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With children and youth Fall programs beginning soon, we want to assure every parent that sends their most precious gifts to our church, that we are taking appropriate precautions to ensure a safe environment – physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually.
“How is Shaunavon Alliance Church doing that?”
We are running a program called ‘Plan-to-Protect’ TM that involves a screening and training process for all volunteers.
“I just want to make cookies for Youth Group. Does that mean I have to be screened?”
No. Only those who are working directly with minors need to go through the ‘Plan-to-Protect’ TM program. If you are an occasional visitor to a children/youth program and are not approved personnel, you will be welcomed and your presence noted on the attendance sheet, but you will not be put in a position of trust (meaning you are alone with any group of minors) unless of course, you are the legal guardian for all the members of that group.
“I’ve been volunteering for years. Do I have to go through this process?”
Yes. Everyone who wishes to be working in trust situations with minors in our church needs to be entering this program.
“How much time will this involve?”
There is an application form that would require approximately minutes, getting a vulnerable sector check from the police station, a chat session with the ministry lead and a training night. It is not an overwhelming commitment and you will, in fact, feel much more confident in your role as ministry personnel.
“When will all this happen?”
As soon as you indicate your desire to be working with minors in our church, you will be given a ministry application that outlines the steps to acceptance. When these steps are completed, with final approval from the Board you are ready to be in a position of trust within our children and youth programs.
“I was screened last year. I’m good for this year, right?”
Our policy states that a refresher course be taken every year by those who have been screened and wish to continue working with minors in our church. This is a 1 hour commitment. Policies change, people forget – it is time well spent to promote effective and confident volunteers within our ministries to minors.
“This is too much. Do we have to do this?”
In a small community it is easy to assume that no abuse would ever occur, that none of our leaders would ever be accused falsely, that good intentions will suffice. Statistics, experiences and wisdom say otherwise. As followers of Jesus Christ, we want to value what He values and we know that His heart is for the safety and nurture of children (Matthew 18:6, Mark 10:13-16). It is our responsibility to uphold that standard to the best of our ability. This is how the leadership of this church has chosen to fulfill His desire.