Church And Ministry Law Practice
- Risk Management/Child Protection Issues
Most state and county jurisdictions have adopted strict laws and regulations concerning child safety and protection (which are administered by various state, county and local agencies). These child protection services (“CPS”) agencies typically are very aggressive in working with law enforcement to ensure the protection of children who are in the custody or care of public and private organizations, including churches. Failure to adhere to the strict terms of the laws and regulations in this area can expose the church client as well as individual pastoral staff members to civil and even criminal liability.
The services we provide in this area include the following:
- An assessment and evaluation of the statutes, regulations, procedures and policies of the various CPS agencies, law enforcement and other governmental entities.
- Assistance to church administrators in developing written policies and procedures necessary to minimize the risk of violation of the various CPS related regulatory/statutory requirements.
- Development and evaluation of background check policies and procedures for staff and ministry personnel (paid and unpaid).
- Workshops with pastoral, administrative and childrens’ church staff covering the laws and regulations governing child protection responsibilities as well as policies and procedures to be developed and observed to ensure comprehensive child safety and protection and compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Periodic updates and refresher courses on CPS subject areas. Proactive role in communicating on behalf of church clients to CPS and law enforcement regarding the various issues that may arise in the child protection context.
- Assistance in the negotiation and purchase of internal video monitoring systems as well as development of policies and procedures for the use of monitoring technology.
- Development and implementation of crisis management and safety procedures and protocols (evacuation, security guard policies, etc.).