Tags: safeguarding | churches | ministries | children

Safeguarding Churches and Ministries for Children

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Saturday, 19 August 2017 12:53 PM Current | Bio | Archive

I have a genuinely horrifying number for you. Not the click-bait “horrifying” we see all too often on the internet. This is a real, shocking number that may make you ill. In 2015, the most recent year for accurate statistics, 683,000 incidents of child abuse and neglect were reported to child protective services in the U.S. alone.

Even worse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a stunning one out of every four girls will experience some form of sexual abuse before age 18. On the male side of the equation it’s still an astonishing one out of every six.

That’s why a new book by my friend Boz Tchividjian is so important that it’s practically a mandatory purchase for houses of worship regardless of denomination. It’s called “The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries.”

According to Religion News the book, “co-written with Shira M. Berkovits, a psychologist and a lawyer, is aimed at a Christian audience, though it may be useful to any group that serves youth.” Christ said to bring Him the little ones and as Christians it’s our duty to make sure children are safe and secure within the walls of a church or cathedral.

Boz is an expert on how to do just that. He’s a former child abuse prosecutor who is now the founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). His book is a detailed policy guide that helps church leadership identify the different types of abuse, which include sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual. He has advice on how to institute safeguards for adults working with children and older children who interact with younger worshipers.

The book explains how state laws affect houses of worship, the importance of background checks and how to draft an effective protocol for responding to allegations of abuse and supporting victims of abuse, regardless of where the abuse occurred.

Boz says that during his work and speaking engagements pastors often request that he send them a sample church policy on preventing abuse, which he is happy to do, but he emphasizes “those policies don’t necessarily make the church safer unless leaders are able to tailor the policies to their particular institution and disseminate them widely among members.”

He also points out, “Protestants understand this isn’t just a Catholic issue.”

Child sexual abuse is not a topic most churches discuss comfortably, but it’s too important to ignore. Churches need to take immediate, positive steps to prevent this activity in their sphere of influence and buying Boz’s book is a great first step to take.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

   
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In 2015, the most recent year for accurate statistics, 683,000 incidents of child abuse and neglect were reported to child protective services in the U.S. alone.
safeguarding, churches, ministries, children
477
2017-53-19
Saturday, 19 August 2017 12:53 PM
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