Policies & Procedures

Working with children is a privilege, not a right. Oftentimes, ministries adopt practices that are comfortable or convenient without considering the potential ramifications, thereby placing children at risk. Typically, change is difficult without an understanding of why change is necessary.

While many ministries implement policies as a stand-alone solution, written policies alone do not adequately address this risk. Written policies are rarely effective when:

  • No one knows the policies exist (with the possible exception of the creator).
  • The policies do not fit the organization’s needs, and are ignored.
  • Policies are too extensive or restrictive, and therefore disregarded.

Policies and Procedures should reflect other Safety System elements. Without the why provided by Sexual Abuse Awareness Training and accountability through Monitoring and Oversight, even the best policies are likely to fail. Effective Policies and Procedures reflect training; without training, policies are just paper.

Policies & Procedures Overview

Policies and Procedures vimeo play

Policies are what you do, not what you say you do

Without effective implementation, a written policy is worse than useless—it can be harmful. From a legal standpoint, a written policy creates an internal standard that must be followed. When it isn’t followed, a written policy can create more problems than no policy at all. The answer isn’t ‘adopt no written policies’, rather, to adopt written policies that fit and reflect staff training.

Policies fit the ministry precisely

Where written policy is concerned, one size does not really fit all. Policy picked up from the internet, borrowed from a contemporary or cobbled together is likely to fail. When the policy does not apply to a specific job description or responsibility, staff members and volunteers are unlikely to comply.

Policies and Procedures must fit the ministry, and sample policies available through Nazarene Safe™ include:

  • Responding to Abuse
  • Reporting & Responding
  • Children’s Ministry Policies
  • Youth Sports & Athletics Policies
  • Camp Policies
  • More available upon request

Policies and Procedures, implemented by staff members and volunteers who understand the why, are an essential element of creating a safe environment for children.