St. Timothy's Child Protection Policy
St Timothy's church recognizes that it has a spiritual, moral and legal obligation to provide a secure environment for children participating in church programs that are under its auspices and authority. Child abuse is a criminal act and behaviour that violates human conscience and dignity as well as causes emotional, physical and spiritual trauma to victims. It is a violation of God's moral law within the trusted context of relationship. It has devastating effects on the credibility of St. Timothy's ministry and the Name of Christ, making it essential that St. Timothy's take all appropriate steps to prevent abusive incidences from occurring.
Everyone who teaches ministers or cares for children and/or youth under the auspices of St. Timothy's is required to follow the guidelines and procedures defined in the Child Protection Policy. Key points of this policy are:
- All priests are credentialed by the Clergy Formation Advisor and the Bishop of the ANiC/ACNA. In securing credentials, it is required that candidates undergo a thorough screening process that includes references, interviews, reports from their theological training institution and a criminal record check. These records are maintained at the ANiC and ACNA offices.
- Each person at or over the age of majority (16 years) applying to work with children/youth shall obtain and submit to the Senior Priest a criminal record check. Anyone with criminal child abuse violations will not be permitted to work with children/youth in any capacity. These criminal record reports shall be filed in the church records under the care of the Senior Priest, who shall be responsible to maintain their confidentiality.
- All workers approved shall sign a copy of the "St. Timothy's Covenant" form.
- All workers with children/youth shall be given a training session by the Senior Priest or someone appointed by him on the nature of child abuse, how to carry out the policies of this Plan to Protect, and instruction on how to report suspected incidents
- All workers with children/youth shall be required to have been adherents/members of St. Timothy's church for at least three months prior to ministry involvement.
- All workers must be approved by the Senior Priest. Notwithstanding any of the above, the Senior Priest shall have the right and authority to deny anyone the privilege of working with children or youth in St. Timothy's at his/her private discretion. Working as a volunteer in St. Timothy's is a privilege and not a right. Protecting the children of St. Timothy's is a duty of the Senior Priest. Any suspicion, cause for concern or discomfort on using any particular person shall be thoughtfully reviewed by the Senior Priest and his decision to use, not use or limit the use of any person in any ministry shall be binding and final. The Senior Priest shall not be required to give any explanation for the decision.
- All children attending Sunday School must be registered. Information includes: name, phone numbers, parents/legal guardians names, allergies or medical conditions.
- Parents must sign children in and out each week. This record is to be kept along with names of teachers, volunteers and occasional visitors for ten years in church records.
- All teachers and volunteers should be readily identifiable.
- Only authorized workers are permitted in the nursery or classrooms, with the exception of parents caring for their own children. During such occasions when parents are present, they must be admitted by the permission of the supervising worker and at no time are the workers to vacate the room, leaving the other children in the care of the other parents present.
- It is unacceptable for any adult leader or volunteer to be alone with a child.
- Wherever there is a children's ministry or activity being conducted, the door shall always be left open unless there is a window between the room and hallway with an unobstructed view at all times into the room.
- Adequate lighting shall be maintained at all times in any room or place where children's or youth activities are being conducted.
- All equipment, tools or any object that may pose harm to children shall be secured or placed safely out of reach.
- All rooms and closets not in use during church services or other activities are to be kept locked.
- A first aid kit shall be present and maintained on site and one carried on any field trip or outside event. It is desirable that one worker should always be present who has a valid and current certificate in first aid.
- Classroom settings must comply with established ratios for adults and children at all times. This includes off-site activities and trips. Established ratios are:
- No child under 12 months shall be left in the nursery without a parent or guardian
- One ministry personnel for every 4 – 5 toddlers or preschoolers
- One ministry personnel for every 7 – 10 elementary-age children
For more details, download the complete policy: Plan to Protect