Safe Church Policy
Policy and Procedure of First Mennonite Church
on Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse
According to our Anabaptist understanding of biblical faith and what it means to be a faith community, we are to follow Christ in word and deed. We are called upon by Christ to act with integrity and love in all our relationships, and to avoid exploitation of vulnerable people or the use of positions of power within the institutions of the church or family for such gain.
First Mennonite Church recognizes that child sexual abuse is a serious problem in today’s world and an increasing problem facing churches. Sexual abuse can be physical, verbal, or non-verbal. The abuser can be an adult, an adolescent, or another child (providing there is age, power or knowledge imbalance between the children). For the safeguarding of our children, volunteers, and staff we will work at preventing child sexual abuse through the guidelines outlined in our Safe Church Policy.
Risk increases as isolation increases.
Risk increases as accountability decreases.
Risk increases when there is an imbalance of power, authority, influence and control between a potential abuser and potential victim.
The goal is to reduce risk in the following ways:
All classroom doors have windows to decrease isolation. If in a room with children without a window in the door, keep the door open.
Only release child to a parent or legal guardian after nursery time.
All overnights, on and off church property, need two unrelated adults for supervision.
Any one-on-one activity requires a parental consent form.
Nursery, toddler room, babysitting during church events should be two adults, or a Jr/Sr in highschool who has had safe church training. If cannot staff with above, one worker can be >13 years. The younger worker should not have unsupervised contact with any child.
Supervision at all events, including before and after, should be by two unrelated adults, until the child is in the custody of their parent or guardian. This time is to include rides home and the time waiting for parents to pick-up. There will be a form distributed to leaders at the beginning of each year for parents to complete with contact numbers, health info, medical treatment consent and transportation consent. There needs to be parental verbal consent for 1:1 transport.
The full text of First Mennonite Church's Safe Church Policy can be requested to the church office by email. Hard copies are also available at the church office.
Safe Church Forms: