Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

#1 Risk to Churches - Allegations of Child Sex Abuse; How to Minimize It

11 Vital Steps to Minimize Risk of
Child Sex Abuse in Your Church

BY THOM S. RAINER , CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR


"It will never happen in our church."

And then it does.

Most church leaders and church members are shocked and unprepared when allegations of child sex abuse arise in their churches. But it is a huge risk in all churches.

Richard Hammar is one of my favorite sources for legal and financial information for the church. Each year he reads 12,000 state appellate and federal court rulings. He takes that information and then ranks the greatest risk to churches.

The number one risk in 2015 was allegations of child sex abuse. In fact, it has been the number one risk for most of the past 20 years.

As we approach a new year, I plead with church leaders to do all they can do to minimize this risk. It is definitely important for the health of the church. But, even more, we need to do everything we can for the safety and care of the children. It's first about them.

No, we cannot eliminate the risks of allegations of child sex abuse, but we can minimize the risks. 

Here are eleven key steps to take. The first ten came from Richard Hammar, and the eleventh is mine.

1. Require membership in the church for an established length of time for anyone who applies to work or volunteer in your children's ministry. Hammar recommends six months.

2. Require a written application from both employees and volunteers who work with and around children. Keep digital copies of the applications.

3. Conduct personal interviews with each person who applies. Keep digital copies of notes from the interviews.

4. Perform reference checks. Again, keep your digital notes of the conversations.

5. Run criminal background checks of each applicant. Here is one source to get this information in USA.

6. Run each candidate's name through the national sex offender registry. The USA site is nsopw.gov.

7. Be diligent about the two-adult rule. A minor should never be left alone with one adult anytime or any place.

8. Keep all records permanently. In many states discovery is allowed decades after the alleged event occurred.

9. Have a clear response plan. All leaders and those working with or near children should know how to respond quickly to protect the victim and to comply with all laws.

10. Have ongoing training for volunteers and staff. Redundancy could save a child. It also demonstrates the church's diligence in this serious matter.

I believe this refers to training adults in how to recognize and deal with possible child sex abuse. Darkness to Light has an excellent program for doing just that; it's called 'Stewards of Children'. See: 10,000 in Central Oregon Trained to Prevent Child Sex Abuse

11. Make certain your church's groups operate under all the guidelines of the church as a whole. Church small groups are increasingly becoming more common venues for allegations of child sex abuse.

As your church gets ready to turn the calendar for a new year, please give this issue the highest priority. The church must be protected as much as possible from allegations of child sex abuse.

But, most importantly, we must protect our children regardless of the cost.