There have been a lot of questions on the new format for the protection policy authorization and how local churches are affected. Here is some clarification:
Each church must have their own Child Protection Policy in accordance with their insurance policy. Simply pointing to the Conference policy will not withstand an allegation against a volunteer or staff within your church.
Thus, the people who have attended the Conference Train the Trainer sessions are trained on teaching the CONFERENCE protection policy only. They can train people who are going to be authorized to work with youth, children and vulnerable adults at District and Conference events only.
These people CANNOT come in to your church and train your volunteers on your protection policy. Your church will need to develop the training you want your volunteers to go through based on local church policy insurance guidelines/suggestions.
You can send a representative from your church to attend one of the upcoming 2018 protection policy authorization classes to get info and take it back to your church to use in creating/updating/developing a policy and training for your church volunteers.
There are no Conference or District requirements in regards to your protection policy aside from the District validating that you have a policy in place. REMEMBER: this is for your protection & your church’s protection. In many circumstances – it takes one incident to close a church if the policy is not accurate with insurance guidelines or if the institution is not following the policy accordingly. Your insurance company dictates what your policy needs to include, so please contact your insurance carrier and get those details.
There is a link to a sample policy – which includes a covenant that can be used in the case of a sexual offender who wants to attend your church – listed on the District webpage under the ministries tab, protection training line.
You can call the different insurance agencies and ask what their requirements are if you do not like the requirements of your current provider. For example, one carrier requires you disclose when a sexual offender attends the church, however, your congregation may feel that confidentiality is also important with grace and not wish to disclose information publicly. Your congregation does have choices in choosing an insurance provider that meets your needs.
If you have any questions on how to handle creating a policy or including a covenant if there is a sexual offender in your congregation, feel free to call or email me and I will assist you in any way I can.
PS – Remember to send in your updated protection policy to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so it is on file with the District office.
Have a super day!
Kayla Roosa – District Youth Coordinator
Tina Karnath – District Children’s Ministry Coordinator