CHILD ABUSE / MOLESTATION
This area is of course a very fertile area for lawsuits against churches in our day. The very best materials on this subject, in my opinion, are provided under the name Reducing the Risk – Keeping Your Ministry Safe from Child Sexual Abuse and are marketed by Christianity Today International, 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188; toll free number: 877-247-4787; website: www.reducingtherisk.com.
The above course points out the four basic areas of need in preventing problems in this area:
Screening for paid and volunteer workers. Remember, apply a six-month rule for all workers.
Supervision Make sure two adults are in classrooms with children, at all times, and that your church has windows in all doors and other areas.
Reporting This is a very major issue for many ministers confronted with certain news or information about alleged abuse. It is very important to know if your state has a rule limiting a certain period of time in which you must report an allegation of sexual abuse. If you are not aware of same, or if an allegation arises in your church, please contact us, so that we can refer you to an attorney to provide you assistance in this area. Not reporting an alleged incident of child abuse in your state can result in serious penalties against you or the church.
Responding properly to an allegation of child sexual abuse is also very important.
Once again, the Reducing the Risk seminar contains an excellent video, as well as written materials and sample forms for dealing with this issue.