Child Protection and Safety

Developing church policies

Developing Effective Church Polices on Child Maltreatment
This newsletter from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center includes ten concrete suggestions for faith institutions that will aid in developing and implementing policies more likely to keep children safe.

Making Churches Safer has been developed by the Evangelical Covenant Church to help educate local Covenant churches in reducing the risk of abuse, injury, and sickness for children and youth.

Contact The Northwest Conference to request copies of sample church policies.

Background Checks and Volunteer Training

How to do background checks

The following organizations offer competitive pricing, and work primarily with churches and non-profits.

Secure Search. Compatible with most volunteer management software programs, and weekly new client orientation training available. Contact Jamie by email or call 866-891-1954, ext 3331 to get started.

Shepherd’s Watch. Use discount code ECCSWB (all caps) to join Shepherd’s Watch. This code will waive the set-up fee for a Basic Membership for Covenant churches. Contact Group at 800-635-0404 with questions or to open an account.

Protect My Ministry. For a list of costs, click here.

Abuse prevention training for volunteers

Sadly, we live in a broken world where not everyone has the best intentions for our children. We live in a world where, unless there is strategic intentionality, vulnerable populations can be overlooked and mistreated. Read More

Background checks alone do not guarantee a safe place for children. Volunteers must also be trained to recognize signs of abuse, and how to report if necessary. The following organizations provide training in video or online formats, geared toward ministry volunteers.

Ministry Safe. Comprehensive, hour-long training, viewed online via a link emailed to volunteers. Once churches purchase annual membership which includes policies, forms and access to background checks, each volunteer views the training for $5 each. Contact Kara Stromberg at the Northwest Conference to request code for discounted annual membership.

Note: Two ministry leaders from each Northwest Conference church are invited to preview Ministry Safe training at no cost. Contact Kara Stromberg at the Northwest Conference to request access.

Safeguard from Abuse. Comprehensive, 75 minute training video available as a DVD or for individuals to view online. Affiliated with Secure Search Pro.

Cost: $240 for DVD, or between $5.20-$8.40 per person for online training, depending on group size. Use coupon code COVENANT20 to receive this 20% off discount the purchase of online trainings, DVD or both.

Reducing the Risk. 70 minute DVD produced by Church Law and Tax.

Cost: $99.95 for DVD, leader’s guide, 10 trainee workbooks, screening forms and records files.

Protect my Ministry. 90 minute moving powerpoint with voice narration, available online.  Cost: $149.00 per year plus $6 per training. If you also use Protect My Ministry for background check services, the $6 training fees are waived.

Recognizing and reporting abuse

Ministers, teachers, coaches and others who work with young people are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect, although any concerned individual may file a report. Click on your state below for specific information for your region.


Additional Resources

The National Center for Mission and Exploited Children

Jacob Wetterling Resource Center

Child Welfare Information Gateway

FBI’s Crime’s Against Children