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Caring Well
Caring Well

Caring Well

The Southern Baptist Convention has made a unified call to action on the issue of sexual misconduct among our churches. The SBC of Virginia encourages your church to take seriously these challenges and make available these resources and training opportunities.

ABUSE PREVENTION

We can strengthen our churches by addressing misconduct prevention through resources like Ministry Safe. This training is important because many lack understanding of the issue and have created procedures that only guard a small portion of misconduct that takes place such as:

  • child check-in systems are good, but only 4% of cases result in abductions
  • background checks are important, but less than 10% of abusers encounter the criminal justice system
  • policies are beneficial, but they must be contextualized and take into account how sexual predators carry out their crimes

ABUSE SURVIVORS

In terms of supporting abuse survivors, the SBC Presidential Task Force led to the launch of the Caring Well Challenge beginning at last year’s SBC Annual Meeting. The goal is to provide churches with a simple, adaptable, and usable pathway to enhance efforts to prevent abuse and to care for abuse survivors. The 8-step pathway of the Caring Well initiative includes:

  1. Commit – to the challenge
  2. Build – a Caring Well team (to work toward prevention of abuse as well as ministry to victims)
  3. Launch the initiative in your church
  4. Train people – October 2019 Caring Well Conference from Dallas (video resources are available)
  5. Care – Church Cares curriculum (small group study offered by Lifeway to be studied by church leaders and members)
  6. Prepare – assess policies & procedures
  7. Share – have an Awareness Sunday, May 3rd
  8. Reflect – SBC meeting in Orlando

The focus of this year’s national ERLC Conference was the Caring Well Challenge. The Dallas training conference included keynote speakers, survivor testimonies as well as breakouts. All of the main sessions from the conference are now posted and available at www.erlc.com/caringwell.

Recently released is a new Caring Well resource, The Introductory Guide to Caring Well. Whether a church is reviewing existing care policies or creating them for the first time, this free guide will provide assistance to church leaders who are working to implement effective policies and procedures in their congregations. This practical guide aims to present a foundation of topics to consider, sample language and policies provided by leading sexual abuse prevention advocates, and links to further resources to help dive deeper into each area of prevention and care.

This guide was created as a resource for the Caring Well Challenge (CWC). The CWC is a unified call to action on the abuse crisis in the Southern Baptist Convention. The challenge provides churches with an adaptable and attainable pathway to immediately enhance their efforts to prevent abuse and care for abuse survivors. This resource will help churches walk through step six of the challenge which is to prepare by reviewing and enhancing prevention practices, policies, and procedures.

Please note that this guide is just a starting point designed to raise questions and direct you to issues you should be thinking about. This guide is not comprehensive legal advice for every church. The reality is that caring well for those in your care means working through these issues for your church, your context, and your ministries. Copying and pasting information from a guide or from the internet won’t make your church a safer place.

Furthermore, Caring Well is important because of the huge number of abuse survivors who attend our churches and live in the communities surrounding our churches. Kimberlee Norris of Ministry Safe put it well, “We will never be accidentally excellent in addressing abuse and those who have suffered this.”

A complete child safety system

MinistrySafe provides a 5-Part Safety System to protect children and those who serve them in churches and child-serving organizations.

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