Procedure Guidelines give detailed instructions related to specific areas of service in the church. Those who participate in these ministries should be familiar with the policies and practices related to their roles.
Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs are designed to provide opportunities for those who attend to interact with their peers and positive adult role models in a Christian environment. Sessions are planned to weave fun and Biblical perspectives together. Participants enjoy short devotionals, along with indoor and outdoor games, sports, and other physical activities. They also learn valuable life skills that range from sportsmanship and integrity to cooking and crafting, and receive guidance in choosing actions, attitudes, and behaviors that please God.
The Boys’ and Girls’ Club leaders are responsible for the selection and implementation of club activities. Leaders report to the pastor or a designated appointee.
All Apostolic Faith Boys’ and Girls’ Club leaders and assistants must be born-again Christians. They should have a clear understanding of the fundamental teachings of the Bible and adhere to them, as well as to the policies and practices of the Apostolic Faith Church.
We require that all Boys’ and Girls’ Club staff have been in regular attendance at our church for at least one year prior to participation in this role. Adult supervisors must be at least eighteen years of age. Youth assistants must be at least the age required by state law for babysitters, and be preapproved by the pastor.
Prior to supervising a Boys’ or Girls’ Club session, adult leaders are required to:
In addition, we recommend that all church workers who interact with minors in a ministry role read the document “What You Can Do About Child Abuse,” published by the Oregon Department of Human Services, publication #DHS 9061. It is available at https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/de9061.pdf.
Anyone who has been convicted of child abuse will not be allowed to work with children. Allegations of abuse or other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual from serving in the Apostolic Faith organization.
Boys and Girls Club Personnel must also be prepared to fulfill on an ongoing basis any additional retraining or recertification requirements established by the Apostolic Faith organization.
Drivers who provide church-sponsored transportation to and from Boys’ and Girls’ Club sessions must be authorized according to the driver requirements outlined in the Apostolic Faith Church Safety and Security Manual.
Prospective Boys’ and Girls’ Club youth assistants must read the document titled Procedure Guidelines for Youth Workers. They also must submit a Youth Worker Application form (for individuals under the age of eighteen), which includes two personal references, and includes a commitment to abide by the guidelines and policies established by the Apostolic Faith organization. This form also includes parent/guardian consent and a release of liability. The Youth Worker Application form must be kept on file in the local church office.
The above requirements must be completed before an applicant begins helping out as an assistant.
Address and phone information, including emergency contact numbers, must be obtained for every attendee at an Apostolic Faith Boys’ or Girls’ Club event, including adult supervisors and youth assistants.
Minors who attend regularly must submit a Boys’ Club or Girls’ Club Permission Form. This form includes parent/guardian consent and a release of liability.
An attendance record must be kept of each club meeting, noting the names of staff members and children who were present. This information must be kept on file in the church office.
Parent/guardians must sign in their children at the beginning of each session, and sign them out at the end.
It is the responsibility of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club staff to ensure that all safety precautions (provided in the Volunteer Handbook) are observed. They should be careful to give complete instructions regarding safe use of recreational and other equipment, and maintain proper water safety procedures if water-related activities are part of the event.
When an offsite outing is planned, thorough instructions regarding safety rules must be clearly established at the beginning of each event. It may be helpful to provide written instructions, along with the event schedule and costs, However, these guidelines should be restated verbally at the beginning of the outing as well.
The safety of those who participate in our Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs is of prime importance. Staff members are required to observe proper safety precautions, and ensure safe use of recreational and other equipment. Outings, field trips, and overnight events must be pre-approved by the pastor or a designated appointee.
It is the responsibility of the club leaders to ensure that all staff members and youth assistants comply with the policies of the organization, as outlined in the Volunteer Handbook and summarized below.
Parents have an open invitation to visit and observe all Apostolic Faith programs and activities in which their child is involved. However, parents who desire to be present on a regular basis must follow our behavioral guidelines.
All communication between church workers and minors must be appropriate, discreet, and positive. Children should never be addressed in a manner that could be construed as harsh, unreasonable, shaming, or derogatory in any way. No swearing or abusive language is tolerated.
Staff members and volunteers are prohibited from engaging in any private, sexually-oriented conversations with children, and are not permitted to discuss any sexually-explicit information about their own personal relationships, dating, or marriages with any child or youth.
The section of the Apostolic Faith Volunteer Handbook titled “Internet Safety” provides guidelines concerning electronic communication.
Guidance and Discipline Policy
All staff and volunteers who work with children in Apostolic Faith Church programs are expected to follow established procedures for dealing with behavior concerns, and to treat every child with dignity and respect. Disciplinary action is to be carried out only by adult staff members. No one may spank, hit, or use any type of physical discipline with children. When a child misbehaves, time-outs and other non-physical methods of behavior management are to be used for redirection.
Those who work with children should:
Boys’ and Girls’ Club staff members should discuss with the pastor or activity supervisor any child who exhibits uncontrollable or unusual behavior. Repeated misbehavior could result in the restriction of attendance at Boys’ or Girl’s Club, either temporarily or permanently.
The following actions could result in dismissal from the club, though the leader will work with parent/guardians to determine the outcome that is best for the child and the program.
Physical Contact Policy
The Apostolic Faith organization has a physical contact policy which promotes positive, nurturing relationships with the young people in our care while offering protection as well. The following guidelines must be followed by anyone serving in church-sponsored activities for children and youth.
The Apostolic Faith organization is committed to providing a safe, secure environment for children and their families, so we make every effort to safeguard the children who have been entrusted to our care. We have zero tolerance for abuse in church programs and activities. It is the responsibility of every staff member and volunteer in the Apostolic Faith work to act in the best interest of all children in every program.
While suspicions or knowledge of abuse are extremely difficult situations, we do not have discretion in this matter: we are legally obligated to immediately fulfill our responsibilities in accordance with state requirements. According to Oregon law (the state in which this organization is registered as a corporation), mandatory reporters include ministers and school teachers, along with law enforcement personnel and medical professionals. (Oregon Statutes: ORS 419B.005, ORS 12.117) For that reason, staff members or volunteers who observe any policy violations or suspected abuse, or receive an allegation of abuse, must immediately report the matter to their ministry supervisor or the pastor.
Definition of Abuse
In general, the term “child abuse” refers to any injury to a minor not caused by accident, which results in observable and substantial impairment of a child’s ability to function, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury. This includes sexual abuse or exploitation, negligence, maltreatment, or threatened harm to a child.
Staff members and volunteers should have a basic understanding of the characteristics of sexual predators and their behaviors in “grooming” a child for sexual abuse. Grooming is the process used by an abuser to select a child, win the child’s trust (and the trust of the child’s parent or “gatekeeper”), manipulate the child into sexual activity, and keep the child from disclosing the abuse.
The Apostolic Faith maintains a legally-approved risk management policy regarding children and youth. The following procedures are strictly enforced:
The Apostolic Faith reserves the right to immediately dismiss any volunteer or employee who is accused of violating the procedures and guidelines established by the organization.
Failure to report a prohibited act to the designated person is a violation of this policy and grounds for termination of employment of an employee of the church. Volunteers who fail to report a prohibited act may be restricted from participation in any church activities involving children or youth.
What to Report
Reasonable grounds to report suspected abuse exist if:
Steps in Reporting
If a child or young person discloses that he/she is being abused, or his/her actions suggest that abuse is occurring, staff and volunteers are instructed to take the following steps:
Organizational Response to Allegations of Abuse
When the pastor receives credible information suggesting that abuse has occurred, he will immediately contact Children’s Services Division or the appropriate law enforcement agency in the state. He will also inform the Superintendent General of the allegation. The church will coordinate its internal investigation with the governmental entity involved.
A designated church representative will interact with legal counsel and insurance representatives, and will respond as directed to questions from the media concerning allegations of abuse or neglect. Other staff members should refrain from comment. During the investigation the alleged abuser will not participate in any church activities involving minors.
If the internal or external investigation results in credible evidence supporting the allegations, the pastor will impose appropriate disciplinary restrictions, which may range from dismissal from duty to barring from church attendance.
If the local Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs meet regularly at a specific location in the church, all Boys’ and Girls’ Club leaders and assistants should be completely familiar with the Emergency Procedures section of the Volunteer Handbook, and be prepared to implement the proper response in the event of an emergency situation. They will be responsible for the safety of children entrusted to their care.