"...faith organizations have been slow to join the effort to prevent child abuse. They have been
reluctant to adopt policies that call for screening volunteers [fearing] they will insult fellow
churchgoers or discourage them from volunteering.
"Any organization that works with children should have such policies...to protect against child
abuse [and] to protect volunteers from unwarranted claims of abuse against them.
"The Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist church and the Southern Baptist
Convention are two groups that have emphasized adoption of child-protection policies for their
"In most cases, the policies adopted by the individual churches require...that volunteers be
screened for past records of child abuse [and] be trained in how to prevent abuse.
"Procedures ...are set out for volunteers and staff to follow in teaching or leading children, [and]
in dealing with a reported child-abuse situation."(1)
It would be wise for all organizations working with children to adopt similar policies. This
includes (but does not exclude others) various Scouting programs, YM/YWCA, YouthNet,
teachers of youth in all settings, youth groups of the Lions Clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis and others.
Sports groups would be well-advised to follow the same suggestions.
1. Editorial, "Churches should protect against child abuse," The Kansas City Star, 07/31/99.