Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Child protection resource is made available through districts.

A resource for churches on child protection has been made available to the Church of the Brethren districts by the denomination’s Caring Ministries. In its interim report on child abuse prevention, made at the 2008 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, the program had pledged to identify resources to assist churches to develop and implement child protection policies.

"As a faith community, we have a moral obligation to assure that our children are safe and that the adults supervising them at church activities are properly screened and trained for working with children and youth," said Kim Ebersole, the Church of the Brethren's director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries.

"Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth" by Joy Thornburg Melton has been presented to all 23 district offices. The Spanish-language version, "Santuarios Seguros: Prevención del Abuso Infantil y Juvenil en la Iglesia," has been presented to three districts with Spanish-speaking congregations.

"Safe Sanctuaries" offers information about the scope of the problem of abuse as well as procedures for recruiting, screening, and hiring workers and volunteers. It also gives guidelines for safe ministry with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Policy implementation strategies, a model for training workers, and sample forms are included.

District offices are encouraged to publicize the books and make them available to congregations. The Caring Ministries office is available to assist with child protection policy development and has made sample policies and other resources available at For more information contact Ebersole at or 800-323-8039 ext. 302.

Source: 1/14/2009 Newsline

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