July 12, 2022
A collision is the point where two forces make a direct impact.
Ministry and compliance collide often, and consideration for both colliding factors is imperative. Child abuse is a high-risk ministry collision causing pain and potential liability for every organization and the kids it serves. As abuse scandals are on the rise, legislators in many states are turning to the law to enforce new standards of care for minors. It is time for the Church to be proactive!
Most states have some sort of mandated reporting or child abuse and neglect reporting requirements, although some are more defined than others. For example, in Colorado, mandated reporters are specific professionals, like clergy, who are obligated to report known or suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect (C.R.S 19-3-304). Wyoming State law (statutes 14-3-205 and 35-20-103) states that any person who suspects child or vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation is required to report it. In North Dakota, clergy aren’t required to report suspected abuse or neglect if they learn about it during time spent as a spiritual advisor to the parent or child; however, if they learn about the abuse in any other role, they must report it. And in South Dakota, clergy are not generally mandated reporters, as opposed to Nebraska, where anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect must make a report.
Even if you are not required by law to report, the Church has a higher mandate to care for those who can’t protect themselves. So how can the church take steps to identify child abuse and neglect and report it accordingly? Here are three simple ways:
Create and use a child protection plan that covers everything from check-in procedures to restroom policies to child/adult ratios. We at Church HR Network have teamed up with the Evangelical Council on Abuse Prevention to develop national standards for ministries.
Train your employees and volunteers in child abuse identification and reporting so they know what to look for and how to handle it.
Screen your employees and volunteers well by requiring a Live Scan fingerprint background check. Utilize a volunteer application and interview each person.
Shockingly, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Child abuse affects every socio-economic group and religion. As more and more ministries have long histories of child abuse revealed, we need to be change-makers! Protect your children and your ministry. Prepare now, establish prevention protocols, train your employees and volunteers, and identify reporting methods.
Church HR Network offers several solutions to help you when ministry and compliance collide. Check us out at churchHRnetwork.com and email us at support@churchHRnetwork.com.
Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.
The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?
This summer is shaping up to be a banner year for churches offering Vacation Bible School (VBS) or summer day camps. After a couple of years of cancellations, mask mandates, and social distancing, that is refreshing and encouraging news.
As we prepare to welcome droves of children into our summer activities, we want to make sure that we do everything we can to make their experience enjoyable, memorable, and safe.
If you are planning your first volunteer or ministry trip abroad, it is important to know a few guidelines for traveling safely. There are some common pitfalls new travelers often struggle with that can be prevented with a little preparation. Here are 5 easy steps you can take to prepare yourself for traveling abroad safely.
As we enter the middle of 2022 amidst uncertainty in many areas, we continue to look at ways our ministries may be exposed. Inflation has reared its ugly head into the economy, and it has a massive effect on the construction industry, trickling into areas that matter to you and your ministry.
Cyber security is increasingly crucial in our technologically advanced world. Scammers use many schemes when attempting to steal your data, but you can outsmart them by understanding their methods.
Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.
If your church is anything like mine, Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a big deal. Not just because it is central to our ministry’s outreach to young families, but because of the important role that VBS plays in the spiritual formation of children.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Though child abuse may not be something you could ever imagine happening within your ministry, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the top five reasons churches end up in court, according to Church Law & Tax. Studies also show that a child is much more likely to be sexually abused by a trusted adult than a stranger.
When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.
Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.
As the Director of Ministry Safety for our agency, I am dedicated to finding ways to help safeguard ministries like yours.
As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes jumps. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.
On behalf of our agency, I recently participated in one such training which focused on strategies and tactics for responding as a single officer to an active safety threat in a school building.
If you’re anything like me (and maybe the rest of the world for that matter), you’re grateful to put the craziness of the past year behind us.
Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.
A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.
On October 10, 2020, in Denver, Colorado, a 30-year-old private security guard who was hired to protect a Denver news crew while covering protests was involved in a deadly shooting that claimed the life of a 49-year-old man.