ALLIANCE BIBLE CHURCH

Child Abuse/Sexual Abuse Prevention

 

 

People of all ages expect others to be trustworthy, particularly in church. However, incidents in churches across the nation reveal that this environment of trust can be a vulnerable target for someone with abusive habits, or tendencies. Any incident of someone violating this trust by an act of child abuse or sexual abuse damages the victim, their family, and the church.

 

Legal counsel confirms that a detailed prevention plan must be in place and followed, or the physical and

emotional devastation of abuse will be compounded by the court system demanding severe penalties for church negligence.

 

To promote a church environment, which fosters trust, safety, and spiritual growth, church leadership has

approved a formal plan for the prevention of child abuse and sexual abuse.

 

In order to safeguard our ministry the goals of this plan are to:

 

1. Protect children and youth from child abuse and sexual abuse

while participating in church ministries.

2. Protect church staff and volunteers from potential allegations

of child abuse or sexual abuse.

3. Protect the church by limiting the extent of our church’s legal

risk and liability due to child abuse and sexual abuse.

 

The Prevention plan of Alliance Bible Church, contained in this document, includes screening of workers,

guidelines for conduct in ministries and procedures to follow should an incident of child abuse or sexual abuse become suspected or occur. Periodic training will be given covering the prevention plan.

 

For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come

knowledge and understanding.

Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from

men whose ways are perverse.

Proverbs 2:6,11,12

 

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR THE CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES OF ALLIANCE BIBLE CHURCH TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR CHILDREN (AGES 0 - 18)

 

Classroom Supervision Guidelines:

 

1. Only approved workers or substitutes will be used in the children’s classes.

 

2. If a classroom contains a window visible from the church hallway, only one teacher need be present in the class.

 

3. In rooms without windows in the door, the door should remain open unless 3 or more students are

 present.

 

4. Only parents are to retrieve a child from classrooms grade 1 or below unless prior arrangements have been made with the teacher.

 

 

Church Activities Guidelines: (Excluding Nursery – see below)

 

In the event that a child is at church at a time when there are no official, age appropriate activities scheduled, parents, in conjunction with an Alliance Bible Church staff member, shall arrange appropriate supervision. No situation will be allowed in which an adult volunteer will be permitted to serve alone in the building with an unrelated minor as an assistant or helper.

 

 

All off-site activities for children/youth must be pre-approved by the ministry head. Ministry heads will assure proper supervision of off-site activities.

 

 

Restroom Usage:

  • Encourage parents to take children to the restroom before class.
  • Only female volunteers should assist other parents’ children.
  • For children ages 0-3, the door to the restroom adjacent to a classroom or nursery should be left slightly ajar any time an adult helps a small child use the toilet.
  • Children 4 years old through Kindergarten grade will go to the restroom with an approved teacher or assistant * waiting in the hall.
  • Children grade 1 and older may use the restroom unescorted.

Nursery Workers:

  • There must always be at least two workers present in the Nursery, one of which must be an adult (age 18 or
  • over) female.
  • No situation will be allowed in which an adult male nursery provider has nursery duty alone or with only
  • an unrelated minor.
  • There shall be two nursery workers present in the room anytime a child’s diaper is changed.
  • Diapers must be changed by an adult female nursery volunteer. 

*Approved “teacher assistant” or “substitute” is anyone who has gone through the church’s screening process and has been authorized to work in the Children’s Ministries of Alliance Bible Church.

 

 

SEXUAL ABUSE POLICIES FOR THE CHILDREN’S/YOUTH MINISTRIES OF ALLIANCE BIBLE CHURCH

 

I) Worker Selection

 

A. Placing Workers Into Ministry

 

1. Potential Volunteers in Children’s or Youth Ministries should complete the Ministry

application forms and return it in a sealed envelope to the Director of Children’s Ministries.

2. The Ministry Application is presented for approval to the Pastoral Staff. The Pastoral Staff

will decide if the applicant continues the process.

3. A Personal interview may be conducted by Pastoral Staff, or a designated Elder, based upon

evaluation of the Ministry application form.

4. Reference checks.

5. Approval by the Director of Children’s Ministries

 

B. People who have faithfully attended Alliance Bible Church for six months are eligible to serve in

all areas of children/youth ministries, once they have completed the ministry application process,

and have been approved. Parents of children in the nursery may serve in that nursery within the 6 month period if they meet all other policy requirements.

 

C. People who are new to Alliance Bible Church who have served faithfully in their previous

church for at least 2 years may serve in that same capacity within the 6 month period if all other

policy requirements have been met.

 

 

 

II. Worker Supervision

 

A. Alliance Bible Church children/youth workers will attend one orientation per year to receive

information on these issues.

 

B. Alliance Bible Church children/youth workers shall sign a statement of commitment to all church

ministry policies.

 

C. Alliance Bible Church leadership and ministry heads have full access at any time to any activity

involving children/youth.

 

III. Reporting an Allegation of Sexual Abuse

See following.

 

IV. Response to Allegation of Sexual Abuse

See following.

 

Exceptions to Alliance Bible Church policies on the prevention of sexual abuse may be made in special cases but only with approval and documentation from the Board of Elders.

 

 

REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO AN ALLEGATION

OF SEXUAL ABUSE

I. Reporting an Allegation

 

If there is any reason to believe sexual abuse has occurred, the following procedures will be followed:

 

1. All allegations will be taken seriously, caringly and calmly.

2. ABC personnel (paid or volunteer) will be required to report immediately to the Pastoral Staff or an Elder any instance of

abuse they suspect or believe to have occurred. Personnel will not speak to anyone else about the allegation.

3. The Senior Pastor, or his designee, will provide leadership during the entire subsequent process. After informing the

Elders that an allegation has been made he will select two members from among the Pastoral staff and Elder Board to

help him. Procedures to maintain strict confidentiality will be followed.

 

II. Responding to an Allegation

 

1. Our first priorities will be parental involvement and the prevention of further abuse to the child/teen.

2. The incident will be reported, if appropriate, to the following in the stated sequence: WGLD Superintendent, our lawyer, and others as advised through legal counsel.

3. The Senior Pastor, or his designee, will document all our efforts to handle the allegation. (log all calls, conversations,

relevant dates, etc.).

4. The Pastor and his team will serve as the only liaison with law enforcement officials, the media, and the congregation. If the investigation becomes public, a statement to the media and congregation may be made. Great care will be taken to safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of all involved as much as possible. The congregation will be further apprised of the situation as needed.

5. A written report with conclusions, action taken, and recommendations will be made by the Pastor and his team at the

conclusion of the incident.

 

III. Responding to the Alleged Victim

 

A proper response toward the victim and family is a critical step. We will not do anything to minimize the situation, or

blame the victim. Every effort should be taken to let the victim know that our church is taking these allegations seriously.

 

The care and safety of the victim is the first priority. The family will need ongoing support and assurance of acceptance. Our

church should help the family find professional counseling. If the allegations prove to be true, the church will commit itself

to helping the victim and family toward full recovery.

 

IV. Responding to the alleged perpetrator

 

1. We will treat the accused with dignity and support.

2. He/She will be immediately removed from his/her position(s) until the investigation is finished.

3. We will not try to determine by ourselves if the accused is telling the truth but will seek help from the professionals.

 

A process of healing and restoration should be pursued if the accused confesses or is convicted of wrongdoing. Scripture

clearly states that forgiveness and reconciliation is the long-term goal for such a case (Matthew 18). A repentant abuser

should be forgiven.

 

Future restoration to a church fellowship is a delicate issue. The feelings of the victim and the victim’s family must be

considered. The perpetrator should go through a lengthy period of restoration which includes extensive counseling with a

qualified therapist. If imprisonment occurs, the accused should receive ongoing support and concern from committed

friends.

 

Restoration could allow the perpetrator to return to the church fellowship at some point. A convicted child abuser will never

be placed in a position to work with children or youth.

 

Alliance Bible Church recognizes that ministering adequately to both victim and perpetrator while at the same time allowing

civil authorities to properly conduct their investigation may require extremely difficult choices on the part of leadership. We

are committed to seek God’s wisdom and guidance through earnest prayer in each situation.