General Purposes Statement
At All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship, it is our goal to provide youth and children who participate in our activities and programs with an environment that is safe and secure for them. By applying the practices indicated below, we aim to protect them from instances of inappropriate behavior and misconduct while also making sure that our volunteers and staff are protected from false accusations.
For purposes of this policy, the terms “child” or “children” include all persons aged under eighteen (18) years.
Selection of Workers:
All individuals who wish to work with the children who are participating in our activities and programs are properly screened. The screening process involves the following:
a. Six Month Rule
No volunteer shall be permitted to work with the children unless he or she has already been a regular attendee or member of All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship for at least six (6) months. The interaction of the leaders and the applicant will make way for a better assessment of the applicant’s suitability on working with the children.
b. Written Application
Individuals who are applying to be a member of our staff to work with children are required to complete an application form that our organization will supply. Included in the application form are disclosure of any previous criminal convictions, inquiries regarding previous experience in working with children, previous affiliations with other organizations, and reference and employment details. Rest assured, the information in the application form will be protected in confidence within the offices of All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship.
c. Personal Interview
When the application form has been completed, the applicant is then scheduled for a face-to-face interview to talk about his/her suitability for the position. The interview can be conducted by the members of the child and youth programs as well as the Deacons and the Pastor.
d. Reference Checks
Before the applicant is allowed to work with the children, we make sure that at least two of the references are checked. They should not be of personal or familial references but should be institutionalized in nature; preferably from organizations where the applicant has worked with children before. Rest assured, the documentation of these reference checks will be protected in confidence within the offices of All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship.
Criminal Background Check
A national criminal background check is required for all employees regardless of position. This is also true for the following categories of volunteers:
- Volunteers providing counseling services for minors;
- Volunteers providing one-on-one mentorship of minors;
- Volunteers involved in overnight activities with minors;
- Volunteers having occasional one-on-one contact with minors (i.e. vehicle drivers and church-sponsored athletic team coaches)
Before we run the background check, applicants are asked to sign an authorization form that allows All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship to run a background check on them. If the applicant refuses to sign the form, he or she will not be allowed to work with the children.
What accounts for a disqualifying offense that does not allow a person to work with the children will be identified by the Deacon Ministry and is based on a case-to-case basis with consideration of the circumstances around it. Any conduct that is contrary to our mission including convictions for an offense involving children and/or for offenses involving violence, illegal substances, dishonesty, indecency, and others will prevent the applicant to work with the children.
Rest assured, the background check authorization form and results will be protected in confidence within the offices of All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship.
Two Adult Rule
We aim to have at least two unrelated adult workers who are there to supervise the children during activities and programs. In youth classes that only require one adult teacher present, it is a requirement to have the classroom doors open at all times and there should be at least two students present with the adult teacher. At All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship, we do not allow children to be alone with one adult on our premises or in any sponsored activity except during one-on-one counseling.
Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse
For purposes of this policy, “child abuse” refers to any action or lack of action that endangers or harms a child’s physical, psychological or emotional health and development. Child abuse occurs in different ways and includes:
Any activity that is sexual in nature between an adult and a child or between a child and another child who is at least four years older than the victim. The activities may include intercourse, incest, fondling, exhibitionism, and pornography.
Any activity that leads to physical injury to a child which is not accidental by nature. These may include beating, burning, biting, and shaking.
These lead to emotional injury when the child is not properly nurtured or loved and secured. Among common examples include environments that involve constant criticism, belittling, and persistent teasing.
This pertains to not providing a child of essential needs, such as adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
If a childcare worker is made aware that a child or children under his/her care are being subjected to any form of abuse, this information should be immediately reposted to the Pastor who will implement further action that may include reporting to authorities as may be mandated by state law.
In case incident of child abuse is alleged to have occurred at All Nations New Testament Church of God Fellowship or during our sponsored programs or activities, the following procedure shall be followed:
- The parents or guardians of the child will be notified.
- The worker/volunteer alleged to have conducted the abuse or misconduct, will be instantly placed on leave from working with children while the investigation is pending.
- We will notify our insurance company, and we will complete an incident report.
- We will comply with the state’s requirements regarding mandatory reporting of abuse.
- We will cooperate with any investigation of the incident by state or local authorities. If the state or local authorities do not conduct an investigation, we will form a team that will investigate the incident. The team should act only in consultation with our insurance company and/or attorney.
- Individuals who will not be found guilty or innocent of the alleged misconduct or child abuse will be removed from their position.
- The Pastor will serve as the organization’s sole spokesperson to the media for developments and information of the incidents unless he or she is alleged to be involved. Other staff members should avoid addressing the media.
- A pastoral visit will be arranged for those who desire it.
Open Door Policy
Classroom doors should remain open unless there is a window in the door or a side window beside it. Doors should never be locked while persons are inside the room.
We understand that there may be a need for volunteers or paid babysitters who may themselves be under the age of 18 who can take care of the younger children during activities and programs. In these instances, the following guidelines apply:
- Teenage workers should be at least 14 years old.
- Teenage workers must be under the supervision of an adult and must never be left alone with children.
Sick Child Policy
We aim to provide children with a clean, safe, and healthy environment. Thus, we encourage parents to be considerate of the health of other children to avoid dropping their children off when they are experiencing the following:
- Green or yellow runny nose
- Eye or skin infections
- Fever, diarrhea, or vomiting within the last 48 hours
- Other symptoms of communicable or infectious disease
Children who we may observe to be having an illness will be separated from the others and we will contact the guardian or parent to pick up the child.
It is our organization’s policy to not administer prescription or non-prescription medicines to children. The medications should be administered at home by their guardian or parent. We would also want them to refer to our Sick Child Policy for guidelines about children with illnesses. Our medications policy exempts children who may have life-threatening conditions (such as asthma or severe allergic reactions). In case their children have these conditions, parents should discuss this with the Youth Leader or Children’s Leader to develop a proper plan of action.
We have made it our policy to not administer corporal management for the children under our care. This is still true even if parents have suggested or given permission to administer it. In our organization, there shall be no hitting, spanking, grabbing, and other forms of physical discipline. Workers should consult with the Youth Leader or Children’s Leader if assistance is needed with disciplinary issues.
Accidental Injuries to Children
If a child or youth is injured while under our care, the following steps should be followed:
- For minor bruises, scrapes, and injuries, workers will provide First Aid (Band-Aids, etc.) as needed and will notify the child’s parent or guardian of the injury as the child is picked up by the guardian or parent from our care.
- For more serious injuries that need medical treatment beyond simple First Aid, the parent and/or guardian will immediately be summoned along with the Pastor. If the circumstances need it, an ambulance will be called.
- Once the child has received appropriate medical attention, an incident report will be completed in case injuries require treatment by a medical professional.