Upright Ministries
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Safeguarding People

How Safe And Protected Are The Children And Workers at Your Church?
Child Sexual Abuse has reached epidemic levels across our nation. Not a day goes by that we don’t read or hear about a newly publicized case of abuse. According to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, over 1.5 million children are sexually molested each year in the United States. Reported victims have been as young as six months old. 
Child molesters will continue to exist in our society. They can strike any church, including yours, regardless of your size, wealth, denomination, or location. They may volunteer to work with children in your nursery, Bible Study Classes, or student program. Some of the major church insurers have experienced more than 100% increases in sexual abuse claims.
Although the topic of sexual abuse is difficult for many churches to discuss, there is too much at stake for your church to ignore the issue. 
Why should your church be concerned? 
  1. You care about your paid and volunteer workers and want to prevent any false accusations against them.
  2. You want your tithes and offerings spent on ministry and not legal fees and litigation.
  3. You want to safeguard the mission, vision, and reputation of your church.
A single incident could:
  • devastate and divide your congregation
  • result in massive media attention and your community could begin to associate your church with the incident
  • ruin the reputation of your church and ministry that has taken years to build
  • result in enormous legal liability
  • harm many
Most important, and far more tragic, is the emotional trauma to the victim and their family. It is heartbreaking to imagine that an innocent child could become the next victim of sexual abuse and it could happen at your church.

Your Church Can Reduce the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse
Your church can significantly reduce your chances of a child sexual abuse incident by implementing a simple preventive program. Not only will you reduce the likelihood of an incident happening, you will reduce your legal risk and liability exposure.  
Develop & Implement a Prevention Plan
It is important for a plan to be put in place that will ensure the safety and security of infants, children and youth. The plan will also protect your workers from false accusations that could be brought against them. Your prevention plan should include:
  • Selecting and screening workers
  • Worker supervision
  • Training of workers
  • State reporting obligations
  • Responding to allegations
State laws vary so you will want to consult with a professional who understands these laws before you begin your plan.
How Upright Ministries Can Help Your Church
A strategic prevention program can reduce both the risk of child sexual abuse and the legal liability of your church and your leaders. Written policies and procedures that are kept on the shelf will not reduce your risk of sexual abuse. Your prevention program will only be effective if it is well planned and wisely implemented.
Upright Ministries specializes in helping churches develop and implement the process of reducing this serious risk. 
We are available to provide assistance in the following areas: 
  1. Guide you in developing your plan
  2. Assist you in writing your policies and procedures
  3. Produce forms needed to carry out the plan
  4. Provide you with outside resources
  5. Provide onsite training regarding your church's plan and sexual misconduct awareness to your staff and volunteer workers
  6. Provide training to teach others to train
  7. Provide assistance in risk reduction regarding on and off-campus activities of children and youth
  8. Provide risk assessment of all church activities that could impact ministry
  9. Provide training in hiring, interviewing, and reference checking
  10. Provide training on Sexual Harassment