Itâ€™s hard to imagine but there are still churches that have no child protection policies in place. Thatâ€™s just a tragedy waiting to happen. One related issue is that many congregations have adopted child protection policies but fail to ensure oversight for compliance. In the press of circumstances itâ€™s often easier to lean toward what is convenient rather than what is expedient.
Does your church has a child protection policy? If you donâ€™t know, ask. If the answer is â€œyes,â€ then ask about how well the policy is enforced and monitored. Like all policies a change in institutional development often calls for a change in policy. Itâ€™s worth revisiting the church child protection policies periodically.
Years ago, when my church created its child protection policy there were few resources and example around to help guide the process of thinking about and crafting such a policy. Like anything â€œnewâ€ in a congregation there was a lot of resistance, with all sorts of reasons given as to why our church didnâ€™t need one. One thing that helped get some folks past the resistance was inviting a representative of our church insurance agency to educate our congregational members about the importance of having such a policy and about the consequences of not having the policy in place. That was a huge step in helping people get past naive or irresponsible notions tied to emotionality.
If you havenâ€™t checked, ask, â€œAre we enforcing our church child protection policy?â€ Nowâ€™s a good time to check, before the summer childrenâ€™s programming schedules start. And if your church doesnâ€™t have one, check with your denominational offices and with your church insurance carrier.
Here are some on-line resources:
Date posted: Monday, April 28th, 2008 12:05 am | Under category: children, congregational life
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