What agenda items should I include in an abuse prevention meeting at my church?

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I'm looking for a sample agenda for what to include when discussing our church's Abuse Prevention Policy with ministry leaders.

I know I can review the policy itself and the processes required, why we have a policy, and what the policy says if there is a report of abuse. Any other suggestions? Things not to miss?

 

 

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Hi Rebecca,

Here are some suggestions for an agenda with the ministry leaders.

First, I would talk about the reality (not the possibility) of abuse of children in the church setting.  Do you have an article from the newspaper where such a story was reported on?  There are many of them...  Some denominations have stories or statistics you can use.

Second, I would talk about how abuse occurs in the church.  Talk about the grooming steps.

Next, I would talk about who abusers are in the context of the church.  There are wanderers, predators, and pedophiles. 

Fourth, I would discuss the signs and symptoms that children are being or have been abuse. 

Then, I would talk about reporting and make sure all the ministry leaders know what the reporting requirements are in your community.

Other topics you could raise include: how will we discipline the children in our care; why is screening important; looking at abuse in segments like neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. 

The video "Bless our Children" and "Hear their Cries" from the Faith Trust Institute are good resources and can lead to wonderful discussions.

I hope this is helpful or contact me and I'd be happy to plan something more specific for your church.

Beth