The Southeastern District, LCMS has partnered with MinistrySafe® to offer Not Even One, an initiative to train and equip all who serve in SED schools and congregations to better recognize the signs of Child Sexual Abuse. The statistics are troubling; one in four girls and one in six boys in the U.S. are abused before the age of eighteen. SED schools and congregations are entrusted with the care and nurture of children and teens and, as such, are uniquely positioned to help protect children by recognizing common signs of abuse and how to appropriately respond.
To that end, the SED is pleased to provide child sexual abuse awareness training to all who serve in our schools and congregations, at no cost to the participant or the organization. The ultimate goal is to have every staff member and volunteer serving in an educational or congregational ministry to complete the 90-minute, online training.
To get started, please send an email to the Southeastern District, LCMS office indicating that you or your ministry wish to take part in this important training. You will then receive a link to the training, as well as an access code. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call the SED office at (703) 971-9371.
Churches and schools face the daunting task of navigating complex safety and legal issues. From child safety concerns to property matters. The following are some resources that may help in the process of making your ministry a safe place.
“Important Steps to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse” This document addresses the important steps a congregation and/or school needs to take to help prevent child sexual abuse. The LCMS Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Task Force has made additional resources and training available. Information on these resources and training opportunities can be found at https://www.lcms.org/social-issues/child-abuse
The insurance company, Church Mutual offers a template called: “Child and Youth Abuse Prevention Program for Religious Organizations.” These are sample guidelines in template form to the assist congregation and school. They will not address all issues but begin to identify policies that need to be in place. You will want to check with your insurance company to see if there are additional templates available. Website: https://www.churchmutual.com/164/Child-and-Youth-Abuse-Prevention-Program-for-Religious-Organizations
Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model – An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence.
The LCMS in collaboration with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal guide has been developed in this regard. Protecting Your Ministry is a legal guide for LCMS congregations, schools and ministries. Please read through this entire booklet carefully to understand the full scope of the issues and how you can protect various ministries.
The church and school should be seen as holy ground and safe space. These resources are made available to assist you in assuring others that the ministry where you serve is safe space. Please take time to review your policies and update as needed and consult with your insurance representative.