The Plan to Protect
Children, Youth and their Leaders
Courtenay Fellowship Baptist Church
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Understanding the Need …. page 3
Chapter 2 - Understanding Child Abuse and its Effects …. page 4
- Symptoms of Abuse
- Proper Display of Affection
Chapter 3 - Child Protection Policies and Procedures …. page 7
- Our Church’s Commitment
- Recruitment Procedures
- Policies and Procedures
o Volunteer and Staff Conduct
o Child Security
o Health and Safety
o Physical Discipline
o Washroom Guidelines
Chapter 4 - Incident Reporting Procedures …. page 15
- When Witnessing Inappropriate Behavior
- When A Child makes known an Act of Abuse, Displays
Significant Evidence of Abuse or Abuse is witnessed.
- Protection from Liability
Chapter 5 – Guidelines for Ministry Coordinators …. page 18
- Guidelines for checking references
- Guidelines for interviews
Appendix …. page 20
- How to Obtain a Criminal Record Check
- Courtenay Fellowship Baptist Church Ministry Responsibilities
- Statement of Faith for Courtenay Fellowship Baptist
Adapted with permission from Evangel Tabernacle, Kelowna BC
Understanding the Need
Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse
Courtenay Fellowship Baptist Church has a rich history of ministry to individuals, families, adults, youth and children. The disturbing and traumatic rise of physical and sexual abuse of children has claimed the attention of our nation and society. Unfortunately, churches that have children’s programs are not insulated from this
alarming trend. In fact, churches often have unique features that can make them susceptible to incidents of child molestation. Child molesters are attracted to an institution in which they have immediate access to potential victims in an atmosphere of complete trust. Furthermore, many churches struggle to get adequate help for children and youth programs and are often too quick to receive volunteers.
In response to this trend, it is our commitment to provide reasonable protective care to all preschoolers, children and youth attending any programs sponsored by our church.
We have a spiritual, moral and legal obligation to provide a secure environment for children participating in church programs that are under the auspices and authority of the church. Child abuse is a criminal act as well as a violation of human conscience and dignity.
According to scripture, we must be diligent to avoid evil and to protect children
Avoid every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
We believe that childhood innocence is a gift given by God. Children are naturally trusting and readily place their faith in adults who care for them. It is our responsibility as a church to safeguard that trust.
Legally, churches are not considered “guarantors” of the safety and well being of children. They are not absolutely liable for every injury that occurs on their premises or in the course of their activities. However, they are responsible for those injuries that result from their negligence. Proper screening, training and vigilance in monitoring activities involving children will greatly reduce the risk.
The emotional, physical and spiritual trauma to victims, the destructive consequences for abusers and the devastating effects on the credibility of the church ministry and the name of Christ make it essential that the church take all appropriate steps to prevent abusive incidences from occurring.
Understanding Child Abuse and its Effects
“Child abuse” can be physical, emotional or sexual.
Physical Abuse is using physical force or action that results, or could result, in injury to a child or youth. It is more than reasonable discipline. Sometimes injury is caused by over-discipline. Injuring a child or youth is not acceptable, regardless of differing cultural standards on discipline.
Emotional Abuse is a pattern of hurting a child’s feelings to the point of damaging their self-respect. It includes verbal attacks on the child, insults, humiliation or rejection. A child or youth who is emotionally harmed may demonstrate severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and self-destructive or aggressive behavior.
Sexual Abuse occurs when a child or youth is used by somebody else for sexual
stimulation or gratification. Sexual activity between children or youth may also be sexual abuse if older or more powerful children or youth take sexual advantage of those who are younger or less powerful.
Any sexual activity between an adult and a child under the age of 14 is considered sexual abuse. A child under 14 is incapable in law of consenting to sexual activity (s. 150.1 of the Criminal Code). Furthermore any sexual activity between an adult in a position of trust or authority towards a child between the ages of 14 and 18 years is also considered sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse includes behavior that involves touching and non-touching aspects.
Types of abuse that involve touching include:
;;;Oral, genital and anal penetration
Types of sexual abuse that do not involve touching include:
;;;Obscene phone calls
;;;Allowing children to witness sexual activity
Requests that the child expose their body for sexual purposes
Symptoms of Abuse and Molestation
Child sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and can potentially scar its young victims for life. Too often in the past, the effects of abuse were minimized or dismissed. Children were viewed as being resilient. Recent research has shown that children can suffer significant pain from even a single abusive incident. Church members must be aware of the pain and long term suffering that can accompany such abuse. Abused children can display a wide range of negative symptoms in the aftermath of abuse. Abuse can result in abnormal fears, post traumatic stress disorder, aggressive behavior, sexual “acting out”, depression, diffused sexual identity, and poor self-esteem. When church
leaders, pastors, and respected congregatio