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Sometime around May, just before we enter into our summer camp program, we engage in our annual review of our child protection policy. After receiving The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries, we reviewed our policy again and we are now better equipped and more informed. This resource covers vital topics including the warning signs of abuse, how to respond to abuse allegations, care for victims, and the legal implications. It positions us to strengthen some of our own protection policies, and helps us to have a much more thorough and intentional review process. We compared our policies with the information in The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries and discovered that our policies are up-to-date. We did find however, weaknesses particularly in warning signals of abuse and how children disclose. These are significant learnings for us and going forward we will incorporate this information into our yearly training unit.
Best practices empower, and as a pastor whose responsibility is to pay attention to ministry and mission, I am grateful for this resource. Going through an intentional evaluation process of our protection policies has equipped us to create an environment here at Pine Shores where children feel safe, where they can flourish in their relationships, and where they can experience God’s love. That’s who we want to be.
The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries is an invaluable resource for us and I know that it also will be for those who are seeking to educate themselves about child abuse and how best to protect children in their care. Well written, step by step, and a highly informative resource. GRACE has done great work for the local congregation.