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Protecting Children in the Church Environment

Prepared for Northern Ridge Baptist Church as an introduction to the responsibility of protecting children from abuse.

Samuel Pendleton

on 21 June 2012

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Transcript of Protecting Children in the Church Environment

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Child Protection at NRBC
What should you do?
Are kids safe at NRBC?
What do the statistics say?
NRBC Children
Unborn - 4
Age 0-14: 71
Age 15-18: 5
Girls Age 0-14: 35
Boys Age 0-14: 36
Girls Age 15-18: 1
Boys Age 15-18: 4
Children in the United States
1,000,000 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect each year in the US
(this does not include reported or non-reported cases that are not confirmed)
2000 US children die from abuse each year.
1 out of 5 girls & 1 out of 7 boys will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday. (Finkelhor)
1 of 7 children age 2-17 is abused (CDC 2008)
2004 MN student survey: 1 out of 10 girls & 1 out of 20 boys report being sexually abused by the 9th grade.
20% of children ages 10-17 have been solicited on-line (UNH study)
The rate of child abuse is 10 times the rate of cancer. (Sadler)
Then statistically, at least
7 of the girls
5 of the boys
currently at Northern Ridge will be sexually abused before they are 18 years of age...not counting the unborn.
Then statistically,
of our kids have
been solicited on-line...
BUT WAIT! WE ARE A CHURCH! Not "The United States" so our kids statistics must be better than that of the 'average' population. Right? ? ?
93% of sex offenders describe themselves as “religious” (Abel study of 3,952 offenders)
Hard core offenders who maintained significant involvement with religious institutions “had more sexual offense convictions, more victims, and younger victims.” Eshuys and Smallbone, Religious Afflictions Among Adult Sexual Offenders (2006)
In a survey of 2,864 church leaders, 20% knew of a sex offender who was a member of, or attending their church (Christianity Today 2010)
How often do sexual predators use religious cover in sexually abusing children?
In the view of the pedophile - "churches provide 'cheap grace,' gullible (religious) people, and easy access to children."
Religion is used to prey on children.
The Case of the “Bedtime Prayers”- A girl would be molested each night when her father would come in to pray with her. They would then “repent” in prayer together.
The Case of the girl who “got it over with” – Each Tuesday the girl’s father would come in and rape her. Her birthday came on a Tuesday that year and, so she didn’t have to wait with anxiety, she found her dad and initiated the intercourse. The Father then told her she was disgusting and said “See what you make me do?” “See what you do to me.” Blaming everything on her.
“Pedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that pedophilia is an acceptable expression of God’s will for love and unity among human beings.”
Perpetrator manipulates child’s faith to convince the child that he/she is sinful (i.e. child’s biological reaction means child enjoyed contact as much as perpetrator)
“Any situation that provides ideal conditions for pedophiles will draw them, and it will be very difficult to distinguish them from their non-pedophilic and entirely moral colleagues…boarding schools, overnight camps, male choirs—any setting that puts groups of kids regularly together under the supervision and care of a ‘counselor’ or other adult for overnight trips will draw pedophiles…”
Dr. Anna Salter
“If children can be silenced and the average person is easy to fool, many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people.” Dr. Anna Salter
“I consider church people easy to fool… They have a trust that comes from being Christians… They tend to be better folks all around. And they seem to want to believe in the good that exists in all people… I think they want to believe in people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or without convincing words.” - A convicted pedophile
A youth minister with over 100 victims (p. 199 Salter)
 “There was a great amount of pride. 'Well, I pulled this one off again. You’re a good one…' There were times when little old ladies would pat me on the back and say, ‘You’re one of the best young men that I have ever known.’ I would think back and think ‘If you really knew me, you wouldn’t think that.”
Q: At church, you did not molest all the children. How did you choose?
A: “First of all you start the grooming process from day one…the children that you’re interested in…You find a child you might be attracted to…For me, it might be nobody fat. It had to be a, you know, a nice looking child… You maybe look at a kid that doesn’t have a father image at home, a group of 25 kids, you might find 9 that are appealing…then you start looking at their family backgrounds. You find out all you can…which ones are the most accessible…you get it down to one that is the easiest target, and that’s the one you do.”
Matthew 18: 1-10
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
What do all the statistics mean to us at NRBC?
From an interview with a pedophile...
Ralph Underwager, ordained Missouri Synod Lutheran minister, Journal of Pedophilia (1993)
Jesus values children and cares how they are treated

He used a child to answer the question, "Who is the greatest..." This shows the great value Christ places on children. (v. 2)

The severe warning Christ gives specifically to the offender. (v. 6 & 7)

The fact that children's "angels always see the face of My Father" says that children have God's attention and watch-care over them. (v. 10)
Time Out!
A Look at our Policy
2.1.1 Screening of Nursery, Children, and Youth Ministry Workers
2.1.2 Application of nursery, children and youth ministry workers
2.1.3 Rules for Nursery Workers
2.1.4 Rules for children ministry workers
2.1.5 Rules for Youth Ministry Workers
2.1.6 Suspicion and Reporting of Abuse
2.1.1 Screening of Nursery, Children's, and Youth Ministry Workers
NRBC Policy 2.1.1 Screening of Nursery, Children, and Youth Ministry Workers is applicable to any and all individuals who wish to serve the minors associated with NRBC. This policy encompasses all ages of minors from birth to 18 years of age.
All potential workers will complete a three step application process consisting of . . .
1. All members desiring to work in children’s ministry must complete the mandatory “Nursery, Children’s and Youth Ministry Worker Application.” This application includes a form necessary to facilitate a background check of criminal records and sex offender registries.
2. Each potential worker will also receive background check form. This should be filled out and submitted to American Data Bank.
+AmericanDataBank was created and engineered by American Databank Group as a supplier of the fastest, easiest, and most reliable source of Nationwide Court information and Public information, as well as non-public information.
We will be searching
1. National Crime Index
2. National Sex Offender Registry
3. Following the completion of the application and background check, the applicant will be interviewed by a member of the NRBC leadership....
The content of this interview will be as brief and informal as is appropriate - focusing on any questions that may arise from the applicant’s answers to the questions in the application and information gathered from the back ground check.
-All approved applicants will receive a copy of the church’s policies and procedures regarding children’s ministries, and will sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the policies and procedures and be expected to serve within the established guidelines.
2.1.3 Rules for Nursery Workers
2.1.4 Rules for Children Ministry Workers
2.1.5 Rules for Youth Ministry Workers
•Supervision- will begin when the child is brought into the nursery and will conclude when the child is picked up by the parent(s) at the end of the service.
-Always have at least two adult nursery workers working in the nursery whenever it is open... This two adult policy protects children from abuse and nursery workers from false allegations of abuse.

-Jr. High and High School students which meet all requirements and have been through the application/screening process are welcome helpers, but cannot be counted for the “two adult” rule.
Bathroom Procedures-

a.If a child needs his/her diaper changed the diapers should be changed as directed by parents.

b.There will be two monitors (see definitions) on duty in the hallway outside of the nursery and other classrooms. If a child needs to use the bathroom the monitors should be alerted and they will take the child to the bathroom. (This prevents any 1 on 1 time with an adult and child. There will always be a minimum of two approved adults in the classroom and with a child as he/she uses the bathroom.)
2. Monitor- People who are posted in the hallway (There will be two at all times. At least one of these people must be a NRBC approved woman) to assist children from the nursery if they need to use the bathroom or have another issue that needs to be dealt with outside of the designated area of the nursery.
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the infant nursery (excluding nursery-age children)

Exception: Children over the age of 9 may help only when THEIR OWN parents are in the nursery, and if they will be a help, not a hindrance, to the nursery workers. They MAY NOT hold any child in the nursery or change diapers.
Do not allow a child to be taken from the nursery with anyone other than their own parent(s) (unless prearranged before the service).
Definition of Children’s Ministry- Any child who is between the age of 3 and 6th grade.
Attendance should be taken any time a children’s ministry is in operation. Attendance will be taken by name of both the children and ministry workers.
Each child should be picked up by his/her parent(s) in order to be dismissed from class. This will prevent a gap in supervision time between class and when the parent is responsible for their child.
Bathroom Procedures:
Same as with nursery except that "each children’s ministry class will have a designated bathroom break time in the middle of the class. This will cut down on instances when a child will need to leave the class to use the bathroom."
Men, will not be allowed to assist in the bathroom with a child. Most molestation charges are made against men, so it’s better just to keep out of a situation where accusations can be made.
Two Adult Policy-

...To fulfill this policy, at least two adults must lead or chaperone all youth group related meeting times (Sunday and Wednesday evening Bible Study and all activities and ministry related activities.) No adult should be alone in the Church, or be at a Church-approved activity, with a young person that is not related to him or her.

-At least two chaperones should wait with young person being picked up after an off site event.
● Appropriate supervision: The two adult policy applies to all NRBC events including those held off site.
On an overnight trip there will be at least one male and one female chaperone if both genders are present on the activity.
Sleeping accommodations for youth events are gender specific. Males are never allowed in female assigned rooms/sleeping quarters and females are never allowed in male assigned rooms/sleeping quarters.
If it is necessary for an adult to sleep in the same quarters as the young people (a cabin, hotel/motel, a room on retreat etc…) 1 of 2 things should happen;
1. There should be at least 2 NRBC approved adults in the room.
2. There must be 2 or more young people in the room for each adult.
2.1.6 Suspicion and Reporting of Child Abuse
Purpose: The purpose of policy 2.1.6... is to provide guidelines for handling suspicions or allegations of child abuse. Direct allegations of abuse are treated seriously and must be reported to police authorities immediately. Child abuse has become one of the most significant and visible problems facing churches in America. ...
...As the problem grows, it becomes more obvious that local church bodies cannot simply assume that “it can’t happen here.” Our biblical obligation to care for our children and to hold forth a pure testimony of Jesus Christ demands that we take appropriate measures to safeguard the children of the church...
...In order to protect the children entrusted to us while ministering in a culture that has encouraged the rejection of moral restraints, we feel it prudent to adopt measures that will reduce the risk of such a tragedy in our ministry to minors.
Policy Violation Reporting Procedures
The following are activities that must be immediately reported to church leadership, including the Elders:
1. Any violation of the “two adult” or “overnight activity” rules.
2. Any inappropriate touching that has been observed.
3. A sudden change in a child’s behavior that may indicate abuse.
4. Rumors or reports involving possible abuse.
View these full Policies at www.northernridge.org
under the "About Us" button.
Goals for tonight:
Arrest your attention
Increase your awareness
Motivate your actions
Where I started...
Full transcript