Attend the Leadership and Congregation Training on New Pennsylvania Child Protection Law
In an effort to strengthen our church communities to be safe spaces for our children and youth, and to move toward compliance with the new Pennsylvania child protection law, Franconia Mennonite Conference and Eastern District Conference are joining with Bucks County NOVA (www.novabucks.org) to offer a crucial training for churches – “Child Protective Services Training”. We as a church have an obligation and an opportunity to ensure our child protection policies and culture are at their best. This is why the Franconia Conference Ministerial Committee strongly recommends that credentialed leaders attend one of the seminars. In addition, it is advised that each congregation have a representative or team there as well.
This training seminar will be held twice: Wednesday, May 13, 9:30-12:00 noon and Wednesday, May 20, 7-9:30 pm at Towamencin Mennonite Church, 1980 Sumneytown Pike, Kulpsville. To register for the training click go to http://franconiaconference.org/rsvp/.
This new legislation impacts both volunteers and paid staff responsible for caring for children in regularly scheduled programs, activities, or services including Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, Christian Education leaders, pastors, church staff, nursery staff, and Christian nurture leaders. Therefore it is encouraged that your congregation send a team of persons to this training, both staff and volunteers.
This training will:
- Increase knowledge of who is classified as a mandated reporter and what those responsibilities are under the new Child Protective Services Law.
- Increase probability of suspecting child abuse when there is “reasonable cause.”
- Increase knowledge of procedure for reporting of child abuse to child protective services.
- Include conversation with other churches regarding best practices.
- Educate and prepare our communities to deal with and prevent child sexual abuse.
- Teach the steps to help prevent abuse, recognize warning signs, and react responsibly when abuse occurs.
Some churches are already taking steps to address the new law while others are still trying to determine how to best implement the new requirements. We will hear from a few of our congregations who have already made strides to address the requirements of the new law and will discuss ways in which your congregation can continue to ensure the safety and well-being of our children and youth. We look forward to seeing you at the Child Protective Services Training as we all work together to strengthen our church communities to be safe spaces for our children and youth.