Saturday, March 21, 2015

LEADERSHIP: Volunteer Training for Sexual Child Abuse

Most churches and schools cannot function without the help of volunteers who work closely with children. The insurance carrier at my school, Church Mutual, asks that all the teachers and regular volunteers go through training for sexual abuse prevention. Of course, they say it's nearly impossible to spot a sexual predator, but knowing what to look for and what to do if it happens is imperative. We watched the video put together by a legal team. Another great training program you might want to check out was created by the Catholic church (I know, I know...) and is called Virtus.

This type of program should be see by EVERYONE who spends time with children in your ministry and attendance should be taken to show that they have all participated. That would include:
  • Pastors
  • Licensed Teachers
  • Directors of Christian Education
  • Youth Directors
  • Chaperones
  • Sunday School Teachers
  • Preschool Teachers
  • Daycare Teachers/Leaders
  • Volunteers in the Nursery
  • Regular Classroom Volunteers
  • Parent Volunteers who go on Tours
  • Anyone else in regular direct contact with children/youth.

Any training you do should address:
  • awareness of the signs of child sexual abuse 
  • methods and means by which offenders commit abuse
  • prevention.

It should also help leaders address:
  • creating policies and procedures that help define child sexual abuse
  • the reporting of child sexual abuse
  • the screening and selection of employees and volunteers
  • victim advocacy.
As the video says, "Just because somebody is nice and friendly in public, doesn't mean that they are not a predator." Sadly, in some cases, this is true.

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