Parent Resources
Parent Resources

Parent Resources

We are here to equip you with the resources that you need to help your children build stronger relationships with Christ from early childhood to high school. Check out our resources below.

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    Early Childhood Parent Resources


    Early Childhood Ministry

    Start learning the books of the Bible with our Bible Book Cards!

    Books of the Bible Cards

     

     


     

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    Elementary Parent Resources


    Elementary Curriculum

    Weekly Home Resources

    Resources:

    Read the Take Home Activity Pages - to see what we are learning in our programming and how your family can carry it on throughout the week! All pages include family activities and discussion starters.

    Younger Elementary: 1st - 3rd Grade

    Older Elementary: 4th & 5th Graders

    Unit Memory Verse for Adevent: Galatians 4:4-5

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    Middle School Parent Resources
    Faith Resources for your Family

     

    COW Acts Series 
    Watch on YouTube 
    3.14.20 Video - Dan Meyer 
    3.14.20 Parent Convo Sheet
    3.21.20 Acts Video 11 - Parent Convo Sheet
    3.29..20 Acts Video 12 - Parent Convo Sheet 
    4.5.20 Acts Video 13 - Parent Convo Sheet
    COW Prayer Videos
    Watch on YouTube
    COW Storytellers Series
    Watch on YouTube
    COW Mark Devotional
    Download Mark Devotional

    COW Devotional Conversation Guides

    ​​​​Friday 3.20 Convo Guide  ​​​​​​​

     

    Family Devo Guide

    God's Perspective

    Listen, Learn, Lament ​​​​​​​

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    Protection Policy

    This policy, for all volunteers and employees, has been adopted for the protection of children, youth, and those who minister with them at Christ Church. 

     

     

    These policies have been adopted for the protection and care of minors, vulnerable adults, and those who minister alongside them at Christ Church of Oak Brook and all branches of Christ Church of Oak Brook (hereinafter known as Christ Church).  They have been included on our web-site (ChristChurch.us) for the full awareness of parents, staff, volunteers, members and friends of Christ Church.

    The staff, lay volunteers, members and friends of all the expressions of Christ Church are called to embody and advance God’s mission here on earth.  That ministry is the vocation of the whole community and it is the desire of the body of this church to obey the biblical command in Galatians 5:13 to “serve one another in love,” and that means everyone.

    While salvation is the greatest need of every person, the Great Commission demands more of us than evangelizing.  Our responsibility, as representatives of the kingdom of God, is to include everyone in church functions and worship.  Discipling and equipping our children, and vulnerable adults to use their gifts to build up the body of Christ is also a response to that commission.  And while His love consumes and motivates us, our ministry to all is ministry as to Christ himself.    

    Because we recognize that we are a reflection of God’s love to those in our care, we take seriously our responsibility to our children, students, and vulnerable adults.  Specified in this policy are steps the staff, lay volunteers, and attenders of any expression of Christ Church are committed to taking to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which we can bring our children, students and vulnerable adults to the Savior.  

    All who serve in any ministry covered under this policy must understand and follow these policies and procedures.  Be aware that the document that follows represents minimum requirements.  Individual programs may impose additional guidelines as appropriate to their ministry needs.


    ARCHITECTURAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL MINISTRIES

    A. Interior windows or, when necessary, open doors provide easy viewing by parents andsupervisors.

    B. All doors, with the exception of rest rooms, shall have windows or side windows.  Sightlines through the windows should remain unobstructed at all times.

    C. Rooms with adjoining toilets shall be used for preschoolers whenever possible,preventing the need for children to leave the room.

    D. Diaper changing tables/areas shall be in clear view.

    E. First aid kits shall be displayed/stored in an obvious place in most classrooms.

    F. Evacuation plans shall be displayed at the doorway or each room, or in the possessionof the lead teacher in the room.

    ALL WHO MINISTER UNDER THIS POLICY SHALL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES: 

    A. Provide anyone they are responsible for or minister to with alcohol, marijuana, illegaldrugs, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes, or pornography;

    B. Arrive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, or misuse when they areresponsible for, or ministering to others;

    C. Consume alcohol or illegal drugs or misuse legal drugs when they are responsible for,or ministering to others;

    D. Engage in illegal behavior or permit others to engage in illegal behavior; or

    E. Engage in any illicit, or secretive sexual, romantic, relationship or conduct.


    EARLY CHILDHOOD, CHILDREN’S MINISTIES AND MOTHERS OF PRESCHOOLERS (MOPS)

    I. SECURITY, SUPERVISION AND SELECTION POLICIES

    A. Drop-off Policy: Children will be welcome to enter our classrooms whenadequate supervision is available (minimum of two adult1 volunteers).

    B. Volunteer Identification Policy

    • All volunteers working with children must use check-in and wear a system-generated name tag.

    C. Registration Policy (infancy – fifth grade)

    • Programs for MOPS and preschool-aged children provide a weekly sign-insheet (Appendices A, B, & C).  Parents are required to complete theinformation requested.
    • Parents shall complete registration online for any child who attends any ofthe Sunday School or weekday programs.  Online registration is availablethrough Christ Church’s website http://www.ChristChurch.us.
    • Children must be registered and attend the class at their age, grade, ordevelopmental level.

    D. Parent Pick Up/Child Release Authorization

    • All children, birth – four years old, will be issued a claim tag.  All children(birth – four years old) will be released only to those who have the child'sclaim tag.
    • A parent or person authorized by a parent is required to pick up theirchild(ren) within ten minutes of the end of class.
    • Parents must complete a parental authorization/release when they registertheir children to allow another family member to pick up children from theclassroom for those children Kindergarten – third grade.
    • No siblings under age 12 may pick up a child (birth – 4 years old).
    • A Parent may complete an online release form for children in fourth or fifthgrade, to be released to meet their parents in a designated location(Appendix G).  Without a completed form, parents must pick up theirchildren from the classroom.
    • Parents are not allowed to enter their child(ren)’s classroom when pickingup their child(ren) unless asked to do so.

    For the purposes of this Policy, Christ Church defines an adult as age 21 or older.

    • Two special arrangements:
    • Children participating in any Divorce Recovery or RelationshipRecovery programs can only be picked up from the assignedclassroom by their authorized parent.
    • Children participating in Bereavement/Grief programs are escortedto their parent's room after each session.

    E. Diaper Changing Policy

    • All approved nursery volunteers may change a child’s (birth – 3 year old) diaper.

    F. Bathroom Policy

    • Volunteers may only assist children of their same gender.
    • Never take a child to the bathroom alone.
    • Never be alone with a child in a bathroom with the door closed, and nevergo into a bathroom stall with a child and shut the door.
    • If a classroom has a bathroom located in the room and a child (ages twothrough third grade) needs assistance using the classroom bathroom, anapproved volunteer of the same gender may enter to assist observing thefollowing guidelines:
    • If the bathroom door has no window, the door must be left open(either fully or the top half) while the approved volunteer is present.
    • If there is a classroom for ages two through third grade without abathroom, two approved volunteers of the same gender should escort agroup of children to the hallway bathroom.  It should be the aim to alwaysgo in a group.
    • Fourth grade and above classrooms will utilize hallway bathrooms two at atime with at least one other child as “a buddy” with the teacher’spermission.

    G. Classroom doors must never be locked while occupied

    H. Elevator Usage: When accompanying children in the elevator, two-deepleadership is required.


    II. Staffing Guidelines

    A. All approved workers will have completed a screening process (outlined underProcedures).

    B. Volunteers must have been involved with Christ Church for six months beforebeing considered with the following exceptions:

    • The Volunteer is seeking to serve during the first eighteen (18) months ofa new multisite AND;
    • Has been referred by someone who has been involved with Christ Churchfor at least six months; OR
    • One of their references is from a pastor/staff member of their mostrecently attended church where they served in a relevant capacity.
    • AND for MOPS, there must be at least one MOPS volunteer per room thatmeets the six month Christ Church involvement requirement.

    C. As paid employees of Christ Church, all staff who minister with children will havecompleted their own staff screening process and all employees will submit to a Criminal Record Check.

    D. Known and trusted parents may be asked to temporarily assist when absolutelynecessary.

    • They will be given a list of the relevant Protection Policy guidelines for their specific responsibilities, sign their pledge to follow those guidelines, and never be alone with a child.   
    • .wo parents serving temporarily will never be paired together in the same room.

    E. Two-deep leadership is essential.  At least two unrelated workers should be in the room at all times.  Rooms for children are ideally staffed with workers of both genders.  This will facilitate observance of Christ Church's Bathroom Policy.  The exception to this two-deep policy is music lessons (see Section C under “Children Choirs and Art & Music Conservatories” below).

    F. The Program Director or department coordinators will make regular visits to the classrooms to ensure that classrooms are properly supervised.

    G. The following ratios are staffing guidelines.  A minimum of two adults2 must be present regardless of the number of children present.

    • Infants (0) & Crawlers (15-16 mos.) One adult per 4-6 children
    • Toddler (15-16 mos.) – 2-year-old One adult per 5-7 children
    • 3-Year-Old - Kindergarten One adult per 6-8 children
    • Elementary One adult per 10-12 children
    • Children Choirs One adult per 10-12 children
    • Children with special Needs:  If a child with special needs is matched with a helper and a qualified helper is not present, the supervising staff may require the child to be accompanied by the parent.
    • When babysitting is provided for a church-sponsored event not defined as children's ministry (example: annual meetings, Women's Bible Study brunch, etc.) and church facilities are used, the following is required:
      • An approved adult volunteer3 must be present to ensure that child protection policies relevant to the situation are followed.
      • Two-deep leadership is required as well as strict adherence to the staffing guidelines listed above.
      • The event should be officially registered in the church office.

    2 For the purposes of this Policy Christ Church defines an adult as age 21 or older. One of the “adults” may be high school age or older in ministries that serve infancy – 5th grade. 3 A volunteer is considered approved when they have filled out the appropriate application, the screening procedures related to the volunteer have been completed in their entirety, the volunteer has been orientated on the Protection Policy's procedures outlined in this document, and the volunteer has been notified in person of his/her approved status.

    Exception for Elementary:  

    • For summer activities:  two deep leadership may involve one adult and one college intern.
    • For large group settings on Christ Church property, there must be a minimum of two adults at all times, and an additional leader if the group exceeds 32 children.  For every additional 16-20 children, there must be an additional leader present.

    H. If a class is unexpectedly short-staffed, the following steps will be taken:

    • Combining of Classes:  Two classes may be combined, if practical, to meet the staffing requirements.  A notice must be posted for parents telling them where to pick up their children.
    • Utilization of Parent Helpers:  If combining classes is not an appropriate option, a known and trusted parent will be asked to assist temporarily before additional children will be admitted to the classroom.  The teacher will assume supervisory responsibility.  The parent will be given a list of the relevant Protection Policy guidelines for their specific responsibilities, sign their pledge to follow those guidelines, and never be alone with a child.   
    • Cancellation of Class:  Class meetings without adequate staffing will not commence.  Additionally, programs which continually experience staffing deficiencies will be subject to review and possible cancellations.

    I. Special Events/Overnight Policies Adult Supervision Guidelines

    • The following ratios are adult supervision guidelines.  A minimum of two adults must be present regardless of the number of children present.  If there are not enough adults to meet these ratios, the event must be cancelled.
    • Elementary One adult per 10-12 children

    J. Physical Contact

    • The use of appropriate touch can be a healthy form of affirmation. Appropriate touch varies with the age of the individual.  Because each family may differ in how they express physical touch, it is important to be aware that what is “normal” to one child may feel inappropriate to another.  Here are some guidelines to help  you know what is appropriate: 

    APPROPRIATE

    1. Physical Contact:

    • .Non-demanding, gentle touch of shoulders, hands, arms, head, back;
    • .Sitting child on knee (appropriate only at preschool age level and younger).

    2. Physical contact, which expresses affirmation and is not done for the satisfaction or pleasure of adult or leader.

    3. Hugs must be mutual with no resistance on the part of the child.

    INAPPROPRIATE

    1. Physical contact:

    • Kissing;
    • Demanding hugs and kisses;
    • Touching chest, genital region, upper legs, buttocks, stomach;
    • Sitting child in center of your lap;
    • Sitting child between legs;
    • Sitting child kindergarten and above on one or both legs;
    • Opposite sex piggy back rides;
    • Seductiveness or suggestive contact.

    2. Physical contact of any kind which is done for the pleasure or satisfaction of the adult of leader.

    3. Any touching used to express power or control over a child.

    K. Discipline Policy

    • All interaction regarding discipline needs to carefully consider a child's dignity and fragile life.   
      • Gentleness, respect, and understanding must guide all actions and words.   
      • Discipline will be carried out through instruction, training, and correction.   
      • Physical punishment will not be used.   
      • Teachers may bring disruptive children to the Children’s Ministry Office for “time-out” with a representative from the Children’s Management Team.   


    CHILDREN CHOIRS AND ART & MUSIC CONSERVATORIES

    A. Children Choirs Drop-off and Transition Policy

    • Children will be welcome to enter our classrooms when adequate supervision is available (minimum two adult volunteers).   
    • During times of transition from one program to another two adults will escort the children.

    B. Children Choirs Registration and Parent Pick Up/Child Release Policy

    • Parents complete registration online for any child who participates in any of the children choirs.
    • The normal policies about Parent Pick Up/Child Release are followed as applicable to all Children Choirs.  Please see Section I D above.

    C. Music & Arts Conservatories

    • Parents are expected to escort their children third grade and younger both to and from the music teacher.  One parent is to remain outside the classroom during the music lesson.   
    • Children third grade and younger may not wait alone outside the classroom or upstairs to be picked up.   
    • Parents must provide a written parental authorization for any adult other than a parent to pick up a child third grade and younger.   
    • All parents in the Music Conservatory will need to sign that they understand and follow this policy (Appendix H).


    STUDENT MINISTRIES (MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL)

    III. Staffing Guidelines

    A. All approved volunteers will have completed a screening process (outlined in Procedures).   

    B. Volunteers must have been involved with Christ Church for six months before being considered with the following exception:

    • The Volunteer is seeking to serve during the first eighteen (18) months of a new multisite AND
    • Has been referred by someone who has been involved with Christ Church for at least six months; OR
    • One of their references is from a pastor/staff member of their most recently attended church where they served in a relevant capacity.

    C. As paid employees of Christ Church rook, all staff who minister with students will have completed their own staff screening process and all employees will submit to a Criminal Record Check.

    D. Known and trusted parents may be asked to assist temporarily when necessary.  

    • They will be given a list of the relevant Protection Policy guidelines for their specific responsibilities, sign their pledge to follow those guidelines, and never be alone with a student.   
    • Two parents serving temporarily will never be paired together in the same room.  

    E. Two-deep leadership is essential.  The following ratios are staffing guidelines.  A minimum of two adults4 must be present regardless of the number of students present.

    • Middle School One adult per10-12 students
    • High School One adult per 10-12 students

    4 For the purposes of this Policy Christ Church defines an adult as age 21 or older.  

    Exceptions:

    • Middle School and High School in large group settings, held in public places, there must be a minimum of two adults at all times, and an additional leader if the group exceeds 36 students.  For every additional 18-20 students, there must be an additional leader present.  
    • Middle School and High School summer activities:  two deep leadership may involve one adult and one college intern.
    • Middle School in large group settings on Christ Church property, the ratio must be a minimum of one adult per 16-18 students.
    • High School student-led small groups meeting in a home, the parents in the home function as the supervising adults.  As with any Christ Church function, appropriate and respectful behavior is expected from our students and leaders at all times.   

    F. Special Events/Overnight Policies Adult Supervision Guidelines

    • The following ratios are adult supervision guidelines.  A minimum of two adults must be present regardless of the number of children present.  If there are not enough adults to meet these ratios, the event must be cancelled.
      • Middle School One adult per 10-12 student
      • High School One adult per 10-12 student

    F. Physical Contact

    1. The use of appropriate touch can be a healthy form of affirmation. Appropriate touch varies with the age of the individual.  Because each family may differ in how they express physical touch, it is important to be aware that what is “normal” to one child may feel inappropriate to another.  Here are some guidelines to help  you know what is appropriate:
     
    APPROPRIATE

    1. Physical Contact:

    • Non-demanding, gentle touch of shoulders, hands, arms, head, back;
    • Sitting child on knee (appropriate only at preschool age level and younger).

    2. Physical contact, which expresses affirmation and is not done for the satisfaction or pleasure of adult or leader.

    3. Hugs must be mutual with no resistance on the part of the student.

    INAPPROPRIATE

    1. Physical contact:

    • Kissing;
    • Demanding hugs and kisses;
    • Touching chest, genital region, upper legs, buttocks, stomach;
    • Sitting child in center of your lap;
    • Opposite sex piggy back rides;
    • Seductiveness or suggestive contact.

    2. Physical contact of any kind which is done for the pleasure or satisfaction of the adult of leader.

    3. Any touching used to express power or control over a student.


    G. Discipline Policy:  All interaction regarding discipline needs to carefully consider a student’s dignity and fragile life.   

    • Gentleness, respect, and understanding must guide all actions and words.
    • Discipline will be carried out through instruction, training, and correction.   
    • Physical punishment will not be used.   

    IV. Special Concerns for Student Ministry

    A. Volunteers:  Volunteers within student ministries must use check-in prior to serving in the ministry.   

    B. Driving: Volunteers or staff members driving students for ministry functions are to apply the two-adult rule whenever possible.  If two adults are not available, the volunteer or staff must have two or more students in the vehicle at all times, and the last two remaining students should be dropped off together to avoid a one-on-one situation with a minor.  A solitary student may be driven by their same gender leader only with parental permission.   

    • The driver must have a valid driver’s license and current automobile insurance.   
    • The number of persons per car must not exceed the number of seat belts.

    C. Student Contact: Phone calls, texting, Facebook and other forms of electronic communication can be a great method of building relationships with minors, especially teens.    

    • Volunteers or staff must obtain parental consent before initiating electronic or other methods of communication with students outside of ministry time.
    • Any one-on-one meetings between students and volunteers or staff must be with the prior approval of parents.  Such meetings must occur in public places.

    D. Dating: At no time shall anyone working with student pursue a dating relationship with a student.  Volunteers and staff should always be alert for and sensitive to “students’ crushes" and their own “emotional attachment” to particular students.  The danger is that emotional attraction can lead to physical expressions.  All intimate touches (including face or hands) are inappropriate.

    E. Open Door Policy: At no time should anyone working with a student have a one-on-one meeting behind closed doors unless a window allows unrestricted viewing into the room.  When possible, for your protection, keep the door at least partially open.

    F. Ministry reports: Volunteers and interns are required to submit, at least bi-monthly, a report designed to increase their self-awareness of important relationship dynamics and helpfully guide their ministry choices (Appendix I).  The appropriate pastor or director must review all reports and discuss any concerns with the volunteer or intern.  Major concerns should be directed first to the Team Pastor/Director and second to the Management Team.

    G. One-On-One Communication Outside Regular Church Setting: Communications with any student that are frequent or lengthy should be discouraged and not initiated unless for a particular pastoral reason, whether written or via any electronic media/device.  Communicating anonymously is prohibited.  Communications via any form of technology needs to be included in your regular ministry reports.

    H. Personal Disclosure:  While your own personal disclosures of the challenges and difficulties you’ve experienced can build rapport and trust and encourage students’ honest discussion of their life situations, they can also create an unhelpful and confusing emotional intimacy.  Your personal disclosures should be infrequent and brief and always for the benefit of the students not yourself.  Do not talk with students for your own support and guidance.  Any significant personal disclosures must be included in your regular ministry reports.

    I. Student Disclosure:  At times students (known, anonymous or new contacts) may reveal highly personal information.  You need not avoid such communication because it may be an opportunity for significant ministry.  But you cannot promise total confidentiality.  Everything significant needs to be reported to the pastor/director of your ministry area (sometimes ASAP not in your next ministry report) and some things may need to be discussed with others as well – e.g. suicidal thoughts, plans, attempts; past abuse or current risk of serious harm to self or others; dangerous activities.  While you can offer significant Christian care, you are not professional counselors.  It is important, therefore, at times

    • To get appropriate consultation with the pastor/director of your ministry area and the pastor of counseling;
    • To encourage students to speak to a counselor, the pastor of counseling, or another pastor, and
    • Not attempt to take the place of a trained counselor.

    J. Pornography:  It is totally inappropriate to show or view with a minor any form or medium of pornography.  Full efforts must be made to prevent any access to pornography on all offsite and overnight activities.

    VULNERABLE5 ADULT (ASK, CELEBRATE RECOVERY, GREENHOUSE, GRIEF SHARE, FRIENDSHIP BIBLE CLASS, AND STEPHEN MINISTERS)

    • 5 Any adult at or older than the age designated as an elder by applicable state law;
    • Any adult who is infirm or diminished in capacity due to age, illness, or disability;
    • Any adult who is ministered to in their home (by Pastoral Care Visitors, Stephen Ministers, or others);
    • Any adult who is wholly or partially dependent upon one or more other persons for emotional, psychological, or physical care or support, such dependency may be temporary as in the case of an accident, illness, or birth of a child; and
    • Any adult who by virtue of a crisis, experiences vulnerability leading to dependency on another or lacks agency in a pastoral relationship as in the wake of death of a family member or job loss.

    I. Staffing Guidelines

    A. All approved workers will have completed a screening process (outlined in Procedures)   

    B. Volunteers must have been involved with Christ Church for six months before being considered with the following exceptions:

    • The Volunteer is seeking to serve during the first eighteen (18) months of a new multisite AND
    • Has been referred by someone who has been involved with Christ Church for at least six months; OR
    • One of their references is from a pastor/staff member of their most recently attended church where they served in a relevant capacity.

    C. As paid employees of Christ Church, all staff who minister to our congregation will have completed their own staff screening process and all employees will submit to a Criminal Record Check.

    II. Monitoring and Supervision of Programs  

    A. All volunteers who minister to vulnerable adults and/or have pastoral relationships with others must have ongoing supervision. Ongoing supervision should consist of regular check-ins by the leader of the ministry. Such supervision shall review the scope, accountability, and responsibly of the ministry with the individuals engaged in the ministry. Each person engaged in such ministry should know how to contact their supervisor at all times.  

    B. Ministries shall maintain an up-to-date list of individuals and their contact information approved to minister to vulnerable adults and/or engage in pastoral relationships with others. This list shall be kept in the Ministry’s office or other place where records are securely kept.  

    C. Any individual ministering to vulnerable adults must document their visits, including time, place, and any observations or concerns. Such documentation is reviewed by the ministry supervisor. Confidentiality among lay ministers is required and all documentation is kept confidential. 

    III. Behavioral Standards for Ministry with Vulnerable Adults  

    A. All who work with vulnerable adults are expected to model patterns of healthy relationships. To this end, volunteers working with vulnerable adults shall:  

    • Take care not to unduly influence a person to whom they minister;  
    • Decline any gifts from those to whom they minister;  
    • Decline to accept loans of any kind from those to whom they minister;  
    • Decline to agree to be named as a beneficiary or to act as an administrator or executor in a will of anyone to whom they minister; and  
    • Inform Supervisor of anything that causes concern for the safety or wellbeing of those to whom they minister.  

    IV. All who minister to vulnerable adults are encouraged to: 

    A. Have ongoing spiritual practices, which might include daily prayer, regular participation in corporate worship, and Bible study;  

    B. Spend time with and listen to vulnerable adults, and advocate for their ministry within the Body of Christ;  

    C. Maintain healthy boundaries when sharing personal information;

    D. Participation in appropriate physical expressions of affection is permitted as long as they are initiated by the recipient. These may include:  

    • brief hugs;  
    • pats on the shoulder or back;  
    • handshakes; and
    • holding hands during prayer.

    V. Visits with Vulnerable Adults 

    A. It is important to create a safe space when meeting with vulnerable adults.  When creating a safe space, it is necessary to anticipate and avoid circumstances that could result in exposure of vulnerable adults to undue influence or exploitation. On-site and offsite settings for ministry pastoral relationships and conversations with vulnerable adults should include:  

    • When possible, volunteers should minister in pairs.  When not possible report to your supervisor as soon as possible.
    • Be in places where casual monitoring by others is convenient.

    VI. Visits to Private Residences

    A. The best practice is to visit in teams of two or more. If it is not possible for another adult minister to be present:

    • A member of a vulnerable adult’s household should be present.  
    • If neither is possible, documentation of the time, duration of visit, general matters discussed, and any pastoral concerns must be provided to their supervisor as soon as possible after the visit.

    B. Avoid situations that might compromise privacy; common examples include:

    • Visiting behind closed bedroom doors;
    • Sitting on the bed of the person being visited; or
    • Visiting a person while they are not fully clothed.

    VII. Visits to Residential Facilities

    A. Healthy boundaries are also essential when visiting a vulnerable adult in a Residential Facility. Best practices include:

    • Facility staff should be informed of the visitor’s presence;
    • If a visit takes place out of sight of staff, they should be notified in advance and informed when such meeting is concluded;
    • The door to a resident’s private room must remain open during visits;
    • Visitors should be mindful that LGBTQ+ residents may not be safe to express their sexual identity or orientation, as staff members may not yet have been trained; and

    B. In the event of uncertainty about application of this policy, the volunteer is encouraged to contact their Supervisor with the relevant queries.

    VIII. Recommended Practices and Guidelines for Social Media and Electronic Communications with Vulnerable Adults 

    A. Prudent judgment should be used regarding the time of day a vulnerable adult is contacted through social media. Under normal circumstances, refrain from contact or exchanging texts, chats, or emails before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, unless it’s an emergency.  

    B. When possible, send communications (1) to entire groups, (2) on an individual’s “wall,” or (3) in public spaces, rather than in private messages. This includes photos, images, and videos.  

    C. Disclose ongoing digital pastoral communications (i.e.: e-mails, Facebook messages, texting, etc.) with a vulnerable adult to a supervisor to determine when a referral to a professional provider or resource is needed.


    SPECIAL TEAMS (CAMPUS ASSURANCE AND SAFETY TEAM (C.A.S.T.), ACCOUNTING)

    I. Staffing Guidelines

    A. All approved workers will have completed a screening process (outlined in Procedures)   

    B. Volunteers must have been involved with Christ Church for six months before being considered with the following exceptions:

    • The Volunteer is seeking to serve during the first eighteen (18) months of a new multisite AND
    • Has been referred by someone who has been involved with Christ Church for at least six months; OR
    • One of their references is from a pastor/staff member of their most recently attended church where they served in a relevant capacity.

    C. As paid employees of Christ Church of Oak Brook, all staff who minister to our congregation will have completed their own staff screening process and all employees will submit to a Criminal Record Check.

    D. Those who volunteer on C.A.S.T., Accounting or exceptionally high trust positions will require a more extensive background check that includes a Criminal Record Check.

    II. Creating Safe Space for Ministry with the Congregation  

    A. To create a safe space, it is necessary to anticipate and avoid circumstances that could result in exposure of the congregation to undue influence or exploitation.  

    B. On-site and offsite settings for ministry with the congregation and conversations should be in places where casual monitoring by others is convenient.

    III. Behavioral Standards for Ministry with the Congregation  

    A. All who work with the congregation are expected to model the patterns of healthy relationships.  

    B. Volunteers working with the congregation shall:  

    • Take care not to unduly influence a person to whom they minister;  
    • Decline any gifts from those to whom they minister;  
    • Decline to accept loans of any kind from those to whom they minister;  
    • Decline to agree to be named as a beneficiary or to act as an administrator or executor in a will of anyone to whom they minister; and  
    • Inform Supervisor immediately of anything that causes concern for the safety or wellbeing of those to whom they minister.  

    IV. All who minister to the congregation are encouraged to:

    A. Have ongoing spiritual practices, which might include daily prayer, regular participation in corporate worship, and Bible study;  

    B. Spend time with and listen to vulnerable adults, and advocate for their ministry within the Body of Christ;  

    C. Participation in appropriate physical expressions of affection is permitted as long as they are initiated and welcomed by the recipient. These may include:  

    • brief hugs;  
    • pats on the shoulder or back;  
    • kisses on the cheek;  
    • handshakes;  
    • holding hands during prayer; and  
    • Maintain healthy boundaries when sharing personal information. 


    PROCEDURES
     
    1. VOLUNTEER SCREENING PROCEDURES (The interviews within any Ministry may happen concurrently with Volunteer approval process outlined below.  However, the Volunteer may not serve in any Ministry until all steps have been completed in their entirety.)

    A. Early Childhood, Children’s Ministries, and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

    1. Application (Appendix J)
    2. Interview
    3. References Checked (Appendix K)  
    4. Criminal Record/Background Check
    5. Online Video Training – passing test with 70% or higher
    6. Ministry Interview
    7. Ministry orientation and training

    B. Middle and High School Ministries

    1. Application (Appendix J)
    2. Interview  
    3. References Checked (Appendix K)
    4. Criminal Record/Background Check
    5. Online Video Training - passing test with 70% or higher
    6. Ministry Interview
    7. Ministry Program Observation – four weeks
    8. Final interview
    9. Total Involvement

    C. Music Conservatory Teachers

    1. Application (Appendix J)
    2. Interview
    3. References Checked (Appendix K)
    4. Criminal Record/Background Check
    5. Online Video Training – passing test with 70% or higher
    6. Ministry Interview
    7. Ministry orientation and training

    D. Volunteers Serving Friendship Bible Class

    1. Application (Appendix J)
    2. Interview  
    3. References Checked (Appendix K)
    4. Criminal Record/Background Check
    5. Online Video Training - passing test with 70% or higher
    6. Ministry Program Observation – minimum 2 weeks
    7. Final interview
    8. Total Involvement

    E. Volunteers Serving Vulnerable individuals and the Congregation

    1. Interview/conversation with ministry leadership
    2. Application (Appendix J)
    3. References Checked (Appendix K) 
    4. Criminal Record/Background Check (10 year statewide search)
    5. Online Video Training – passing test with 70% or higher
    6. Ministry orientation and training

    F. References:   

    1. At least two references should be checked from a previous congregation or organization where a volunteer has worked with children, student, elderly or as appropriate for ministry where they will be serving.  If the volunteer has been a member of Christ Church for two years, the references may be from Christ Church.   
    2. A volunteer is considered approved when they have filled out the appropriate application, the screening procedures related to the volunteer have been completed in their entirety, the volunteer has been orientated on the Protection Policy's procedures outlined in this document, and the volunteer has been notified in person of his/her approved status.

    G. Annual Renewal Application:  

    1. Annually, Christ Church requires all volunteers serving under this policy to reaffirm that their life circumstances have not changed in ways that may negatively impact their ministry.   
    2. This is done with an Annual Renewal Application (Appendix L) which asks about the same matters included in the Confidential Part II of their initial application.  If a volunteer has not renewed their application for three years or more, the volunteer will need to go through the approval process as if they were volunteering for the first time.

    2. OUR RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT

    A. Reporting the Abuse

    1. All volunteers and employees of Christ Church shall immediately report to the Minister/Director of their Ministry Area any allegations or suspicions of abuse or neglect of minor children or student (0-18 years old), or vulnerable adults, which they become aware of during their duties at Christ Church.  If the appropriate Minister/Director is unavailable (or if the allegation or suspicion involves them), all allegations or suspicions shall be immediately reported to the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team.
       
    2. A report is called for if a child, student or vulnerable individual:
      • Verbally complains about, or mentions in passing, specific acts of neglect or abuse (physical, sexual, or verbal) or exposure to sexual activity, pornography or abuse of others;
      • Verbally complains about, or mentions in passing, vague references to having to do bad things or having bad things/secret things done to him or her;
      • Alludes to abuse or neglect in writing, in prayer requests, or in drawings;
      • Has an injury (e.g. a patch of missing hair, a burn or a bruise) that can’t be adequately explained or which the child attempts to hide or deny;  
      • Has an inordinate number of explained injuries;
      • Has an age inappropriate interest in or knowledge of sexual matters or acting out of sexual behavior;
      • Is frequently dirty or smelly or inadequately dressed, has bad teeth or hair falling out, is undernourished, does not receive appropriate medical care for injuries;
      • Reports or evidences difficulty urinating or discomfort sitting;
      • Reports or evidences an atypical fear or discomfort of being with particular people.
         
    3. All allegations or suspicions of abuse or neglect shall be kept confidential and be discussed only with the appropriate persons indicated in this Protection Policy.  Once reported, the volunteer or employee of Christ Church shall complete and submit a “Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect” Form (Appendix M).  These Forms are available from the Minister/Director of each Ministry Area, the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team.

    B. Responding to an Individual

    1. If and when an individual first speaks to you about abuse or neglect, be sure to take his/her word seriously.  Don’t deny or minimize the problem.  Stay calm and listen.  Offer emotional reassurance that it was right to tell you and that it is okay to talk about what may be bothering them.  Do not promise you will not tell anyone.  If the individual asks, tell with whom you will discuss the problem.
    2. As a volunteer or employee of Christ Church, it is not your responsibility to interrogate the individual, to get “all the facts” or to attempt to substantiate any allegation or suspicion of abuse or neglect.  Your responsibility is to listen, to ask a few questions so you have some understanding of what the child has said to you, to offer reassurance that it is okay to talk about what’s bothering the individual, and to immediately report your concern to the Minister/Director of your Ministry Area.  The Minister/Director of the Ministry Area will then complete their own form (Appendix N).  Both forms are to be given to the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team.  

    C. Review Committee

    1. When a report has been made and the “Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect” Forms have been completed, the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team will be informed, our Insurer’s Claim Team will be called, and the Review Committee assembled.   
    2. The Review Committee shall consist of the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team, an attorney, a physician, and, on a pro tem basis, the Minister/Director of the Ministry Area in which the allegation or suspicion was reported.
    3. The Review Committee will make an assessment within twenty-four hours, and make a recommendation of what steps should be taken to the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team. The Review Committee should lean toward outside consultation and reporting of all alleged misconduct – especially if the alleged misconduct was by a staff person. Only the Review Committee has the authority to terminate the process of investigation and intervention.  
    4. The Senior Pastor and all members of the Management Team, the Director/Pastor who submitted Suspicion Form O and their direct supervisor, and our Insurer shall be given copies of the suspicion forms, and informed of the initial assessment of the Review Committee.  
    5. Only those persons designated by the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team will be authorized to speak to any outside consultants or agencies (e.g. Insurer or the Department of Child and Family Services), the alleged abuser and victim and their families, to the Christ Church community, the press or the community at large about any allegations or suspicions of abuse.
    6. All those authorized by the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team will comply with Illinois law regarding mandatory reporting of suspected abuse or neglect and will cooperate with any state or local investigations and the agents of our Insurer.
    7. Unless the parent or legal guardian of the individual may be involved in the alleged abuse or neglect, the parent or legal guardian will be notified and pastoral care offered to all those affected.
    8. Any employee or volunteer who may be involved in the alleged abuse or neglect will be immediately relieved of any ministry responsibilities that involve children, student or vulnerable individuals.
    9. Any employee or volunteer not found innocent of the alleged abuse or neglect will be removed from their ministry with children, student or vulnerable individuals.

    D. Summary of Responsibilities

    1.  Volunteer or employee

    • Respond to the individual (see section B above)
    • Report to the Director/Minister of your Ministry Area  
    • Complete Form O “Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect” and give to the Director/Minister of your Ministry Area
    • Keep the identity of the child, the conversations, and the report CONFIDENTIAL

    2. Director/Minister of the Ministry Area

    • Discuss Form P and the interaction of the volunteer or employee with the individual
    • Complete Form P and give Forms O and P to the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team.
    • Keep the identity of the child, the conversations, and the reports CONFIDENTIAL

    3. The Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team

    • Notifies the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team of the concern and give copies of Forms O and P
    • Calls our Insurer’s Claim Team
    • Assembles the Review Committee
    • Informs the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team of the initial assessment of the Review Committee
    • Gives copies of his Final Report to members of the Review Committee, the Senior Pastor and other members of the Management Team  
    • Keeps the identity of the individual, the conversations, and the reports CONFIDENTIAL

    4. Review Committee (see section C.2 above)

    • Make an initial assessment within 24 hours
    • Make a recommendation of what steps should be taken to the Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team
    • Keep the identity of the individual, the conversations, the reports, the assessment and the recommendations CONFIDENTIAL

    5. Senior Pastor or another member of the Management Team

    • Make final decision of what steps should be taken
    • Authorize as appropriate persons to speak to any outside consultants or agencies (e.g. the Department of Child and Family Services), the alleged abuser and victim and their families, to the Christ Church community, the press or the community at large about any allegations or suspicions of abuse


    DEFINITIONS:

    Adult: For the purposes of this Policy, Christ Church defines an adult as age 21 or older.

    Bullying: Behavior that intimidates, humiliates, offends, degrades, or harms another person, whether verbal, psychological, social, physical, or otherwise.
     
    Disability:  Something that hampers, hinders, or prevents one’s ability to perform a task because of mental or physical impairment through natural deterioration, chronic disease, birth defect, or traumatic injury.
     
    Mandated Reporter: A person who is required by state law to report reasonable suspicions of abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of vulnerable populations to the appropriate state agency. State laws vary greatly. Generally, state law mandates that either all adults or adults in certain professions report suspected abuse of elders, vulnerable, and/or dependent adults. It is imperative to know the requirements of applicable state laws. Typically, individuals who are not mandated to report suspicion of abuse may make a report to the appropriate state agency, even though not legally required to do so.  
     
    Off-Site: Any location other than Christ Church Oak Brook or other Christ Church campus.
     
    Overnight: Any event that starts on one calendar day and ends on a different calendar day.
     
    Protection Policy Ministry Liaison:  the person in any Christ Church ministry designated as being accountable for compliance with this policy for an event or program.  
     
    Residential Facility:
    Any institutional or group home setting where a vulnerable adult resides on a permanent or temporary basis such as a nursing home, rehabilitation center, assisted living facility, treatment center, or memory care facility.  
    Specialized Training: 
    A standard of additional training that equips people who participate in or have oversight responsibility for ministries.  In addition to Universal Training, a person will have access to training that is specialized and tailored to their role and ministry function.  Depending on role and responsibility, Specialized Training should include:

    • The prevention, identification, and response to all forms of abuse and neglect, including financial exploitation;
    • Mandated and voluntary reporting of suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults;
    • Vulnerability within the pastoral relationship;
    • The needs of individual who often struggle to find care or residential facilities adequately
    • The ways that vulnerable adults can engage is self-advocacy.

    Training:  organized activity designed to provide information and/or instructions to strengthen and enhance the recipient’s understanding, capacity, and exercise of ministry.

    Universal Training:  A standard of training that will foster a culture of safety and inclusion for all people that includes a broad overview of issues of vulnerability, power, and healthy boundaries.  This training is designed to equip all Christians.
     
    Vulnerable Adult:

    • Any adult at or older than the age designated as an elder by applicable state law;
    • Any adult who is infirm or diminished in capacity due to age, illness, or disability;
    • Any adult who is ministered to in their home (by Pastoral Care Visitors, Stephen Ministers, or others);
    • Any adult who is wholly or partially dependent upon one or more other persons for emotional, psychological, or physical care or support, such dependency may be temporary as in the case of an accident, illness, or birth of a child; and
    • Any adult who by virtue of a crisis, experiences vulnerability leading to dependency on another or lacks agency in a pastoral relationship as in the wake of death of a family member or job loss.

    I have read, understand and promise to follow and obey the Christ Church Protection Policy.  I promise to report immediately any deviations (whether personally observed or heard about) from the Protection Policy to the Director/Pastor of my ministry area, the Senior Pastor or any member of the Management Team.    
     
    Signature ___________________________________
    Date _________________
    Printed name ________________________________
    Ministry Area _________________________________
    Director/Pastor of ministry area (witness)
    ________________________________________________________
     
    It is the responsibility of the Human Resources Director (in coordination with the directors/pastors of each ministry area) to ensure:

    1) that all paid staff and volunteers are aware of the Protection Policy and have signed the above pledge,  

    2) that each September and January the Elders of Christ Church approve all new volunteers in the MOPS, Early Childhood, Children’s and Youth Ministries, and

    3) that the staff of the Music Conservatory, Pre-school, Early Childhood, Children’s, Student Ministries, Vulnerable Ministries (ASK, Celebrate Recovery, Friendship Bible Class, Grief Share and Stephen Ministers), Campus Assurance and Safety Team and Accounting Teams cooperate and meet with representatives of the Protection Policy Audit team (typically in September, January and May) to celebrate and pray for their ministries and to consider any challenges or questions there may be about the content or implementation of the Protection Policies.