How Can PFSA Help My Faith Community?

Keeping our children safe must be the highest priority. Child sexual abuse is happening everywhere – not just the Catholic parishes. There are lessons in the Grand Jury report for every faith community – as we each have a role to play in making sure kids are safe.

Faith communities can make solid steps towards ensuring the safety of their children by developing strong child protection policies. Here are three primary recommendations that all child protection policies should include:

1. Obtain child abuse and criminal background clearances on all staff and volunteers working with children

In many instances, criminal background clearances are required by law for those working or volunteering with children. Know the laws and consider going above the minimum requirement in the law to ensure all those who have contact with children have no history of abusing children.

2. Establish strong child protection policies that use known prevention strategies

Example: limiting one adult with one child - ensuring that two adults are always present with children helps to ensure accountability and lessen the opportunity for abuse. PFSA has a sample child protection policy and is open to reviewing such policies for faith communities to ensure known prevention strategies are being used.

3. Comprehensive training for leadership, staff, and volunteers

Provide comprehensive training for leadership, staff, and volunteers on child abuse identification and reporting so they know what to do when they suspect child abuse. PFSA provides training on how to recognize and report child abuse, with scenarios that are relevant to faith communities. Schedule a free onsite training today.

Despite the cost, the focus must always be on zero tolerance for the maltreatment of children, which requires a high level of honesty and transparency throughout that faith community. Demand that transparency be clearly woven into the structure of your faith community to ensure accountability of those who have the greatest impact on our children.

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