Making Our Churches a Safer Place

Tremendous contributions have been made by many in the religious community in the pursuit of making our churches a safer place. Countless resources are available to assist you in developing screening and other risk management policies to best suit the needs of your church. Here are links to just a few of the excellent articles, sample policies, and organizations you may find helpful.
State Screening Resources
In addition to the extensive screening services we offer, you may also want to include in your risk management strategy the checking of other state agencies that may have relevant information. Access to records maintained by state agencies is determined by state law and therefore varies from state to state. Call or write them for information about their requirements and restrictions.
Sex Offender Registries
Federal legislation like the Jacob Wetterling Act (1994) and Megan's Law (1996) mandate that states make private and personal information on registered sex offenders available to the public.
The National Sex Offender Public Registry is a cooperative effort among state agencies and the federal government that consolidates sex offender information from the individual states that can be accessed through a single website.
Maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice, the site allows a user to submit a national query to obtain information about sex offenders through many search options, including name, county, city and zip code. It returns a profile of the sex offender, including conviction data. To link to their website, click here.
Child Abuse Reporting
If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, you should call your local Child Protective Services (CPS) agency or the CPS agency in the state in which the abuse occurred. Each state has jurisdiction over these matters, and has specific laws and procedures for reporting and investigating. In some states, all citizens are "mandated reporters" by state law and must report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Federal agencies have no authority to intervene in individual child abuse and neglect cases.
Child Abuse Prevention
Child Welfare Information Gateway
FBI's Crimes against Children
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Jacob Wetterling Resource Center
Victim Support Organizations
Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests
Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center
Additonal Information
Nonprofit Risk Management Center
Guide One Insurance, "Policies and Procedures for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Sample Policy"
United States Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website
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