Every church needs a written child abuse policy. This isn’t just a good idea. It’s vital to protect your students, your workers, and your church. Here’s some things you’ll need to include.
Screening For Workers: Every worker in your church needs to be interviewed and asked hard questions. They also need to have a background check. Every worker – even Aunt Emma who has been at your church since she was a baby. There’s a reason for that. If your church is ever sued because a worker abuses a child, they’ll ask if all workers have been screened and had a background check. If they have, the suit probably won’t hold up in court.
Report Every Sign of Abuse: Stress this to your workers. It doesn’t matter if they think the child might be accusing someone to get attention or if they think they may be overreacting. That’s not the worker’s call. Child abuse agencies investigate every case and if there’s nothing to it, they don’t mind being put to the trouble. That’s what they’re there for.
Have a policy about how to report possible abuse. That means you either have the worker make the call and report to you what happened or you have the worker come to you and you make the call. Which ever you decide to do, make sure somebody calls the proper agency.