Child Protection Policy
God has uniquely given the church the representation of His glory on this earth. As His body, we exist to worship Him through evangelism, belief in His Word and our good works. We pass this heritage on to each new generation that accepts Jesus Christ as Savior through discipleship. The forms of the discipleship are varied, yet the desire is to have each believer develop maturity through godly men and women who are capable of training these young believers.
God has also given the home a unique responsibility. The father and mother have been given the honor to raise their children to godliness. Though the Church has the responsibility to raise faithful men and women, the home is ultimately to teach these principles of righteousness to their own children.
The times in which we live make it imperative to protect these two truths. Imitators of the Gospel occasionally invade the church, preying on the youths and immature believers by sexual perforation. Community Bible Church will actively guard the membership, their families, and any visitors to our assembly to see that the awful sin of sexual abuse does not invade our ministry. If it does, it will be denounced through public discipline, and punished by the full extent of the law.
Sexual abuse refers to any sexual contact between an adult and a child. This abuse may take the form of rape, fondling, molestation, exhibitionism, and sodomy. The victim of sexual crime who is under the age of 18 is legally incapable of consenting to the act and the perpetrator can be charged with sexual offense even if the victim verbally consented or the perpetrator is mistaken about the victim's age.
Incident Response Procedures
Should an incident of child abuse occur, a potential threat, behavior question or other reason to confront a worker, the following procedures should be followed quickly and carefully.
Workers should follow the procedures without improvisation. The procedures are here to be followed.
- Contact supervisor and/or Pastor immediately with anything that could jeopardize the welfare of children.
- The Elders will make a determination as to the need to remove the worker from their current position; this is to be done within 24 hours.
- The Elders will confront the worker as soon as possible and investigate thoroughly.
- The Elders will appoint a spokesperson to deal with both internal and external communications.
- Write up the situation as thoroughly as possible, detailing all relevant facts such as: who, what, when, why, observations, possible witnesses (who was in the area, the building, etc.), and any other information that may help uncover the truth of the matter. A written update is also to be kept by someone within the leadership or appointed by the Elders.
- The Parents of the child are to be immediately notified.
- If necessary, legal authorities are to be contacted.
Precept for Children's Safety
All workers in children's programs are part of the ministry team, guided by designated children's Ministry Leaders. Everyone involved in children's programs must comply with these policies to ensure a safe and secure environment for children and workers.
- Each group of children should have a minimum to two responsible workers, at least one being an adult present at all times.
- Supervisors will normally circulate among rooms whenever children's activities are being held. Parents and other approved observers are welcome to visit children's programs at any time. Window blinds will always remain open and doors are to be kept open whenever possible.
- When taking elementary age children to the bathroom, the worker should stay at the bathroom door until the child is finished in the stall. Children should have as much privacy as possible when using the bathroom.
- When taking children 5 and under to the bathroom, an adult worker should remain at the door unless needed. If the child needs help the stall must remain open. A worker should never be in a close stall with a child. A parent should be notified if the child requires changing.
- Changing diapers should be done by a woman, in a room with at least one other worker present. No child shall be left unattended on a changing table at any time.
- Adults who have been convicted of either child sexual or physical abuse should not serve in any church sponsored activity or program for children or youth. Such individuals, with prior Elder approval, may serve in other ministries which do not involve children or youth.
- Meetings and counseling sessions are not to be held in private places, unless approved by the Christian Education Pastor (for purposes such as one-to-one discipling). All meetings and counseling sessions held in private places must be with an adult and student of the same gender and must be approved by the student's parents or guardians as well as the CE Pastor.
The following guidelines are intended as a means of providing specific examples to clarify the policy laid out above.
- If a situation arises when two workers cannot be in a room for a short time the door is to remain open to allow supervisors to observe.
- Whenever possible, children 5 and under should be assisted in the bathroom stall by a woman. If this is not possible there should be a second worker in the doorway or within view.
- If a child requires a change of clothing and a parent is not available contact a supervisor to be present.
- As a general rule, in the best interest of the children and workers, children 5 and under should make group bathroom trips, with multiple workers.
- If you need to have a private conversation with a child stay in view of the class and other workers or contact a supervisor to be present.
- If in doubt of any situation you are in, contact a supervisor for assistance. Numbers are provided in every classroom.
In the area of sexual abuse the following are classified as touching and non-touching offenses:
- Fondling of intimate (private) parts.
- Child's fondling of adults' private parts or touching clothing immediately covering intimate parts.
- Oral, genital or anal stimulation.
- Sexual penetration involving intercourse, oral or anal, or the use of any other part of the body or other object to penetrate.
- Long embracing or kissing.
- Erotic, stimulating or obscene communication.
- Indecent exposure.
- Causing or allowing a child to view adult sexual activity.
- Involving children in pornography or prostitution.
There may be times in your activity with young people that your actions may be misunderstood. Be careful to ensure that your behavior is clearly identified as being in the students best interests. Tickling, wrestling and rough-housing have the potential to be within those activities that are misunderstood.
Workers should never arrange to meet with a young person alone. Meetings should take place at restaurants and in places where other people are around or at the home of the parents (See Precepts for Children's Safety).
Specific Worker Qualifications and Characteristics
In addition to the regular teaching and ministry guidelines of Community Bible Church, any workers within the various children's ministries in CBC:
- Will not be a known or convicted sex or sex abuse offender.
- Will not participate in any behavior forbidden in God's Word.
- Will have read and agreed to abide by the Community Bible Church Child Protection Policy.
Specific Worker Application Requirements
All individuals with a teaching/shepherding ministry at Community Bible Church have certain procedures that should be navigated in order to become approved for their particular office. In addition to the usual and standard procedures, children's workers may be required to fulfill the following:
- In addition to the initial application-stage interview, further "update" interviews may be required.
- The Christian Education Pastor may or may not approve your involvement.