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Baylor > Social Work > Center for Family and Community Ministries > Congregational Protection

Congregational Protection

Many denominational offices have created helpful tools and recommended procedures for congregations to use as they seek to create safeguards, especially for their children. By clicking on the following links you can access these resources that have been prepared for congregational use.

The General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church provides a comprehensive set of resources through their Safe Sanctuaries program. They offer a list of books and DVD's to learn more about this issue, a self-evaluation to assess your congregation's policy needs, a sample child and youth protection policy, and other excellent resources for churches just beginning to develop a program or wanting to improve their program.

The General Assembly Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA) provides a series of helpful resources for congregations through their Creating Safe Churches: Addressing Sexual Misconduct program. They offer tools to raise awareness about prevention practices, steps to create a church policy, and suggestions for how to report misconduct and rebuild trust. Creating Safe Churches is designed to address child and youth protection as well as clergy sexual misconduct with adults.

The Insurance Board of the United Church of Christ has developed two different guides for helping churches develop an abuse prevention program. Making Our Churches Safe for All: An Introduction to Abuse Prevention for Local Churches includes steps to help a congregation get started, tools for educating congregants and leaders, suggestions for how to craft a child and youth protection policy, and a framework for a training workshop. The TIME IS NOW! is a recommended year-long process a congregation can work through to develop their own set of policies. It includes goals for each group meting and helps a team work through Making Our Churches Safe for All.

The Church Pension Group of the Episcopal Church has created a training kit (available at a cost), Safeguarding God's Children: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse to help congregations and ministers prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. They also offer Model Policies for Protecting Children and Youth from Abuse that includes a sample policy, guidelines for appropriate affection, and information on state resources for reporting abuse and accessing criminal records and sex offender registries.

National Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA has prepared a two-hour workshop, Child Abuse Prevention in Churches, that congregations can download in use in their own churches. The workshop focuses on education around child abuse, the importance and elements of a child protection policy, and how to create a policy (including suggestions for training, implementation, evaluation, and revision). This workshop is also available for download in Spanish, and additional resources are described at the end of the workshop.

Books:

Creating Safe and Sacred Places: Identifying, Preventing, and Healing Sexual Abuse Creating Safe and Sacred Places: Identifying, Preventing, and Healing Sexual Abuse

Creating Safe and Sacred Places: Identifying, Preventing, and Healing Sexual Abuse
by Gerard McGlone
This manual helps ministers and other church leaders to develop procedures and strategies to foster a safe environment for children and youth. It provides information about how to train parents and church leaders to identify, prevent, and heal sexual abuse through healthy and appropriate relationships.



Preventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations: A Resource for LeadersPreventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations: A Resource for Leaders
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