This week, the Greenhouse Blog will revisit an article by our Managing Editor Terry Taylor on the importance of making churches a safe space for children:
I was subpoenaed to testify in court recently on behalf of a girl who participated in our children’s music ministry. The girl gave us reasonable cause to believe that she was suffering abuse from a family member in her home. Fortunately, our church had an excellent Child Safety and Protection Policy that provided a specific course of action for us to follow.
Every church needs to implement and conscientiously administer a child safety and protection policy. Such policies include guidelines regarding the volunteer selection and screening process, supervisory requirements, and abuse or neglect reporting policies.
Our training events for volunteer leaders frequently include sessions led by law enforcement experts who train us to recognize child abuse and neglect symptoms. We regularly review our child safety documents with volunteer leaders to ensure their awareness of policies and procedures.
Child safety is essential in today’s world. If churches are to be safe and welcoming places for children, and if parents and caregivers are to feel comfortable leaving children in the care of church volunteers, then churches have to take safety seriously.
While we are talking about child safety, when is the last time your church reviewed its fire and tornado drill policy and procedures? You definitely want to have a plan of action if you hear the fire alarm or tornado siren during your children’s choir rehearsal!
Blessings in Christ,
Terry Taylor, Managing Editor