Child and Volunteer Safety -page 2

Supervision
Supervision is a necessary component because it provides for on-going prevention of abuse. Some of the specific ways that supervision of those ministering with children and youth occurs is through the following:

  1. As much as possible, there should be two teachers or leaders with each group of children. In the event there is not a second adult present, the classroom door must be left ajar, unless the door has a window in it.
  2. Leaders should wait until all children/ youth are picked up before leaving the premises.

Bathroom Use
No child over 5 years of age shall be assisted in the restroom unless he/ she/ is physically, mentally or emotionally disabled.

  1. Leaders and assistants must stay outside the bathroom door unless the child requests assistance.
  2. If a child requests assistance, the bathroom door must be left ajar.
  3. Door wedges should be located in all bathrooms and used to prop the door open when assisting children.
  4. Children must request permission from an adult teacher to leave the classroom.

One-on-One Contact/Small Groups
One-on-one encounters between teachers or youth sponsors and students are an important part of ministry. The following guidelines should be observed for one-on-one encounters.

  1. When the encounter takes place on church property, if at all possible, another adult should be present on the premises. Counseling sessions should remain as open as is comfortable for the one being counseled (i.e. door ajar, curtains or blinds open)
  2. One-on-one encounters between a youth group leader and a youth/ child should be reported to parents if confidentiality is not an issue. In cases of confidentiality a log noting date, time, name, and topic should be kept of the meeting. This log will be reviewed with other ministerial staff on a regular basis.
  3. One-on-one encounters off the premises should be at a public place.
  4. It is recommended that small groups should meet in groups of 3 or more, no less.
  5. Calvary Christian Reformed Church accepts no responsibility for one-on-one activities not sponsored by the church among children, youth and staff / leaders such as baby-sitting, dating, recreation or social situations.

Release Forms

  1. A general release form must be obtained by teacher / leaders before children / youth participate in events that are held off church property. (It is suggested this be obtained at the beginning of each year’s education season) Visitors and non-church youth are encouraged to participate, but in the interest of their protection a general release form is required prior to participation in events.
  2. Medical information forms should be obtained each year for each child I youth involved in programs that may have off-site activities. These forms should be taken along by the leader on each trip. It is the responsibility of the parent(s) to notify the leader of any changes in the medical information.

Transportation

  1. When a worker is driving with youths, he or she should avoid being alone with them without the parent’s / guardians knowledge.
  2. Transportation of children/ youth to and from the church property to a church sponsored event at another location (for example, the nursing home) must be done in groups.
  3. Whenever there is a possibility that a worker will be transporting children/youth without a second (or additional) adult present at all times, the leader must call a parent of each youth to obtain their permission and to make specific arrangements for the transportation. The leader must let the parents know when he or she and the child will be leaving, how they will be traveling, when they expect to arrive at their destination and when they will return.
  4. All children/youth must be secured in safety restraints as required by law.
  5. No one should ever be transported in the back of a pick-up truck.
  6. All drivers must be 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license and current automobile insurance.

Off-Site and/or Overnight Planned Events
A “Calvary Christian Reformed sponsored event” is an event that has been planned by the leadership of Calvary CRC youth programs. In addition to other applicable requirements of the Child and Volunteer Safety Policy, all Calvary CRC sponsored events which are off-site or overnight must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. The presence of at least two unrelated, approved workers is required.
  2. Parents will be given the agenda of the event, the address and telephone number / cell phone number of the place where the group will be going, and the anticipated departure and return times.
  3. Separate sleeping areas should be maintained. When that is impossible, leaders will properly chaperone.
  4. Leaders will be present in all sleeping areas for supervision.
  5. No leader / chaperone will share sleeping accommodations (bedding) with a child/youth.
  6. All transportation guidelines apply for off-site/ overnight activities.

Reporting and Response Procedures

Who is Required to Report?
All church workers are required to report any alleged sexual, physical or emotional abuse situation as defined in this policy and similar manuals. Church workers include those who are paid and those who volunteer.

How Should the Report be Made?
Any report should be made immediately to the Lead Pastor and/ or a member of the Abuse Response Team. It is the responsibility of ART to immediately investigate to discern whether there is any substance to charges. If ART determines that there is any substance to the charges they will immediately report the situation to the proper state authorities.

Thank you for thoughtfully considering this document.

Abuse Response Team: Pastor Brad Bierma, President of Council: Mike Jansen, Marsha Wetter and Brenda Van Hal.

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Comments or questions are welcome.

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