“It is important for all organizations to admit that some degree of risk is inevitable in their programs. It is how they handle the risk that is important." - Volunteer Canada
Unfortunately, it is in the context of close interpersonal relationships that persons with intellectual disabilities are often abused. Because of these potential risks, Friendship Ministries has developed model guidelines for churches to follow in preventing abuse.
“Guiding children's behavior is a major commitment from caregivers ... Through it all, keep your sense of humor, and remind yourself of your successes and of the important role you play in caring for children.” -- Elaine Goodwin, Ed.D.
Proverbs reminds us that words also have the power to heal: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” I recall certain moments of trouble or worry in my life and how the kind and comforting words of a stranger warmed my heart and brought me peace.
To make churches safer places, leaders must begin by recognizing that some families in the congregation may be experiencing violence. You can't tell from the outside which families are affected.
Outings, retreats and social events at the church can be fun for children and youth. However, fun can turn into tragedy if supervision is inadequate. How can your church provide supervision that will ensure the least risk possible?
Despite the abundance of evidence showing that teen dating violence is a serious issue in North America, awareness of the problem is low. According to The Rave Project, teen dating violence is more common than you might think. Here are some surprising facts about teen dating violence...
There is a widespread misconception that the sole task of Safe Church Ministry is to help victims and deal properly with abusers after incidents have been reported. This is only partly true. Safe Church Ministry also works to prevent abuse from happening and to protect pastors, youth leaders and volunteers.
Imagine your reaction if you heard the news that fire had damaged your church and many people were injured. Now just change the circumstances. What if you found out that several children in your congregation had been sexually abused by a convicted pedophile at church functions and that your church did not have a proper Safe Church Policy?
What happens when, upon release, a convicted sex offender joins (or re-joins) a congregation? To date, my experience has taught me that there is no single “right” answer and that the process of finding the “best” answer will definitely test the mettle of a congregation and its leadership team...
Although it does vary, in most states and provinces, the age of consent is 16. Below age 16, a minor is regarded as unable to give consent; 16 or older and the minor is regarded as able to give consent. That does not mean, however, that everyone who is of age to give consent to sexual acts has given consent ...