Church-Wide Child Protection Policy & Training
Introduction | Policy
God speaks boldly throughout his Word to highlight the dignity of children as well as the responsibility his people carry to steward his children in wisdom. Given this weighty task, at NPC we believe in:
- Promoting healthy relationships between adults and children.
- Protecting children is every adult’s responsibility.
- Preventing abuse with training and accountability.
- Responding to abuse with boldness, compassion, and courage.
In pursuit of these beliefs, our Child Safeguarding Committee (CSC) has crafted a three part Child Protection Policy that lays out (1) the theological foundations for being proactive about child protection, (2) the code of conduct for all ministry staff and volunteers, and (3) the procedures by which this code of conduct is enforced. We encourage all the families at NPC, both members and visitors, to familiarize themselves with this policy to help create an environment of awareness and intentionality with how we care for our most valued and vulnerable.
[link to Child Protection Policy]
Who/What is GRACE?
To ensure that we are going about the child protection process both wisely and skillfully, we contracted with a third party organization, GRACE (Gospel Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), for Child Safety Certification. This organization has trained our leadership (pastors, staff, & officers), inspected our building, coached our CSC through the crafting of our policy, and vetted the policy itself against the best practices both legally and pastorally in the field. For more information on who they are and what they offer, please visit their website, www.netgrace.org.
Congregation Resources | Training
Volunteering at NPC
As volunteers and leaders, it is our task to work together to ensure that children are safe. All adults and youth, whether employees, volunteers, or student volunteers, are subject to the Code of Conduct, and will not be permitted to serve without becoming personally familiar with it and further trained in how to carry it out and report violations. If you are interested in volunteering with the nursery or the children’s or youth ministries, please reach out to Drew Wilkins (middle & high school ages) or Elizabeth Deakin (elementary school and nursery ages), and fill out either the Volunteer Application or the Student Volunteer Application.
What this is:
Because child protection goes beyond the work of staff and volunteers, but extends to every adult, child, and individual in a community, NPC is committed to offering congregation wide training and resources to help cultivate an environment of wisdom and intentionality in this issue. The following videos are from our most recent training event in August, hosted in order to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of the issue of childhood sexual abuse, the impacts in can have on a life, and ways to appropriately lean into the struggle of responding appropriately. For further content on the issue of childhood sexual abuse, please visit GRACE's Resources page of their website.
Who can watch it:
Just about everyone! Through it's geared to equip the adult and student volunteers (16 years and older) within NPC's ministries, we would encourage the adults and more mature students in the congregation to was these videos in order to (1) wisely steward their families, (2) build an environment of education and awareness throughout NPC as a whole, and (3) have a skilled eye to recognize and prevent abuse in our city and communities.
Who it's required for:
Effective January 1st, 2018, all volunteers who work with minors at NPC (nursery, childcare, NPCA, Green Pastures, Stillwater, etc.), as well as the Church leadership (pastors, staff, and officers), will be required to have completed this training, as well as the appropriate written application and background checks. With the new year, if the training videos or any other portion of the application process are left incomplete, a person will be ineligible to volunteer or participate in leadership.
1. Introduction to Child Abuse
Providing a basic background information about abuse and the need for effective child safeguarding within the churh.
2. When Faith Hurts
How abuse affects victims over the course of their life, the hope that the Gospel offers, & the responsibility to care for victims.
3. Offenders in the Church
Why churches are "easy targets," learning common patterns to reduce these advantages, and creating awareness of risks.
4. Minimizing Opportunities for Abuse
What we can do as a church to minimize opportunities and how wise policy an offset the risks.