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1. Introduction to the Child Protection Policy
The nurturing of children and young people entrusted to our care is of fundamental importance to Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni. Our church must be a place of stability for children and young people where they are free to be open and feel safe. This is what the Child Protection Policy addresses.
Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni has drawn up guidelines of how children and young people entrusted to our care should be treated. These have been approved by the elders and are to be used for safety of children, the instruction of workers and the protection of the organization.
2. Definitions in the Child Protection Policy
- The Church: Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni.
- Children: Aged between 0 – 12.
- Young People: Aged between 13 – 18.
- The Worker: Anyone assigned to work in a youth program, Sunday school, Teen Bible Study or outreach activity involving children or young people whether volunteer or fulltime employee.
3. Good Practice with Children and Young People
The church should ensure that:
- As far as possible a worker of the opposite sex is not alone with a child where their activity cannot be seen. On church premises this may mean leaving a door open or two groups working in the same room. In a counseling situation with a young person, where privacy and confidentiality are important, another adult must know the interview is taking place, and with whom. The young person must be aware of the location of another adult if required.
- Access to the building is safe and well lit.
- Where possible ensure that a ratio of Leaders to Children is:
- 0-3 yrs, 1 leader, 3 children
- 4-6 yrs, 1 leader, 5 children
- 7-12 yrs, 1 leader, 10 children
- 12-18 yrs, 1 leader, 12 children
- Our aim is that if the group is mixed sex, both a male and female leader should be present.
You, the worker, should ensure that:
- You treat all children and young people with respect and dignity as befits their age. Watch your language, tone of voice and positioning of your body.
- Do not invade the privacy of children when they are showering or toileting.
- Do not employ sexually provocative games.
- Do not make sexually provocative comments about or to a young person, even if in ʻfunʼ.
- Do not use inappropriate or intrusive touching of any kind.
- Do not entertain scapegoating, ridiculing or rejecting of a child or young person.
- Learn to control and discipline children, using these grading stages:
- 1st, Vocal warning
- 2nd, Vocal warning
- 3rd, Inform parent(s)/guardian(s)
- 4th, Suspension for a defined period
- You must never resort to physical punishment.
- Make sure another adult is present if a young child has soiled his/her underclothes and needs to be cleaned up.
- Not let youngsters involve you in excessive attention seeking.
- Be aware of responsibility if entering a young personʼs home if no one else is there.
- Do not share sleeping accommodation on your own with children or young people if you take a group away. Ensure at least one other leader shares with you.
- Do not invite a young person to your home alone.
- Ensure that every child has a seat belt when being transported.
- Ensure parents or guardians have filled in consent and indemnity forms for trips away.
- Ensure appropriate use of emailing, phoning and SMS’ing.
- You must complete a Child Protection Declaration Form.
- You must complete and submit a Form 29 (Inquiry to Establish Whether Person's Name Appears in Part B of National Child Protection Register) to the elder responsible for children’s ministry.
You, as a colleague, should ensure that:
- If you see another member of staff acting in ways which may be misconstrued, be prepared to speak to them or to the person to whom you are responsible about your concerns.
- Leaders should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care which allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate attitudes or behavior.
4. Regarding Health and safety
- It is your responsibility to be aware of where a First Aid Kit can be found and who is responsible for it.
- Use the First Aid Kit to your level of competence. if you donʼt know how to treat something then donʼt attempt to.
- It is your responsibility to be aware of the action to be taken in the event of a fire and of the location of fire escapes, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
- Be aware of potential hazards such as electrical cables, boiling water, blocked access, wet floors etc.
- Swimming pools may only be used if consent has been obtained from parents/guardians and a lifeguard is present poolside at all times.
5. Regarding the Disclosure of Abuse
As relationships develop with the children and young people that we are working with, it is possible that you may be confided in if there is, or has been, a case of abuse. All disclosures of abuse must be referred to the elder responsible for children’s ministry or in his absence any other elder (unless said person is implicated in abuse allegation).
The church commits to report all abuse which we’re aware of through relevant channels.
6. Child Protection Declaration Form
This will remain Private & Confidential
Are you a Christian? If yes then please give us an account of your conversion, baptism in water and any other specific events in your Christian walk.
What experience have you had in the past with children?
Are you a qualified First Aider? YES / NO
Do you hold any other qualifications that could be of use, e.g. Life guard, mini bus license etc.
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense or been involved in an act that could be seen as a violation of the church’s Child Protection Policy? YES / NO
If yes please give details
Have you read, and do you ascribe to, the Child Protection Policy? YES / NO
I declare that I have read and understood the Child Protection Policy of the church and I am aware of the appropriate ways of acting around children. I testify that the information I have given is correct to the best of my knowledge and I am willing to obey the guidelines given to me.
This is version 1.02 of the Child Protection Policy of Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni.