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Earlier today I received a Facebook share from one of our clients, which was entitled, “Memphis Mega Church gives standing ovation to pastor after apology for sexual assault.” I followed the link and began reading the heartbreaking story of Jules Woodson (she wants her name shared according to the article below) who was sexually abused by her youth pastor 20 years ago.
As more information about the Memphis Mega Church pastor, Andy Savage, who sexually molested one of the young people in his program 20 years ago comes out - we at Plan to Protect® are heartbroken for victim/survivors like Jules who have had to experience such traumatic incidences of assault.
Dec4Mon#ChurchToo tweets are trending, because sexual abuse occurs in religious settings December 4, 2017
What should our response be to #MeTOO and #ChurchTOO?
My initial reaction to #MeTOO, was to cheer these brave people on for finding their voice and bringing their secrets out in the open. My sentiments were shared by many, for comment after comment encouraged the brave souls to speak up. I did comment, and unfortunately I did receive...
Have you heard me say that, “we will buried alive in paperwork as administrators of abuse prevention and protection”? Today, I thought I’d answer some of your most pressing questions about documentation and electronic documentation.
Why should you keep documentation permanently?
There are many reasons we should be securely managing our documentation.
What documentation should we be keeping?
To demonstrate our due diligence and duty of care, we should be keeping:
We are often asked how implementing a children’s check-in solution can benefit organizations where children are placed in the care of others. A check-in system provides enhanced security and is vital to child safety, yet the benefits and success truly come from a combination of the check-in system itself and how well the staff in the organization uses it.
Regardless of whether you are using an electronic solution or another method, certain tracking and safety measures are still a necessity. You must have accurate records of children checking in and out, know who is picking up the children in your care, be aware of any allergy or medical concerns and have a process to verify people are who they say they are, as well as a secure way of maintaining all documentation.
Unfortunately, we have heard too often of individuals who obey the law and make a report, only to be told they shouldn’t have reported, or are reprimanded for reporting. I heard about one staff member that was preparing for a volunteer training event. She had brought her preschooler with her while she was setting up the chairs and tables for the training.
She took her eyes off her daughter for a few minutes and a member came into the building and sexually abused the young child. When the mother found out about it, she reported it to the Police and to leadership. Leadership challenged her for reporting the abuse and said that it should have been handled internally not externally. When she disagreed, they gave her notice that her employment was coming to an end.
Over and over I hear stories of people being shunned, scolded, harassed and even fired for reporting abuse. I find it so alarming that organizations that are committed to the protection of children, turn on the Chair of their protection committee, and reporters when they feel they have a legal duty to report abuse.Never is our commitment of protection tested as much as when someone feels called to report, and we have a choice to support the reporters.