The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide
While I'm not a pastor or director of children's ministries, I do work in the children's ministries of my church. I've been serving in the infant nursery as well as the preschool Sunday School classes for nearly 13 years. Our church does have policies and procedures in place to help prevent abuse, but I'm always interested in continuing my education in these areas in order to best serve the infants and children in our church. The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries by Basyle Tchividjian (one of Billy Graham's grandsons, former child-abuse prosecutor, and teacher of "Child Abuse and the Law" and several other courses at Liberty University School of Law) and Shira M. Berkovits (founder and CEO of Sacred Spaces, psychologist, and attorney).The book description says:
"Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse.
This handbook, authored and edited by a multidisciplinary team of child abuse experts, is designed for use by a group that will be formulating policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministry, school, and/or church. Working through this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse polices and then guide them through each step they need to take to address the safety of children under their care. It will cover vitally important topics including:
-Protecting the children in a Christian environment from child abuse
-The warning signs of child abuse
-Crafting and implement a child protection policy
-Responding to abuse allegations
-Caring for victims of child abuse
-The legal implications and requirements for churches and Christian ministries
Written by a GRACE team with multi-disciplinary knowledge, headed by Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and former child abuse prosecutor, this handbook will be an invaluable resource to Christians who are seeking to educate themselves and others about child abuse and how to best protect the little ones under their care."
The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide is a truly comprehensive guide for churches and ministries who need to implement, improve upon, or revise their own child abuse prevention guidelines. This book covers all aspects of child abuse and each chapter includes worksheets in order to write your own personalized policies. It's divided into five sections and covers The Foundation (defining abuse, indicators of abuse, etc.); Protective Practices (screening, safe behaviors, etc.); Responding to Policy Violations and Child Abuse (policy violations, reporting abuse, etc.); Supporting Survivors (ongoing survivor support, abuse disclosures); and Living the Policy (training and dissemination of the policy, evaluating and updating policies, etc.). While no one enjoys reading about or discussing child abuse, this is an extremely needful and necessary guide for all ministries. It reminded me of the old quote "The easiest way to stay out of trouble is to shine a bright light on everything you do.". Implementing clear and concise policies such as these that everyone knows about not only provides accountability and transparency for the ministry, it allows parents, children, and families to be safe and enjoy going to church without worry. I highly recommend this book to every church and ministry as a starting point and guideline for developing your own abuse prevention policies.
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.