Over the past week, the Penn State child abuse scandal has dominated the news and raised serious and important questions about what should have and could have been done to stop and prevent the alleged abuses. (For a summary of the case so far as well as insightful thoughts on what the church can learn from the Penn State scandal, I recommend "Rewriting Paterno's Playbook" by Marian Liautaud, from our sister site ChurchLawandTax.com.) This devastating story has reminded us that child abuse can and does happen in places we would never expect–the more we recognize this reality, the more vigilant we will learn to be wherever children are present. It they are not protected by proper policies and practices, children's ministries can be an easy target. It is essential that churches, in particular, continue to raise the bar when it comes to awareness.
As a leader, it is crucial to ensure that everyone in your ministry understands how to respond when they see, or even hear of, a situation that might ...1