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Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in Faith Based Organizations
As a provider of programming and services for youth, your faith center can play a critical role in protecting the lives of children. You can help put an end to child sexual abuse by implementing a comprehensive child protection program and training your staff, childcare workers, and adult volunteers. Ask any congregation that has experienced a case of sexual abuse and they will tell you that knowing what they know now, there is NO amount of time that would have been too great to spend on prevention and educating their members.
As a faith based organization you have the opportunity to set a new standard within your community. Who better than you to make the commitment to be stewards of the precious children in your care. You can be a leader to your community as well as a leader among other faith based organizations by setting a higher standard and showing that you will do whatever it takes to keep children safe when they are with you.
90% of abuse is by someone the child knows and trusts.
"Stewards of Children was a natural choice and absolutely necessary in protecting our children. The program provides adults with the knowledge they need to make a difference, and it opened the door for people to talk openly about sexual abuse and how to better protect children."
— Cindy Greenwood, Authorized Facilitator with St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
A Faith Center in Action
A respected part of the Charleston community for 170 years, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the world’s fifth largest denomination and dedicated to the safety of children. Putting that belief into action, St. Matthew’s created a Child Protection Policy in 2006. Partnering with D2L, St. Matthew’s incorporated the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse training program into their policy encouraging all employees, volunteers and community members to participate. Plus, they also put policies in place to minimize the chance for abuse to occur. For instance, they instituted a Two Adult Rule requiring two adults to be present with children at all times.
More than 150 members of the church community have completed the Stewards of Children training. That means St. Matthew’s can ensure that anyone working with children has the skills and tools to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. "Called to create a loving community of faith that seeks the secure welfare of its members and guests," St. Matthew’s mission moves solidly forward with its commitment to Stewards of Children.