Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide {Book Review}

I had several reasons for choosing to read this book: I'm the Nursery Coordinator at a church whose Sunday weekly attendance is just under 3,000; my husband is also on staff as the Small Groups Pastor; we lead a small group and I'm sometimes involved in Biblical counseling sessions; and, above all else, I'm a mother of six--with 3 of my children being adopted out of foster care. Because of these various roles, child safety as well as an awareness of how to help adults who suffered child abuse are quite important to me.

I feel this book is a great resource for the following people:

Children's Ministry Director for its emphasis on volunteer background checks, check-in check-out safety procedures, security measures when children are in the children's ministry classrooms, how to recognize abuse (that's occurring outside of church), and how to create appropriate adult/child interaction within the classrooms.

Pastor who oversees staff hiring process and the overall facilities (at my church this is the Associate Pastor). For him, the book is a good resource for not just the hiring of church staff, but also ideas for having great security measures in place when children are in the building. It provides info that will help recognize the desired environment of a child predator. Also, the book shares ways to put guidelines into place for people who need to limit their contact with children (via a written contract) and how to communicate with other local churches when a potential predator leaves one church and moves on to try and plug in to another church.

Biblical Counseling Pastor or Director of Biblical Counseling. The book provides good information on how to come alongside and help an adult who experienced abuse as a child. Anyone else who helps serve as an advocate to that person (someone in their small group, possibly another pastor at church) would also benefit from this section of the book.

Elder Board, Senior Pastor, or similar key decision team. If a church is wanting to get fully onboard and seek out how to become a GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) certified church, the leadership should review this book, seek out more info on GRACE itself, and then pursue the path that leads to the certification. Even if a church doesn't want a full certification, the leadership may still decide to put measures from the book into place in how they approach church policies and procedures.

My main complaint with the book is I feel the title omits that the book contains a section on how to come alongside adults who were abused as children. That section was a tremendous resource for me, yet the title makes you think the book is just about keeping kids safe at church. But other than that, I truly think this is an excellent book. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries
The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries (New Growth Press, August 2017)
Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse.
This handbook, authored and edited by a multidisciplinary team of child abuse experts, is designed for use by a group that will be formulating policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministry, school, and/or church. Working through this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse polices and then guide them through each step they need to take to address the safety of children under their care. It will cover vitally important topics including:
—Protecting the children in a Christian environment from child abuse
—The warning signs of child abuse
—Crafting and implement a child protection policy
—Responding to abuse allegations
—Caring for victims of child abuse
—The legal implications and requirements for churches and Christian ministries
Written by a GRACE team with multi-disciplinary knowledge, headed by Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and former child abuse prosecutor, this handbook will be an invaluable resource to Christians who are seeking to educate themselves and others about child abuse and how to best protect the little ones under their care.
Learn more and purchase a copy.

GRACE Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) is a nonprofit organization made up of highly trained, experienced multidisciplinary professionals who seek to educate and empower the Christian community to identify, confront, and respond to the sin of child abuse.
Find out more about GRACE at http://www.netgrace.org.

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