults in the nursery. When there are more than 3 infants or 5 toddlers, additional helpers are to be recruited to assist in the care of the children. When there is only one baby/toddler in the nursery there will be a minimum of two volunteers, one of which must be an adult. The second nursery worker may be a teenager or an adult.

When there are two workers in the nursery, preferably they will not be from the same family.

Children using the nursery/toddler area must be signed in and signed out of the area by the same adult or a pre-authorized adult. When the child is being signed in, the worker must record any particular medical information that is needed for the child. (i.e. asthma, food allergies, etc.)Also refer to the “Record Keeping” section later in this policy. ( page 8) The nursery/toddler facilities are designed for children age 3 and under. Parents are requested not to send children over the age of 3 to the nursery/toddler rooms.

This will allow the area to be kept clean and safe for younger children.

Workers observing the toddlers must ensure that activities and toys appropriate only for toddlers are kept out of the reach of infants.

Workers must ensure children remain in the their controlled area at all times.

When toddlers require trips to the bathroom, a nursery worker must supervise the children in the washroom. To lessen the workload of the nursery volunteers, parents of children who use the washroom are encouraged to take their child(ren) to the washroom prior to leaving them in the nursery.

The change table must be located where the child being changed can be easily seen by another nursery worker, or two workers should be present in the room where the change table is located.

The Christian Education Committee is responsible for the following:

(a) Scheduling the required number of volunteers for the regular Sunday Services and on other occasions when the nursery facilities are required.

(b) Inspection of toys and for the repair or replacement of toys that are damaged. Toys should be cleaned at regular intervals. All toys in these rooms must be approved for infants and toddlers.

(c) Ensure the furniture is appropriate for infants and toddlers.

(d) Bedding and furniture must be cleaned at regular intervals in addition to when they appear dirty.

10.05 Record Keeping



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