Protection Training (includes physical safety and sexual & physical abuse)
For a Local Church Training:
Recommended Training DVD’S (below)
Frequent questions asked…
How often should our church give a Protection Training?
Your church Protection Policy should specifically indicate how often persons should take a training, who should take it, what forms are required, how often background checks are needed (Detroit Conference of U.M.C. recommends every 3 years) and if a test is required.
What is the legal standard for reporting in the State of Michigan of an incident of abuse and/or neglect?
The Michigan Child Protection Law requires you to file a report when you have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect. This is an extremely low legal standard. It is important to keep in mind that the State of Michigan – D.H.S. Department of Human Services is responsible for investigating reports of suspected abuse and neglect and for determining how each case progresses. It is not the reporters responsibility to determine whether or not abuse or neglect actually occurred. A report must be made whenever you suspect that abuse or neglect may have occurred.
State of Michigan – Liability for Failure to Report
If you fail to file a report of suspected abuse or neglect, you will (could) be subject to both civil and criminal liability.
You are Legally Protected in the State of Michigan, as a Good Faith Reporter
When you file a report in good faith, based on the well being of a child, youth or vulnerable adult, you cannot be held liable for any person for any damages they may suffered.
A Reporters Identity Must Be Kept Confidential
When you file a report with D.H.S., your identify may not be shared with any person, unless you agree to that disclosure or a judge orders such a disclosure. Your identify may be disclosed to a child protective agency, a law enforcement agency that is investigating the alleged abuse or neglect.
What constitutes child-youth or vulnerable adult abuse or neglect?
Physical Abuse – Harm or threatened harm to a child through injury by a person responsible fo the child’s health or welfare. Examples of physical abuse include beating, kicking, punching and burning.
Neglect – Harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare that occurs through either failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care or placing a child at unreasonable risk to the child’s health or welfare by failure to intervene to eliminate that risk when the person is able to do so and has or should have knowledge of the risk.
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation
Engaging in sexual contact or sexual penetration with a child (as defined in the criminal code) constitutes sexual abuse. Sexual exploitation I defined as allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution or to be depicted in a sexual act (as defined in the penal code)
Treatment of a child that involves cruelty or suffering that a reasonable persons would recognize as excessive. Example include forcing a child to eat dog food, as a punishment, locking a child in a closet, or teaching a child to assist in criminal activities.
When Reporting –
A report by phone must be filed immediately (up to 24 hours) by calling State of Michigan – Department of Human Services at 1-855-444-3911. *It is important to have those in your church that saw or heard a potential abusive situation or an abusive situation to stay at the church or off site church activity, until the verbal report and written report have been completed.
Recommended Training D.V.D.’s below:
Safe Sanctuaries for children and youth – Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church
General Board of Discipleship Resource
Healthy Learning D.V.D. – The Safety Zone
Bob Ditter: Guidelines for maintaining a safe environment when working with children.
Used and recommended by Detroit Conference Protection Team & Conference Camping Ministry
It is recommended to play only portions of this d.v.d. at a local church training.
These videos can be purchased by Cokesbury – United Methodist Publishing House.
Additional recommended training video:
Church Mutual Insurance – Safety Tips On a Sensitive Subject
True cases, indorsed by law firm – Hermes – Sargent – Bates