Your child’s safety is first priority when you
entrust your child to a ministry’s care.
In light of this responsibility, MinistrySafe was created to equip churches and
ministries to protect children and students from the risk of sexual abuse.
How does MinistrySafe equip churches and ministries?
We help churches and ministries implement the 5-Part Safety System:
- Sexual Abuse Awareness Training for all child-serving staff members and volunteers;
- Skillful screening processes;
- An appropriate criminal background check;
- Tailored policies and procedures; and
- Systems for monitoring and oversight.
MinistrySafe members have access to three levels of online training dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse. Our highest level of training, MinistrySafe Institute, is a 16-hour seminary-level course focused on equipping church leaders to understand, prevent, and respond to the reality of child sexual abuse.
How should ministry volunteers and staff members be screened?
Working with children is a privilege, not a right. Every individual serving children should undergo a comprehensive screening process before he or she may serve.
An effective screening process includes:
- Completion of a Safety Application, with a release signed by the applicant
- A Face-to-face Interview conducted by trained staff members
- Thorough References Checks from multiple references interacting with the applicant in varying environments
- An appropriate Criminal Background Check, accessing any past criminal records.
How should ministry volunteers and staff members be trained?
Every paid staff member and child-serving volunteer should complete Sexual Abuse Awareness Training. MinistrySafe training equips staff members and volunteers to recognize the basic characteristics of the sexual abuser, the process by which an abuser chooses and prepares a child for abuse, and key indicators of sexual abuse. MinistrySafe training takes a proactive approach, equipping ministry workers to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse.
Does MinistrySafe recommend ‘bright line’ child protection policies?
Yes. The child protection experts at MinistrySafe design sample policies and procedures with specialized versions for various child-serving contexts such as camp, retreat, school or youth sport environments. Churches and ministries are encouraged to tailor these sample policies to fit the specific needs of their ministry programs. ‘Bright line’ policies clearly delineate appropriate and inappropriate actions or behaviors in ministry settings.
What steps should parents take to protect children from sexual abuse?
We believe that parents and churches must partner together to protect children from abuse. If you are a parent and would like to learn more, consider completing Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (1.50 hours) for a single user fee of $10. Purchase the training here.
As well, our team of experts have created a list of recommended questions for parents related to various child-serving programs such as school, camp, youth sports or child care. These questions assist in developing a clearer understanding of specific safety measures in place in programs or activities where your child spends time.
We encourage parents to talk to your children about sexuality at an early age, in an age-appropriate manner.
What is MinistrySafe’s recommendation concerning reporting child sexual abuse?
We are committed to helping churches and ministries provide a safe, secure environment for children and their families. To this end, we recommend that any report of inappropriate sexual behavior or suspicions of abuse be taken seriously and reported, in accordance with state law, to the appropriate child protection or law enforcement agency.
Who are the founders of MinistrySafe?
Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris are attorneys, sexual abuse experts, and the founders of MinistrySafe, providing preventative tools and counsel to ministries worldwide. After representing victims of child sexual abuse for over two decades, Love and Norris saw recurring, predictable patterns in predatory behaviors. MinistrySafe grew out of their desire to place proactive tools and trainings into the hands of churches and ministries everywhere.