Training: The single most important step a church can take.

Train your people to understand the problem.  The creation of safe environments for children’s programming requires training.  When staff members and volunteers have an awareness of the basic characteristics of a sexual abuser, the process by which an abuser picks and prepares a child for abuse, and key indicators of child sexual abuse, they are better equpped to recognize and prevent abuse in church programs.

The introduction of any change in a ministry program may meet resistance from those asked to comply – espcially chages that place new responsibilities on volunteers.  If vulunteers and staff members are first trained, new policies make sense, and many emotional barrieres to change are replaced by a desire to be part of a system that protects those who cannot easily protect themselves – our children.