Monday, September 4, 2017

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries Book Review

This handbook, authored and edited by a multidisciplinary team of child abuse experts, is designed for use by a group that will be formulating policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministry, school, and/or church. Working through this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse polices and then guide them through each step they need to take to address the safety of children under their care. It will cover vitally important topics including:
  • Protecting the children in a Christian environment from child abuse
  • The warning signs of child abuse
  • Crafting and implement a child protection policy
  • Responding to abuse allegations
  • Caring for victims of child abuse
  • The legal implications and requirements for churches and Christian ministries
Written by a GRACE team with multi-disciplinary knowledge, headed by Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and former child abuse prosecutor, this handbook will be an invaluable resource to Christians who are seeking to educate themselves and others about child abuse and how to best protect the little ones under their care.

My Thoughts:

This isn’t a book for light reading but, an important issue that needs to be addressed in the church today. I really hate the fact that we have to even think about this issue in a place that we go to worship our Lord and Savior. The reality is that we need to be vigilant about this problem to protect our children. As a parent we go above and beyond to protect our children from sexual predators.  At the same time those diligent parents let their guard down at their place of worship. As a parent we assume that the place we worship is being just as diligent.

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries to help them set up policies and maybe even open their eyes to protecting the children in their congregation.  

The book is set up in 5 sections.

Policy Section 1: The Foundation- this section is broken down in 4 chapters. It going to go over thinks like defining child abuse, what are the signs to look for in a child that has been abused.  What are the impacts on a child who has been abused? Who are the people that abuse children? 

I think the section about the people who abuse children is the section that broke my heart. I know it happens but, reading this was dishearten but, a good reminder.

Policy Section 2: Protective Practices-how can a congregation protect our children with the correct screening, what behaviors will protect our children, and setting up a routine screening for those involved with children.

Policy Section 3: Responding to Policy Violations and Child Abuse-What are your policy violations to protect the kids and the adults involved with them. Create a healthy and transparent accountability for your workers to have boundaries.

How to you report an incident and what do you report if the unthinkable happens? This section will give you a very helpful outline.

Policy Section 4: Supporting Survivors- lists protective policies to carry out, both formal and informal. How can you support the children and families who are sexually abused?

Policy Section 5: Living the Policy-much like when we accept Jesus into our hearts we have to live it out. Saying and doing it our two different things. I think when an offender sees that a congregation is 100% serious about implementing a plan to protect the children of the congregation they will think twice about doing something in your place of worship. How do you communicate this information? The reality is what works for one congregation may not work for yours. That is okay to update but, not ignore the issue that isn’t working. Get feedback from experts, parents, staff and children.

The last section is the Appendix which covers committees, a plethora of sample forms of everything covered in this book. The last area is empowering our children in other words educating our children to be safe. They need to know that they can report anything if they feel uncomfortable in a situation. 

This book is designed as a resource to accompany certification at GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment).

I have been involved in ministry for 25+ years. I’ve done children’s ministry for the majority of the time. I’ve assisted my husband as a youth leader at two different congregations. We worked in the inner city with kids who have been abused and had horrific home situations. I've served as a director for the nursery. We set up policy and safety guidelines. After reading this book I can see that we missed the mark in many areas. I would of loved to have this as a resource. Its sad looking back and seeing how much has changed in the 25+ years and what the church needs to do. This book is a priceless resource for the church to protect our children.

The book has many examples in every chapter. It has sample letters, questions to ask staff, and so much more.

I would highly recommend this to each and every church. If you’re a parent then give a copy to your pastor.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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