Date Adopted: October 17, 2004; Amended: October 23, 2005
In following the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ to “suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14), it is the purpose of the members and staff of Chewelah Baptist Church to provide a safe and secure environment for preschoolers, children, youth and mentally handicapped persons entrusted to our care. We do this to encourage these individuals to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, and to grow in their relationship with Him.
A safe and secure environment includes a formal, written policy to help prevent the occurrence of child abuse. The following policy is for the protection of our preschoolers, children, youth, employees, volunteers and our entire church family at Chewelah Baptist Church.
- The pastor and deacons must approve of individuals who wish to serve in any ministry that relates to children.
- The church will conduct a national criminal background check on any employee of the church, including clergy.
- The church will conduct either a national criminal background check, statewide criminal background check, or statewide sexual offender check on all volunteers involved in a daycare, school, overnight activities with minors (on an ongoing basis), and one-on-one discipleship with minors. A minor is defined as a youth under 18 years of age.
- A paid employee or volunteer, who desires to work in this capacity, will be required to complete a Youth Worker Application Form, criminal background check or sexual offender check. After the application is received, prior employment, prior volunteer service, and personal references will be checked.
- No volunteer will be allowed to work with minors until they have been a member of the church for a minimum of six months.
- Any prospective worker that has prior incidents of sexual misconduct or child abuse will not be allowed to serve in any capacity where they would have contact with minors.
A pastor, teacher, assistant, or counselor shall not be left alone with a student during class time or in counseling situations behind closed doors.
Reporting of Allegations:
Any report of abuse needs to be taken directly to the pastor. If he is unavailable or he is the accused, then it shall be taken to the chairman of the deacons.
Response to Allegations:
- Any allegation of abuse shall be taken seriously and investigated.
- The accused will be informed of any allegations and the situation will be discussed with him/her. If the accused admits the allegations, inform him/her of your intent to report the matter to the appropriate authorities. If possible, obtain a signed statement from the accused regarding the incident. If the accused denies the allegations, inform him/her that you will be conducting an investigation of the claims.
- After the accused has been contacted, the receiver of the report will immediately contact the deacons, the ministry’s attorney, and the church’s insurance company.
- For his/her own protection as well as for the protection of the children, the accused worker shall be removed from any contact with or access to children, at least temporarily until the matter is resolved. A worker who admits the abuse shall be immediately terminated if he is a church employee. An employee who denies the allegation shall be suspended with pay while a confidential investigation is conducted.
- The church shall administer appropriate discipline consistent with the church’s bylaws.
- The church shall keep the victim and the victim’s family informed of the state’s investigation.
- The church shall keep the church members informed of allegations and incidents of molestation that occur on church property or in the course of church activities.
- The church shall cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation of an allegation.
- All parties involved shall honor the privacy of the others and shall not release any information.
- The spokesman for the church shall be the pastor and all requests for information shall be directed to him. If he is unavailable or he is the accused, then the chairman of the deacons shall be the spokesman.