Train your people to understand the problem. The creation of safe environments for children’s programming requires training. When staff members and volunteers have an awareness of the basic characteristics of a sexual abuser, the process by which an abuser picks and prepares a child for abuse, and key indicators of child sexual abuse, they are better equpped to recognize and prevent abuse in church programs.
The introduction of any change in a ministry program may meet resistance from those asked to comply – espcially chages that place new responsibilities on volunteers. If vulunteers and staff members are first trained, new policies make sense, and many emotional barrieres to change are replaced by a desire to be part of a system that protects those who cannot easily protect themselves – our children.