Youth & Family Ministry
A Safeguarding PowerPoint presentation (a good place to start), the Ohio Revised Codes and the Best Practices document for screening volunteers who work with children in Ohio are available in the "Resources" section of the youth and family portion of the website.
Know the Law
On March 22, 2001, Amended Ohio Senate Bill 187 became law (Ohio Revised Code sections 109.574-577, 121.401, 121.402). The legislation's purpose is to help ensure that youth-serving organizations that place volunteers in positions requiring "unsupervised access to children on a regular basis" use appropriate screening methods.
Churches are required to adhere to Amended Ohio Senate Bill 187.
Personal Story: At St. John's in Grove City where I serve as Youth Ministry Coordinator it was decided that the church should make sure that it was doing everything necessary to protect children and youth at church sponsored events and to make sure that the congregation itself was taking the necessary steps to be protected from potential lawsuits. In addition, it was necessary to make sure St. John's was doing all it needed to do so that its insurance company would cover St. John's financially if necessary.
I quickly learned that some work needed to be done.
This site is not giving legal advice; however, it is highly recommended that you take the following steps...
- Obtain a copy of the above mention Ohio Revised Codes. Click on the "Resources" link above.
- Obtain a copy of the "Best Practices" document. Click on the "Resources" link above.
- Contact your congregational insurance company to see what guidelines and recommendations they have pertaining to safe guarding children and youth in your congregation. You will also want to confirm with your insurance company what you must do as a congregation in order to be protected from potential lawsuits.
- You need professional legal advice on this matter. Turn over the six revised codes, the "Best Practices" document, and any specific information about safe guarding obtained from your insurance company to your congregational attorney.
*Consider viewing the Safeguarding Powerpoint under the "Resources" tab, visiting the "Forms" section in the youth and family ministry portion of this website for a list of "Good Insurance Questions to Ask", and/or to view some example congregational best practices manuals.
**If you find it all too confusing. Give me (Gary) a call at 614-464-3532. I would be happy to talk you through the details.
Safeguarding children and congregations makes sense for us all.