Biblical Basis for Child Protection
- Every child is of infinite value (Psalm 127:3)
- Every child is dearly loved by the Lord Jesus (Mark 10:13-16)
- Every child is to be loved, welcomed and kept safe at First Baptist Church of Brunswick. (Matthew 18:6).
Therefore, in these perilous times (2 Timothy 3:1-5), First Baptist Church desires to foster a culture of safety and openness in regards to protecting the children and teenagers entrusted to this ministry. Sadly, it is a known fact that sex offenders and others who would harm children, often seek out churches as opportune places to encounter children. Given this unique set of circumstances, First Baptist Church has implemented the following policies to protect our children, our staff and volunteers, and the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Position of FBC of Brunswick
- All paid and volunteer workers in any of the educational ministries involving children of any age, must complete a written application and be willing to complete a criminal background check arranged and paid for by First Baptist Church of Brunswick.
- All paid and volunteer workers must yearly review the Child Abuse Policies and Procedures of First Baptist Church of Brunswick and sign that they are in agreement with said policies.
- Ohio Revised Code (Sec. 2151.421) states that clergy members and anyone responsible for the care of a child (Sunday school teacher, youth worker, Awana teacher, etc.) have a legal reporting obligation when they suspect that a child has been physically or sexually abused or neglected.
- Ohio law provides that anyone reporting suspected child abuse is immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might be imposed as a result of such actions when taken in good faith (ORC Sec.2151.421 G).
Guidelines for Parents
* Parents must sign their child in by filling out a care sheet.
* Be sure to list any special instructions or allergies.
* Parents will receive a pager that will indicate if you are needed.
* Only a parent or guardian should drop off and pick up their child.
* Parents are encouraged not to bring their baby to the nursery if he or she has had a fever within 24 hours, diarrhea or vomiting or if your baby has obvious symptoms of a serious cough or cold.
Guidelines for Nursery Workers
* All workers must be members of First Baptist Church and have passed a background screening.
*Only ladies are permitted to serve in the nursery
* Workers must be 13 years or older to serve in this ministry.
* Workers must arrive 15-20 minutes before the start of the service.
* There must be at least 2 adult caregivers in the nursery during all services.
* Please disinfect the changing pad and wash hands after diapering each baby.
* Oversee the check-in and check-out procedures for each child. Be sure to make note of parent’s instructions listed on the care sheet.
* Please clean up the toys and use disinfectant spray at the end of each service. Place any toys that were in a child’s mouth in the plastic container on the shelf.
* Nursery workers will not administer medication to any child.
* Nursery workers must ensure that the nursery is not a gathering place for siblings or friends.
* If you are not able to be in the nursery when you are scheduled, please find a replacement and contact the nursery coordinator.
A Closing Thought for Nursery Workers
* A spotless nursery is wonderful.
* An orderly arrangement is great.
* An organized ministry that is well run and governed is vitally important.
* However, you the nursery worker are the ”face of the nursery.” You are the one that makes the first impression! To the parent bringing their child, you are the one that represents the Lord Jesus Christ and our church. Thank you so much for your ministry, your warmth and compassion as well as your welcoming smile!
All Christian Education Ministries
- Only properly screened approved members may serve in the various Christian educational ministries of FBC.
- When an approved worker is in a room alone with a child, the door must be kept open.
- Workers are never to use corporal punishment including spanking, for discipline. If there is an unresolved problem, the child should be taken to his/her parents. Physical restraint is to be used carefully and only to keep child from hurting self or others.
- Children in 1st grade and above should not sit on a teacher’s lap.
- Physical contact with older children should be limited to a brief hug or pat on the head or back.
- Through the sixth grade only the child’s parent, or an individual authorized by the parent are permitted to drop off and/or pick up children from educational ministries such as Awana.
Church Van Policies
- To help prevent allegations, two adults must ride the van when transporting children to and from ministries of FBC.
- Under normal circumstances, the van monitor will ride in the front passenger seat. If a problem develops, the monitor may ride in the center seat, but never in the rear seat.
- Only children with signed permission slips may ride the church van to and from educational ministries of FBC.
- To help prevent allegations, a log of mileage start, trip location, purpose and mileage completed must be recorded when transporting children to or from any educational ministry of FBC.
Off Campus Activities
- Van policies must be observed when transporting children to and from the off campus activities.
- Signed permission slips must accompany the supervisor of the activity.
- Adequate chaperoning by approved, screened members must be determined by the supervisor of the activity.
Procedure for Reporting Suspected Abuse
If a worker in any of the educational ministries of FBC suspects a child has been abused physically, sexually or through neglect, the following procedures should be carefully observed.
- If the alleged abuse has just occurred, immediately remove the child and guarantee his/her safety. After securing the child’s safety and assuring him/her that this is not his/her fault and he/she is not responsible.
- If the abuse is known or suspected, immediately report the abuse to the supervisor of the activity and the pastor. The worker will prepare a written statement of the observation or suspicion of the alleged abuse.
- Provide the supervisor and pastor with the name of the child, his/her parent’s names and address, the alleged abuse and any information that can be provided.
- The pastor and supervisor will be responsible to report the matter to Brunswick Hills Police Department upon discovery.
- The pastoral staff will not seek to counsel the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator to seek reconciliation, nor shall they conduct an investigation. No staff person or volunteer from FBC shall be considered qualified to conduct such an investigation.
- No staff person or volunteer will contact the alleged perpetrator.
- Absolute confidentiality will be maintained except for ongoing work with the legal authorities or child protective services.
When the allegation involves a church member
Should an allegation of child abuse involving a staff member, volunteer worker or attender, the following steps shall be taken.
- The pastoral leadership shall call the deacons to an emergency meeting as soon as they can convene. They shall keep the matter in strictest of confidence. The child protection services shall be notified of the alleged situation. The church insurance agent shall also be notified of the allegation. The alleged perpetrator shall be removed from all activities involving direct contact with children until the matter is resolved.
- The pastoral staff, though not qualified to conduct the investigation, shall provide assistance for the care of the victim and his / her family.
- Confidentiality prohibits notifying the accused that he / she has been reported to child protection services or law enforcement.
- As the investigation continues, the pastoral leadership shall provide spiritual counsel for the alleged abuser and his / her family. However, no attempt will be made to conduct a reconciliation meeting between the accused and the victim before reporting to child protection services and law enforcement.
- The senior pastor shall be designated as the spokesman for any media inquiries.
- If the allegation is substantiated, church discipline for the member will be enforced according to the church constitution. Continued support and counsel will be provided to the family of the abuser as well as the victim and his / her family.
- If the allegation is unfounded, every attempt will be provided to clear the accused’s name and reputation.
In accordance with our Child Protection Policy, all workers must submit to the screening process of First Baptist Church of Brunswick, Ohio. By clicking the link below you can begin the application and screening process.