Protection Policy of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church – Mandatory Training for Volunteers working with Children & Student
READ THIS FIRST!
- Volunteers must read, understand, and agree with the following policies.
- After thoroughly reading these polices, Volunteers must complete and submit Agreement & Test.
- The Safe@Church Agreement & Test must be taken every 12 months and/or before every special event.
- These policies are just one part of our Volunteer screening and training process. Volunteers will also be required to submit to a background check, and to attend interview(s) and/or training(s) for the age-group ministry.
- Volunteers who have questions about any of these policies should communicate with the appropriate staff member before completing the Agreement & Test.
THANK YOU for your desire to serve the Lord and to provide a safe environment for children and students!
General Purpose Statement
Walnut Ridge Baptist Church strives to provide a safe and secure environment for the minors who participate in our programs and activities, whether at authorized off-campus events or at church property. By following these practices, our goal is to protect the children and students of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church from incidents of misconduct or inappropriate behavior, while providing excellence in ministry to families. We intend for our church to be the safest place in town.
Follow the Leadership
Volunteers must follow the instructions of all leaders (paid or volunteer) who are responsible for leading and safe-guarding ministry to minors. A pattern of ignoring simple rules and guidelines often precedes criminal violations.
“Never Alone” Policy
1. A Volunteer should never be alone with a minor.
2. A Volunteer must never be in a storage room, closet, or enclosed space with a minor.
3. Any one-on-one conversations or spiritual counseling must take place in an open area in the presence of other children/students and Volunteers.
1. These forms of physical contact between a volunteer and minor are forbidden:
- piggy back rides
- sitting on a lap
These forms of physical contact between a volunteer and minor are encouraged:
- high five
- fist bump
- hand shake
- appropriate hugs**
**A sideways embrace is preferred. A frontal embrace should be brief and in the presence of witnesses.
2. Never touch a minor inappropriately. Any area of a body that would be covered by a swimsuit should not be touched.
3. While volunteering at WRBC, never physically discipline a minor or discipline a minor while angry.
1. It is the policy of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church not to administer corporal punishment, even if parents have suggested or given permission for it.
2. There should be no spanking, grabbing, hitting, or other physical discipline of minors.
3. Volunteers should consult with a church staff member if assistance is needed with disciplinary issues.
4. Volunteers must communicate with minors in respect, and should correct all minors with professionalism and thoughtfulness.
1. It is expected that all Volunteers work together to create a safe environment for minors.
2. Each Volunteer must follow the Safe@Church guidelines.
3. Each Volunteer will consistently hold other Volunteers accountable to follow all of the Safe@Church guidelines.
4. Each Volunteer will report any concerns or violations of the Safe@Church policies to a Minister or Director.
Allergy Awareness Policy
Volunteers must make note of any minor with allergies, and diligently keep the area allergen-free.
Volunteers in Education Ministry must not date, flirt with, or show emotional or physical affection to any minor (grades 12 and below.) Volunteers must not participate in any of the following with a minor (grades 12 and below): pornography, rated R movies, erotic or sexual conversations, or sexual contact whatsoever—such matters will be referred to the local police department.
Texas Mandatory Reporting Law
If a minor shares with a Volunteer that he or she is or has been physically or sexually abused, it is the Volunteer’s legal obligation to report it. Section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code mandates that anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect must report it immediately. The report may be made to (1) any local or state law enforcement agency; or (2) the Department of Family and Protective Services. A person acting in good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability. Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $4,000. Merely reporting the incident to your supervisor or manager is insufficient.
Social Media & Electronic Communication
1. Volunteers using social media, FaceTime, text messaging, or any other forms of electronic communication, must do so with the intent to communicate information about the church, Scripture, godly character-development, or Christian discipleship. Such communication must not be secretive, intimate (overly friendly), or private in nature. All electronic communication should be with the awareness of parents and the ministry’s Minister and/or Director.
2. Volunteers may not post any embarrassing, humiliating, or inappropriate pictures, videos, or information regarding WRBC minors.
3. If there is ANYTHING on your social media presence that sets a bad example to minors, do NOT connect with minors on social media. Your social media presence should reflect your commitment to kindness, purity, and righteous living through Jesus.
Cell Phone Policy
Cell phones should only be used in an emergency to call 911. Otherwise, cell phones should not be used in the presence of minors, so that Volunteers are fully focused on ministering to minors.
A volunteer must never go into a restroom with a minor, but may stand outside the facility entrance/exit.
When allowed by church employees to provide transportation for minors, follow these guidelines:
1. Driver and all passengers must wear seat belts.
2. Minors may not ride in the bed of a pick-up truck or sit on a tailgate.
3. Do not drive over the speed limit—be extremely cautious.
4. No stoplight fire drills or other car pranks.
5. Do not send or read text messages while driving. If needed, hand your phone to a non-driver to read text messages and respond as you dictate.
6. Do not make or receive phone calls while driving. If needed, hand your phone to a non-driver to receive phone call and respond as needed.
Volunteers must be completely free from the influence of alcohol or drugs. Volunteers cannot use tobacco products in the view of minors.
Background Check and Disclosure Policy
1. All volunteers must submit to a criminal and motor vehicle background check.
2. Prior to serving with minors, volunteer must fully disclose to age-division Minister or Director any accusation, arrest, or conviction of the following:
• physical abuse against another
• violence against another
• sexual abuse of another
• neglect of a minor
• other criminal activity involving harm to a minor
Retreat & Overnight Event Policies
1. Never be alone in a bunk house, cabin, vehicle, or bedroom with a minor.
2. As a general rule, men minister with boys and women minister with girls. If a child of the opposite sex seeks your guidance, take him or her to a leader of the same sex, or include an adult of the same sex in the conversation.
3. Do not use any type of physical punishment under any circumstances.
4. When in the pool or hot tub, avoid any physical contact with minors that might be misconstrued.
5. Do not behave toward a minor in a way that could be seen as flirting. Avoid any physical contact with a minor that could be misconstrued.
6. Do not in any way tease, joke, or prank with minors who are changing clothes or entering/exiting the shower. Adults should not use humor with minors that they would not use if parents were present.
7. Do not appear in the sight of minors at any time when undressed. When changing clothes or swimsuits, make sure the door to your room is closed and that no minors are present or can see you. In other words, minors should never see you undressed; change clothing in private!
8. Never share a bed with a minor under any circumstances.
9. When talking with minors, all situations involving physical abuse, sexual abuse, suicidal struggles, chemical dependency, or anorexia/bulimia should be privately discussed with the age-division Education or Director.
Complete and Submit the following Agreement & Test: