Safe & Secure

Safe & Secure Safe and Secure is our program to provide safe and reasonable protective care to all infants, preschoolers, children, youth, senior adults, and special education pupils attending any event at the church or any church-sponsored program or activity.

Preface

The disturbing and traumatic rise of physical and sexual abuse of children has claimed the attention of our nation and society through litigation and media attention. Churches having children's programs are not insulated from this alarming trend of abuse. Unfortunately, sexual molestation in the church is not something new. Attitudes of denial or minimization in the belief that sexual molestation could never occur in churches must be abandoned in response to this trend.

Champion Forest Baptist Church has a history of ministry to individuals, families, adults, youth and children, stressing the sanctity of human life and the importance and worth of each individual. Today, this ministry must be reinforced with commitment to provide reasonable protective care to all infants, preschoolers, children, youth, senior adults, and special education pupils attending any event at the church or any church-sponsored program or activity.

Although our church has been fortunate in never having any reported incidents of child abuse or molestation, the adoption of formal guidelines and procedures will help:

  • Reduce the risk of child abuse, providing a safe and secure environment for children
  • Reduce the possibility of false accusations against members, staff, or volunteers
  • Reduce the church's legal risk and liability
  • Protect the reputation of Champion Forest Baptist Church

Purpose

To establish the policy and procedures for reducing the risk of child sexual abuse at Champion Forest Baptist Church. The adoption of formal guidelines and procedures will help to:

  • Safeguard preschoolers, children, and youth of our church from molestation
  • Protect the church staff and volunteer workers from potential allegations of sexual abuse
  • Limit the extent of legal risk and liability due to sexual abuse
  • Protect the reputation of Champion Forest Baptist Church

Goals

Safeguarding, Preschoolers, Children, and Youth from Molestation

Champion Forest Baptist Church has made a commitment to the following:

  • We will screen all paid employees, including ministerial staff, who work with preschool, children, or youth.
  • We will screen all volunteer workers for any position involving work with preschool children, or youth.
  • We will perform a reference check on all paid employees and volunteers who work with preschool, children, or youth.
  • We will train all of our staff who work with preschool, children, or youth, both paid and volunteer, to understand the nature of child sexual abuse.
  • We will train all of our staff who work with preschool, children, or youth, both paid and volunteer, how to carry out our policies to prevent sexual abuse.
  • We are serious about our policies to prevent sexual abuse and will see that they are enforced.
  • Our workers will understand state law concerning child abuse reporting obligations.
  • We will have a clearly defined reporting procedure for a suspected incident of abuse.
  • We will secure insurance coverage, if reasonably priced and available, should a claim ever occur. Currently, this insurance coverage is available only because we will have policies and procedures in place to prevent child abuse.
  • All information related to our Safe & Secure Program will remain confidential.

Protecting the Church Staff and Volunteer Workers from Potential Allegations of Sexual Abuse.

  • We will abide by the "Two Or More" rule whenever possible. This rule reduces the risk of child molestation, and also reduces the risk of false accusations of molestation by individuals seeking a quick legal settlement.
  • We will follow the "Six Month" or more rule. Volunteers will only be permitted to work with children or youth after they have been members of Champion Forest Baptist Church for a period of six months. Such a policy gives the church an additional opportunity to evaluate applicants and volunteers and will help to repel persons seeking immediate access to children.
  • Windows will be installed in all classroom and office doors where applicable.
  • Employees and volunteers with criminal convictions related to harming a child will not be allowed to work with preschool, children, youth, or special education. All other criminal charges and convictions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • We will provide a Preschool Security Check-In System. This system will provide a safe and secure procedure for accepting or releasing a child in the preschool department only to a parent or to another adult authorized by the parent.
  • Reporting child abuse training will be offered periodically.
  • Under Texas State law it is mandatory to report suspected child abuse, and we will abide by this law.
  • All preschool, children and youth participating in any function away from the church will be required to complete a Release/Hold Harmless Form.
  • These safeguards are not only to protect children but also our workers.