Protecting the Children - Protecting the Church - Protecting Yourself

Young Boy

Unfortunately, sexual misconduct against children is a growing problem in our country, and yes, even in the Church. Southern Mutual Church Insurance offers liability coverage to protect churches after an incident has occurred. However, we want to help churches prevent the abuse from happening in the first place. We have committed to providing this help in several ways.

First, download the Child Youth Protection Manual, or click the link at the bottom. This manual is full of useful tips your church can use as safeguards for your children. There are also several ready-to-use forms, such as an evaluation checklist and a volunteer worker application. This manual is free and we encourage you to save it and print as many copies as you need.

Second, we have several representatives ready to present our Child and Youth Protection Workshop to your church leaders and volunteers. This hour long workshop will equip you with the information you need to start a prevention program at your church or enhance the one you already have in place. Please contact Matthew Quinton at 803-776-9365 to make an appointment.

We are pleased to provide recommendations for two vendors that provide screening services. Intellicorp and SingleSource Services are available for purchasing background checks on volunteers, employees and staff members as needed. For more information on services available, pricing, and ordering instructions, please visit the links below.

Learning the Facts

  1. Experts estimate that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday.
  2. The average age for reported sexual abuse is nine years old.
  3. Twenty-two percent of victims are under the age of eight, and Only one in ten child victims report the abuse.
  4. Children who are sexually abused and do not “tell” are at a far greater risk than the general population for a host of psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems, often lasting into adulthood.

Minimize opportunity for abuse by eliminating one-adult/one-child situations. Talk about it. Understand why children often keep abuse a secret. Stay alert to signs of possible sexual abuse.

Reducing the Risk

Here are some simple ideas your church can implement to help reduce the risk of sexual abuse in your congregation:

  1. Establish screening procedures for all volunteers.
  2. Run background checks on employees and volunteers.
  3. Institute a minimum six-month waiting period for volunteers.
  4. Provide periodic and continuous training for staff and volunteers.
  5. Maintain proper student/teacher ratios.
  6. Be sure all rooms where children and youth meet have windows in the doors.
  7. Eliminate one child-one adult interaction at all children/youth.
  8. Provide counseling only in rooms where the door has a window or the door can be kept open at all times.
  9. Never counsel or meet one-on-one at someone’s home.