Child Protection Policy

HOPE+LIFE seeks to express God’s love of children and provide for their personal wholeness. This caring community seeks to prevent child abuse of any form to our children and youth and to minister to victims of abuse and their families. The Bible is foundational to our understanding upon which all policies, procedures, and ministries must stand.

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18:5-7

Our goal in response to these biblical mandates is to maintain a safe, secure, and loving place where children may grow: a place where caregivers, teachers, and leaders (both paid and volunteer) minister appropriately to their needs.

HOPE+LIFE DESIRES TO BE A SAFE PLACE FOR ALL CHILDREN AND ADULTS WHO ATTEND ANY ACTIVITY. Individuals they know and trust sometimes victimize children. The church is not immune to such abuse, either by its members or by those in leadership positions. Incidents of child abuse or neglect cut across racial, social, economic, and religious boundaries. Although no organization or individual can assure complete protection, the Child Abuse Prevention Policies and Procedure Manual reflects the HOPE+LIFE’s commitment to help to protect children from harm. The manual applies to all volunteer and compensated workers of the HOPE+LIFE and all related ministries.

For the safety and protection of our children and workers, all people who participate in ministry-sponsored activities with children are required to comply with the guidelines provided in this manual. Background checks are conducted on all employees and volunteers working in our ministry. The following is included in the background check: searches in the National Criminal Database, National Sex Offender Registry, and OFAC exclusion list (Office of Foreign Assets Control). Also included is a SSN trace and a name and address history trace. The current service provider for background checks is Protect My Ministry.

We vehemently condemn any actions of abuse or misconduct directed toward any man, woman, or child. We stand in support of victims and desire for justice to be served.

We are committed to take every accusation of abuse seriously and to handle each situation swiftly and appropriately according to the law.

We are committed to not tolerate any abusive behavior amongst our students, members, employees, and volunteers, particularly involving children and vulnerable adults.

We are committed to not tolerate the failure of any student, member, employee, or volunteer to report an allegation or suspicion of abuse.

We are committed to provide education to our students, members, employees, and volunteers regarding appropriate codes of conduct specifically when interacting with children and all vulnerable people. We have an established Child Protection Policy as well as a Whistle Blower Policy to guide in providing safety and protection for every man, woman, and child of HOPE+LIFE and all related ministries.

We are committed to provide a safe environment for victims to come forward and to connect them with the proper municipal authorities for a thorough investigation. We encourage anyone who has been victimized to immediately report the incident and to appropriately identify those involved to their local authorities.

HOPE+LIFE will not tolerate child abuse or neglect. Our commitment to these policies reflects not only our concern about children’s safety in this society but also our willingness to take steps toward halting child abuse and its detrimental effects.