Here's a list of 10 things ministries should know about safety from our ministry safety and security expert, Robert Wild.
Child Abuse Protection Facts: Abuse occurs prior to the teen years 95 percent of the time. 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused. 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused
Profile of an Abuser: Relationship to the abused child: Strangers – 10 percent, Acquaintances – 90 percent.Types of abusers: Opportunists – hit and run; Groomers – abuse for the thrill of the chase.
Create a Safe Ministry Environment: Providing a safe, secure ministry environment requires policies and procedures specially developed to screen, educate, and monitor employee and volunteer workers.
Develope a Child Abuse Prevention Policy and Plan: Create guidelines for supervising participants in ministry activities. Educate the congregation, ministry leaders, workers, and volunteers about the reality of child abuse and your plan to combat it.
Who Should You Screen: All people involved in your ministry, paid and unpaid. When starting a screening program, screen all existing workers, not just new ones. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if your intuitive reaction says so.
Create a Security Team: Identify the people you want. Recruit by personal invitation. Train and train again. Deploy and check progress. Manage to show you care.
Define the Use of Force in Detail: Who in the group is trained and permitted to carry a concealed weapon. What level of force is needed for various situations. Training should be ongoing and at regular intervals
Security Team Screening Process: Obtain an application, follow up on reference checks, do a criminal history check, obtain a doctor’s statement of applicant’s physical and mental fitness to serve.
Provide what your Safety Team Needs: Equip them with medical supplies or “go-bags.” Seat them with their families in the same location each Sunday.
Desirable Security Staff Characteristics: Strong people skills; mental and emotional stability; keen ability to observe people and situations; good judgment and not impulsive.
We also have a host of great tools and resources on our site. Here are a few that may be helpful to your ministry: