Prevention Manual for KKI and YWAM International

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Child Protection, a manual designed to help us to do our part to protect the children of this generation. KKI = King's Kids International


This manual has been compiled with the help of several individuals including the contributions of some professionals who have generously donated their time. We would like to thank Philip Blakely, Ph.D., H. Wayne Light, Ph.D., Reverend Charles Gregg, Reverend Dan Sneed, and Teo v.d. Weele. Michele O'Donnell, Psy.D. created the first rough draft of this manual. Dale Kauffman, Director of King's Kids International, Floyd McClung, International Executive Director of Youth With A Mission and Jane Overstreet, Legal Counsel for Youth With A Mission, also made contributions.

The International Operations Council of Youth With A Mission approved the rough draft of the manual in October of 1991. The final draft was distributed to the Regional Directors of Youth With A Mission for them to distribute to all of the other leaders within Youth With A Mission in January of 1992 for the purpose of distribution and implementation.

--Jane Overstreet


Our commitment within Youth With A Mission to the children and young people of the world is reflected in the growing number of children, pre teen and teenager focused ministries that are developing around the world. These ministries range from rescue and rehabilitation programs with street children involving such expressions as orphanages and community centers to various types of educational and discipleship programs in the context of schools, homes, Churches and communities. Hundreds of thousands of children and young people of all ages and backgrounds are being ministered on a daily basis in over 200 different nations. In addition to our commitment to their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development, we are responsible to protect the children and young people who have been entrusted to our care from anything that would seek to exploit or hurt them.

This manual will help us to make us more aware of child abuse. It will show us, what we can do to prevent it and to help children who have been abused. It has both practice guidelines and procedures related to: a) the selection and training of personnel working with children, b) the program structure of children's ministries, c) emergency issues and d) post-emergency concerns in the event of any alleged abuse or maltreatment of children.

You may be wondering why a manual like this is needed. Unfortunately, child abuse is a growing phenomenon in the world. The number of reported incidents of child abuse continues to grow and the offenders often deny their guilt and repeat their offenses. In some countries there are legal obligations in addition to our spiritual and ethical responsibility to children. It is in the children's best interest, as well as our own, to do all we can to select people who are the best suited to work with children and to train staff in the prevention and detection of abuse. We want to do all we can to reflect God's love for children.

Youth With A Mission has set the highest standards possible for those leading, teaching and caring for children in our programs. YWAM staff, leaders and caregivers working with children are expected to adhere to those standards at all times and under all conditions. Physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment are totally unacceptable forms of behavior in all of our programs. Anyone involved in any of these types of behavior will be disciplined accordingly and may be subject to criminal action. Under no circumstances will we allow a convicted or confessed child abuser to work with children in any of our programs.

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is generally defined as the act of inflicting injury or allowing injury to result due to physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse or emotional maltreatment. Physical abuse and severe neglect are more easily recognized than the subtle and less obvious injuries resulting from emotional maltreatment or sexual abuse. All forms of abuse, however, endanger or impair a child's emotional and physical well-being and development.

Below are more specific indicators for each category or abuse:

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse refers to any non-accidental physical injury to a child. Examples of physical abuse include bruises, burning, punching, kicking and throwing. Locations; buttocks, back of arms and hands (defense wounds). People physically abusing hit where it doesn't show. Spoon used to hit top of head (called spoon trick) actually taught in some churches.

Indicators of physical abuse in a child include the following: facial injuries with implausible or no explanations; unexplained bruises, bite marks, burns, welts, fractures or lacerations, often in various stages of healing; and swelling or unexplained restricted movement. Usually bruises in the stomach, back, or back of thighs are more suspect than those occurring on the arms and legs of young children.

Physical Neglect

Physical Neglect is commonly defined as a parent's (or caretaker's) persistent inattention to the child's basic needs, which is not due to poverty or a lack of resources. Conditions existing which may indicate neglect include: non-organic failure to thrive in young children, signs or malnutrition (sunken cheeks, very thin, unexplained fainting, bloated stomach, etc.), poor personal hygiene (always dirty, smells bad), inadequately dressed for weather, unattended medical conditions (burns, bites, toothaches), always hungry or sleepy, insect bites and skin rashes.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse occurs "when an adult or older child initiates an interaction with a child for the purpose of sexually stimulating or gratifying the perpetrator or other person" (Edward, 1986). Forms of sexual abuse include genital fondling, fondling, over clothes or skin to skin, place most common for touch, soft skin on the inside of the thighs, buttocks, exhibitionism, rape, incest, and/or sexual exploitation (involvement of children in pornography or prostitution). Sexual abuse may manifest itself through a broad range of physical, behavioral, and social indicators. See Appendix A for a further explanation of these indicators.

Emotional Maltreatment

Emotional Maltreatment is difficult to prove and accumulative documentation by witnesses is essential. It often requires a professional to recognize. Laypersons should not be too quick to conclude that it exists, especially in a setting that includes differing cultures.

Emotional maltreatment includes both emotional abuse and neglect which can cripple a child emotionally, behaviourally, and intellectually. Adults may subject children to emotional abuse with verbal assaults (e.g., belittling, screaming, threats, blaming, sarcasm), unpredictable responses (i.e., inconsistency), constant family or marital discord, continuous negative moods, and double message communication. Emotional deprivation may result when parents or caretakers fail to provide the "normal experiences producing feelings of being loved, wanted, secure, and worthy." Children are at risk for deprivation when parents or caretakers ignore them due to drugs or alcohol use, psychological problems, personal problems, or other preoccupying situations.

Screening and Training for Potential Child Workers


The following section covers guidelines for the application process including the written application, references and reference checks, and the review team. An essential part of screening is knowing what "red flags" to look for, in order to be alert to those applicants who may be at risk to be child abusers. Various "red flags" are discussed with this goal in mind.


It is important, in those cultures where it is legally possible, to have individuals applying to work in children's programs sign a full waiver for the references and background check done on them stating they will never ask to see the material gathered (see Appendix B for a sample waiver acceptable in the U.S.). A full background check is recommended, including police checks. This process will also help "self-screen" persons with an unhealthy interest in children. After a decision is made to accept or reject them, the information from the background check must be shredded. (This is important to protect the applicants right to privacy.)

Application Forms

  1. Application forms should start with a paragraph containing our philosophy of working with children. This gives us freedom in the interview process and in dismissing people promptly if a problem arises.
  2. Preface questions with the statement that all questions are routine and for the benefit of the children. It is helpful for applicants to know up front that this is part of the normal process.
  3. Include a written statement regarding our policy of automatically relieving a worker of their responsibility until an investigation has been conducted, if a reasonable accusation of child abuse is made.
  4. Use as the last question, "Is there anything else you feel like you need to tell us about yourself? This gives the applicant opportunity to bring things out that they may have not felt comfortable putting anywhere else on the application. This should also be done in the verbal interview, to allow the applicant to bring out anything they may not have been comfortable putting in writing.

(See Appendix C for a sample application used by one church in the U.S.)


  1. Ask for no less than three. Then follow up these three, asking at least one of them for three more people that know the applicant. In this way the review team also has information that is not controlled by the applicant. Include a box in the reference forms asking if there is anything else they want to mention, but would rather talk about by telephone.

Review Team

  1. Consider a team of five persons to review applications: a professional counselor or psychologist, a pastor, and three committed YWAMers. Whenever possible, interview applicants in person.


  1. Reject unwanted applicants with the phrase, "Other applicants were more qualified." This protects those who filled out references.

Red Flags

When any of the following characteristics fit the profile of an applicant, do more in depth references and checks, or consider a rejection. Reference forms should cover all the areas mentioned below.

Personalities predisposed to all types of abuse often display:

  • History of childhood abuse
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low impulse control
  • Low tolerance to stress
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Feelings of helplessness/inadequacy, a fear of rejection
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse

Personalities disposed to physical abuse tend to be:

  • Rigid/angry
  • Authoritarian and prone to over discipline
  • Unrealistic in their expectations of what is age-appropriate in children
  • Experiencing emotional stress in marriage and/or job

Pedophiles (child molesters) display the following characteristics:

  • Strong tendency of denial regarding child abuse
  • 85% are unmarried males (although can be female) age 20 to 40
  • Tend to be "loners"
  • Usually immature with poor peer relationships
  • Are trusted by parents of the child
  • 75-85% are known to and trusted by child(ren) they abuse
  • Have few outside interests other than children


Everyone in our mission can benefit from training in the prevention of child abuse. There are, however, three general groups of people for whom it is essential: those applying to work or those currently working with children, parents, and the children. While the mission can recommend materials resources, and at times provide assistance, it is felt the training of children is the responsibility of their parents. (See Appendix C for recommended resources for parents. Why should we require training for our staff? Most importantly, to protect children. We should raise an awareness of potential problems in order to avoid them. It can also serve as a means to "self-screen" potential offenders if they realize they are being looked for. Further, by knowing how to identify symptoms of various types of trauma in children, we can be more effective in our ministry to the "smaller half" of the world. Training teaches us what to do in emergencies so that we can act swiftly and effectively. (See Appendix E for possible training materials.)

Program Structure

The following are general guidelines for structuring children's programs. If these guidelines are not already a part of your program structure, please incorporate them.

  1. Use a team ministry approach. It is a safeguard as well as an effective ministry tool to have staff members work together in teams.
  2. Have people free who can roam and be available to check on how children and staff are doing.
  3. It should be policy that staff members not spend time one on one alone with children during the times in between structured group activities. If a staff person needs to talk to a child alone, it is necessary to do it in view of others or to consult with the team leader regarding the circumstances.
  4. Preschoolers should be signed in and out by the registered parent or guardian.
  5. For sleeping and washroom arrangements, follow the strict policies used in King's Kids. (See Appendix F)
  6. Children participating in YWAM programs must be supervised at all times by staff.

Pre-Emergency Steps

  1. Develop relationships with trusted professional counselors and/or psychologists outside of YWAM in your community that you can call on if an emergency arises. They can be a valuable resource in providing the supportive advice needed in a crisis situation. This is a very important measure and should be done immediately if such relationships have not yet been developed.
  2. Find out what the legal requirements are in your area for reporting cases of child abuse.
  3. Find out how local authorities would respond if a team made up of several different nationalities, that was passing through your area, had a case of reported child abuse. Think through various potential scenarios related to this possibility.

Steps to Take in Case of an Emergency

An emergency exists, suspected, alleged of, and is a fact if child abuse or molestation has been reasonably alleged or in fact has occurred. Be familiar with the procedures below so that you can be prepared in the event of an emergency It is the responsibility of every YWAM national board to adapt these guidelines in conjunction with the local laws. Note that they are written for emergencies involving charges brought against a staff person. They also apply, however, to cases of suspected abuse within YWAM.

  1. When any accusation is brought, contact the appropriate YWAM leader. There may be more than one leader who needs to be contacted in a Matrix situation. This would include base and national leaders.
  2. Let the leader/leaders determine whether the accusation is reasonable. (If there is any question about the reasonableness of an accusation, a professional counselor or psychologist should be consulted.) They will then determine the course of action to follow including all of the steps below. They will determine the order of the steps that is most appropriate based on the circumstances of the situation and the laws of the countries involved. They will make every effort to safeguard the confidentiality of the parties.
  3. Call an outside expert for an evaluation. (Hopefully this is one of those with whom you have developed a relationship.) This indicates our serious intent with the child protective agencies, parents, and others. It also allows an objective person to evaluate the accusation.
  4. If the expert believes the accusation is valid, include their written evaluation with your report to local authorities.


  1. Inform the accused staff person of the abuse allegations if they are unaware and help him or her find a place of pastoral care outside the situation. The person must be removed immediately from any position of responsibility or ministry with children (as stated in our application---see Appendix G for further suggestions on crisis management).
  2. Inform the parents and show compassion. State the situation is a serious charge that has been reviewed immediately by a professional and turned over to the police. Explain that the law required this to be done as well as YWAM policy. Do not be defensive or allege the person's guilt. Let them know that the child's welfare is our priority and that we want to work together with them to discover the truth. Serve them in every way possible. Realize they will experience shock, anger, denial, and mistrust. Give them the latitude to express a range of emotions from anger to gratitude.
  3. Inform the pastor of the family and ask for input and assistance. Explain what has been done.
  4. Inform the base, national, and regional YWAM directors of the abuse allegations and the staff member involved. Keep the child's and family's name confidential in these communications.
  5. If more than one family is involved, do not bring all the families together. Promote factual information. Do not be defensive or alarmist. Show concern for the families.
  6. Parents need lots of communication and support. Keep them informed of what steps are being taken in the process; let them know with whom you are in communication and for what reasons. Help them realize their child can and will recover from the trauma with the proper support and needed attention. (See Appendix G for further suggestions on how and what to communicate in crisis situations.)
  7. Strongly encourage the parents to have the child get a physical examination as soon as possible. This most often is therapeutic, especially in cases of sexual abuse, as it can directly alleviate the victim's concern over being "damaged for life." It also provides legal protection if, for instance, five years later a victim files a suit claiming that current problems are related to the incident.
  8. Allow the civil authorities to determine guilt or innocence. Recognize that it is our duty to report the allegations and support/serve the involved parties, not investigate. Taking on the latter responsibility could seriously confuse matters.
  9. Ecclesiastical Responsibility. If the civil authorities do not determine guilt or innocence, volunteer to appoint a group of objective Christians to weigh the charges and bring their judgment on the accusation. There remains an ecclesiastical responsibility to respond to the serious charge of sin and immorality of one Christian against another, which must not be ignored. (See Appendix H for guidelines for this step.)
  10. If the person is deemed guilty by the civil authorities and/or the ecclesiastical process, then we should report the charges to others in the body of Christ to whom the accused is related.

In the above process, keep in mind all of the following factors:

  • Be careful of your language. Call the charges "allegations".
  • Document everything you do, including all communications when and with whom, even if it is only notations in your own diary.
  • Protect the identity of the accused and the allegedly abused person. Confidentiality is your responsibility.

YWAM leaders directly involved in handling the crisis should not be counseling the accused person. Keep in mind that the Christian community has great potential for helping to restore an individual who is guilty of abuse. Responding in revulsion and anger works against helping the individual deal with the sin they have committed. Educating congregations or support groups with respect to the various dynamics involved in cases of abuse or molestation may help them to be more compassionate. This in turn may encourage openness and honesty on the part of the offender.

Educate the local YWAM staff as to how to respond in this situation. Use the opportunity to teach and instruct in the following areas:

  1. Neutrality is very important. They must not judge. Do not say anything that prejudices anyone against either party.
  2. Do not take on another's offense. If it is determined that the accused is not guilty, explain on whose authority that has been determined. If guilt has been determined show compassion and do not judge. Explain the danger of taking on another's offense.
  3. Admonish the YWAM community against gossip. Tell what did and did not happen. Tell them not to judge or discuss the matter. It will only bring more hurt into the situation. Explain the importance of confidentiality.

Post-Emergency Concerns

After dealing with the initial crisis as outlined above, many post emergency needs and issues will arise in the days and months that follow. Most of these will be dealt with in counseling sessions if the people are involved with a counselor. However, it is useful for those providing pastoral care and support to know some of the issues that a family experiences, so that they can be more effective as a member of the caring team.

  1. Assist families in obtaining the help of a counselor. A professional experienced in the treatment of child abuse (this may be the expert who does the evaluation) can recommend the best type of counseling, i.e., family, group, individual, or a combination. In addition, let people know of any support groups in the community specifically for families coping with the post trauma affects of abuse.
  2. Coordinate an official statement to dispel rumors by clarifying what did and did not happen. Protect the confidentiality of the names and identity of the individuals involved, both alleged and actual victim and abuser.
  3. Keep records of everything related to the incident, including a file of all correspondence, even if it is handwritten notes of phone calls. Maintain these records for at least five years.
  4. Deal wisely with the media. Do not seek media attention, however, if they become involved, clarify that the matter is out of our hands and in the hands of the civil authorities, and that we are involved in seeking help and pastoring for all parties involved.


  • Appendix A--Behavioral Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Appendix B--Sample Waiver
  • Appendix C--Sample Application
  • Appendix D--Resource Materials for Parents and Families
  • Appendix E--Possible Training Materials
  • Appendix F--King's Kids Guidelines
  • Appendix G--Crisis Management
  • Appendix H--Guidelines for Appointing a Neutral Team of Christians to judge an Accusation of Child Abuse brought against an individual associated with Youth With A Mission.

Appendix A--behavioral Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse

Although the presence of some of these indicators may be helpful, they are not conclusive. Nevertheless, any professional person who works with children and observes these behavioral indicators has an obligation to ask if sexual abuse is occurring. Many of these behaviors are found in incest victims, although not a direct result of the incest activity. These behavioral issues need to be noted. In-group activities, watch for an increase or decrease in the behaviors described below.

  1. Overly compliant behavior.
  2. Acting out, aggressive behavior towards self or others.
  3. Pseudomature behavior.
  4. Use of sexual terminology.
  5. Hints about sexual activity
  6. Persistent and inappropriate sexual play with peers or toys or with themselves or sexually aggressive behavior with others. Simulating or actual sexual acts with self or others.
  7. Detailed and age-inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior (especially by young children).
  8. Arriving early at school and leaving late with few, if any absences.
  9. Poor peer relationships or inability to make friends.
  10. Lack of trust, particularly with significant others.
  11. Inability to concentrate at school.
  12. Sudden drop in school performance.
  13. Extraordinary fears of males (in cases of male perpetrator and female victim).
  14. Seductive behavior. Lots of cleavage, low back outfits, mini skirts, no underwear, sitting with legs spread to attract attention.
  15. Running away from home.
  16. Sleep disturbance. Not able to sleep at night (they are waiting for him to come down the hall to have sex with them). Nightmares. Sleeping in daytime.
  17. Regressive behavior. Acting younger and younger, less and less mature. This takes place in a very short period of time.
  18. Withdrawal. Stopping or pulling away from peer and adult relationships. It means staying alone in your room, eating alone.
  19. Clinical depression.
  20. Suicidal feelings. Threats or talk about suicide.

The children brought to DSU may have experienced a wide range of abuse from very minor, one-or-two incidents to prolonged extensive abuse. As we work with the children in-group, we must not make assumptions about the molest. We need to know the details. Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Program - Department of Social Services San Diego County

Appendix B Statement of Disclosure, Waiver and Release of Information

I, (print name)__________________________________________________agree to participation in this evaluation, and also give Youth With A Mission full and complete permission to disclose and release any and all information obtained through the application, the references, and the interview to those evaluating whether or not I am the best applicant to work in the role for which I am applying.

I agree that any information obtained through the references, application, and interview may be discussed by those evaluating whether or not I should be accepted for the position for which I am applying within YWAM.

I hereby waive all rights to privileged information. I release and hold free Youth With A Mission from any liability as a result of this evaluation.

I understand and agree that the results of this evaluation will not be discussed with me, and I understand that Youth With A Mission is the sole owner of this information, and that this information will not be shared with me at a later date.

I hereby waive any rights to privileged information contained in this evaluation. I understand that the interview, the references, and the application are not confidential.

I completely re-affirm, in its entirety, my above statement and agreement.



Appendix C Sample Application

Application for Children/Youth Work in Youth With A Mission

This application is to be completed by all applicants for any position involving the supervision or custody of children. It is being used to help YWAM provide a safe and secure environment for those children and youth who participate in our programs and use our facilities. This information is confidential and to be used only by authorized staff. It should be kept in a locked file.

Date: ______________________________________Age: __________________

Name: ____________________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________

(street) (city) (country)

Phone: ____________________________________________________________

(home) (work)

What type of children/youth work are you applying for? ___________________

Are you willing to commit to orientation, training and supervision?

Yes _________________ No _____________

Marital Status: Married ________Single _________Separated __________

Divorced _______Widowed ­­­­­­_______Engaged __________

Do you have any physical handicaps or conditions preventing certain types of activities?

Yes ________________ No _____________

If yes, please explain ___________________________________________________

Have you read YWAM's policies for children/youth workers?

Yes _________________________ No _____________________

Are you in agreement with these policies?

Yes ____________ No ___________

If not, why? _________________________________________________________

Have you ever been reported by another person to the police or legal authorities in any country for child abuse, endangerment or neglect?

Yes __________ No ______

If yes, please explain ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Are you a Christian? _______________

When saved? __________________________

Name of church of which you are a member: _________________________________

List other churches you have attended regularly during the last five years. (Names and addressed)


How long have you been in YWAM? ________________________________________

List all previous involvement with church youth groups or YWAM youth or other youth organizations. Identify church/organization and type of work.

List any gifts, callings, training, education, or other factors that have prepared you for children/youth work.

Staff or elders who know you -- personal references:

Name: ________________________________ Name: ___________________________

Address: _______________________________Address: _________________________

_______________________________________ _________________________

Country: _______________________________ Country: _______________________

Phone: _________________________________ Phone: _________________________

I agree to my references being contacted. Yes _______________ No______________

If not, why? _____________________________________________________________

Applicant's Statement

The information contained in this application is correct to the best of my knowledge. I authorize any reference or church listed in this application to give you any information they may have regarding my character and fitness for children/youth work, and I release all such references from liability for any damage that may result from furnishing such evaluations to you.

Signature: ____________________________Date: _______________________

Should my application be accepted, I agree to be bound by the policies of Youth With A Mission, and refrain from unscriptural conduct in the performance of my work on behalf of YWAM.

Signature: _____________________________Date: _______________________



Record of YWAM contact with a Reference or Church identified by an Applicant for Youth or Children's Work.

  1. Name: _________________________________________________________
  2. Reference or church contacted. (If a church, identify both the church and minister contacted.)____________________________________________
  3. Date and time of contact _________________________________________
  4. Person contacting the reference or church _________________________
  5. Method of contact (e.g. telephone, personal conversation)_____________
  6. Questions to ask reference
    1. Has he/she been born again? Yes__________ No ____________
    2. Does he/she verbalize and demonstrate in their life a commitment to the Lord? Yes _______ No __________
    3. Any reason why you would not have him/her as a volunteer in ministry or staff position in your organization? Yes _____ No ______ If yes, why? ____________________________________________________
    4. If you know, does this person have a problem or has had a problem with alcohol, illegal drugs or domestic violence? ______________________
    5. Have you ever known them to work or have a ministry with children? Yes ­­­­_____________ No _____________ If yes, in what capacity? ___________________________________________________
    6. Have you ever reported this person for child abuse? Yes ____ No ___
    7. Have you any knowledge that they have been reported? Yes____No___
    8. Do they take training well? Yes _______ No _______ Not sure ______
    9. What areas of training would you recommend for them? Does this person drive and do they have a safe driving record? ______

Signature _______________________________Date _________________

Appendix D Resource Materials for Parents and Families

  1. Child Abuse! What You Can Do About It by Angela R. Carl; OH: Standard Publishing, 1985
  2. Good Hugs and Bad Hugs, How Can You Tell? By Angela R. Carl; OH: Standard Publishing, 1985, ISBN 0-87403-007-2
  3. "Just in Case.... Your Child is Sexually Abused or Exploited"; pamphlet from the Publications Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited children, 1835 K Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20006.
  4. The Silent Children: A Parent's Guide to the Prevention of Child Abuse, Anchor Press/Doubleday 1980. Her theme is that self-esteem; assertiveness and parents who discuss feelings are a child's best protection. Very specific suggestions.

Note: These materials do not necessarily reflect the values of Youth With A Mission. They are not all written from a Christian perspective and may need to be modified for your use.

Possible Training Materials

  1. Preventing Sexual Abuse, Activities and Strategies For Those Working With Children and Adolescents, Carol A. Plummer, ISBN: 1556911149, Learning Publications, Inc., P.O.Box 1326, Holmes Beach, FL 33509, Copyright 1984 (166pp)
    • Three and five-day curriculum guides for K-6, 7-12, and special populations. Includes sample letter to parents, pre and posttest, and discussion of model prevention program.)
  2. For Kids Sake -- Training Seminars and Prevention Materials. Specialist in working with Christian Churches and Organizations., Jim Mead, President, 24121 Canyon Lake Dr. North Canyon Lake, California 92587, USA, Phone: 909 600.0158

Note: This material does not necessarily reflect the values of Youth With A Mission. There seems to be very little training materials written from a Christian perspective. Your best source of training materials is probably a local Christian counsellor or psychologist.

Appendix F King's Kid's International Guidelines

Partnering Between Young People Luke 10: 1

All King's Kids participants under eighteen years of age (or those legally classified as minors) are required to be accompanied by at least one other young person or "partner" when; (a) they are physically separated from the field of view of the main body of the group or, (b) when participating in special group activities which are best pursued with a partner.

  1. Examples of activities in which King's Kids young people may be physically separated from the main body of the group thus requiring the presence of at least one other appropriate partner such as two adult supervisors one other peer or assigned action group leader.
    1. Use of public rest rooms
    2. Showering
    3. Sleeping accommodations (when the group is split up to the extent that a young person needs to sleep in a room by his or her self.)
    4. Running errands for the group or individualized outings i.e. on free days.
    5. Doctor or dentist visits including isolation for medical reasons.
  2. Examples of group activities that are best accomplished through partnering.
    1. Witnessing (ministry partners).
    2. Riding on various forms of transportation especially in an overnight situation (travel partners).
    3. Walking as a group through highly trafficked areas (travel partners).
    4. Swimming (swimming partners).
    5. Prayer or one on one discussions, etc.

Partners are usually assigned within defined "Action Groups". They are normally of the same gender. They may include more than two people.

An example of this would be in a public ministry situation when a young child may be assigned to go out with two older young people. In these situations a boy and a girl may be partnered with a younger child to avoid the harassment that two girls might face when not being accompanied by a young man in an inner city environment.

Please note these ministry partnerships are always conducted in plain view of team leaders.

It is the responsibility of the team leaders to assign and periodically rotate these partnerships keeping in mind appropriate age, gender and maturity factors. Each young person should be familiar with the various categories of leadership; for example: what family team they are a part of and what action group they are in. These structural definitions, including who their housing, travel and ministry partners are, should be communicated at the beginning of their training time. The partnerships are maintained until a rotation is communicated which varies according to length of activity. Rotation is considered essential in order to avoid "clicks" and the development of unhealthy interdependency.

If for some reason, the partner assignment is unclear it is the responsibility of the young person to inquire of the appropriate staff as to who their partner is that situation should be. Under no circumstances should a minor leave the field of view of the activities leadership by his or herself without a partner while under King's Kids supervision.

The only exceptions to this rule would be when:

  1. Parents or legal guardians make personal arrangements with the activity leader to take the minor with them. If the parent is not a part of the staff they must sign the young person out and their identity must be clear to the King's Kids leadership. Only parents and legal guardians can do so with proof of identity; other relatives or friends do not qualify for this privilege. When leaving the main body of the King's Kids group with a relative or friend, a King's Kids assigned partner must go with them.
  2. When participation in King's Kids has been completed for the day and the minor is returning home; or when the activity is terminated officially and the parent has made appropriate arrangements for someone other than themselves to pick them up. Ion both cases the young person should be signed out with a record of their departure time clearly recorded.

Failure to comply with these requirements by a young person or staff is considered a serious threat to the well being of the parties involved, the group at large and the entire ministry. Continued lack of co-operation in this area is considered grounds for disciplinary action and eventual dismissal.

Teamwork Between Staff

  • Staff is required to stay within eyesight of at least one other staff person when they are relating to minors. Under no circumstances should a King's Kids staff person allow themselves to be put in a position where they are alone with a young person. (or minor). Staff is asked to work in teams. This policy is designed as a means of protection for the young person as well as the staff. Any inconvenience is considered well worth the effort.
  • Double Protection. If both the partnering policies and Staff Teamwork procedures are faithfully maintained this should provide significant deterrent to the possibility of harmful behavior taking place or of potentially damaging accusations.

Modesty and Discreet Behavior 1 Thess. 5:22, Rom. 12:9

  • It is expected that all King's Kids staff and young leaders maintain an unquestionably high standard of personal modesty in speech, behavior and general appearance on a consistent basis. These standards should include sensitivity to cultural expectations amongst the persons involved in that particular King's Kids activity. The attitudes of humility, servant hood and respect for our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit should set an attractive example of personal holiness, motivated by a love for God and others, which even the youngest participants will want to follow. Heart response to God rather than external legalism should be the motivational factor!
  • In activities that relate to personal hygiene, such as showering and bathroom use, changing of clothes, etc., the above guidelines should result in special effort being taken to avoid activities and appearance that could be considered immodest, i.e. unnecessary nudity, etc. Instead there should be the use of bathrobes and privacy afforded individuals of all ages when changing.
  • Joking or physical touch related play activities should avoid the slightest sexual undertones at all times regardless of what the popular tendencies are of the activities participants.
  • Discretion must also be exercised when interacting with any individual whether staff or young person, in a way that may involve physical contact. Age, sex, cultural appropriateness, frequency of interaction, and levels of relationship must all be taken into consideration,
  • With the help of the Holy Spirit our goal should be to express God's love to others in a warm, friendly manner which makes meaningful eye contact but avoids physical contact in ways that are unwise , could be misinterpreted , cause confusion or even harm. A simple guideline should be that if you feel you or the other individual would be even slightly uncomfortable with a particular form of contact, and then discontinue the activity immediately. The spirit of persons made in the image of God regardless of age is amazingly sensitive to what is not healthy!
  • The sexually related areas of the male or female body should not be touched during the process of interaction. Each culture has clear guidelines as to what is considered appropriately friendly but not intimate. These should be recognized and respected.
  • Frontal hugging, sitting on laps, back rubs and pinching or touch games where physical contact is made even indirectly with private areas, are considered inappropriate and should be generally avoided. Legalistic "watch-dogging"can destroy the relational atmosphere of any group, so these types of problems, which can arise quite frequently amongst children, should be approached pro actively by helping the child or young person enter into a more healthy alternative activity. Repeated patterns of indiscreet contact should be avoided and an attitude of mutual consideration promoted. Periodic contact in a variety of ways cannot be avoided. Again, example. gracious teaching and openness should help persons of all ages handle this critical but sensitive area of human interaction without robbing them of the closeness in relationship which we all long for.
  • If all are moving in the fear of the Lord then there is safety and freedom. The complications relate to those who have lust, perversion and or special needs in their minds and hearts who need special protection and deterrent. Unfortunately, these elements place painfully necessary demands upon the whole group. By the grace of God may we exercise patience, kindness and wisdom in our physical interaction with one another.

Walking in the Light 1 John 1:17

"Walking in the Light" (openness and regular interaction with those to whom we are accountable)

  • A foundational God-given principle that protects against wrong actions and promotes relationships is the regular practice of inviting the Holy Spirit to convict us of wrong thoughts words or actions. This is then followed by a wholehearted pursuing of forgiveness and reconciliation with the related parties. Because of the importance of such activities they need to be conducted on a regular basis. This enables both staff and young people to humble themselves and to be open about struggles they are having that otherwise left not dealt with can grow into serious sin and even bondage.
  • Such times of regular openness are also a time when staff or young people can go to one another and share concerns about things that they have observed about each other. A healthy group should find security in such personalized communication and welcome the safety that a multitude of counselors affords in dealing particularly with personal blind spots.
  • A team participant has a moral obligation to go to a person they have observed to be involved in questionable behavior. If their concern is not received then they need to go to the appropriate senior leader and together confront the one that is not responding. If that fails then group discipline becomes necessary. Young people staying current, while requiring time and often being inconvenienced, is always better than trying to deal with unresolved issues later.
  • Should there be a situation in which someone is observed to have committed an act of abuse or molestation the observer is required to report what they have seen to the appropriate senior leader and to tell authorities within a 24-hour period. To fail to do so is to open oneself to the possibility of being accused of being an accomplice to the crime. Instruction on the reasons for and procedure should be an integral part of staff training.
  • Normally, if struggles of the heart are dealt with in regular staff meetings and team family meetings the seeds of wrong can be removed before they produce the fruit of sinful action or when dealing with a person who has an established bondage in their lives. These activities would make them uncomfortable and begin to highlight the fact that they have difficulty relating to others in a normal way.
  • The maintaining of an atmosphere of loving openness and correctness in vertical and horizontal relationships at all levels of King's Kids activity is a fundamental responsibility of any member of the group and especially that of the leaders.
  • If a staff person begins to distance themselves from others and seems to have difficulty in communication with others what their internal struggles are, this warrants immediate attention by the appropriate leaders and special care should be taken to link them in an accountable fashion to a mature fellow staff person until their season of struggle passes, they are enrolled in a special help program outside of the group or they chose to resign from the group. While remaining under observation in the group their interaction with young people should be monitored carefully and if necessary modified, or discontinued.
  • In a similar way children and teens should be reminded regularly that it is an act of love to deal immediately with inner personal conflicts and if not resolved to go to the appropriate leader who will help them to resolve the problem regardless of how small the issue. Staff must be careful to make time to hear the concerns of the young people and to take their communication seriously. Intimidation and manipulation based on fear dissolves in a setting where there is trust, acceptance and regular loving communication.
  • When a child withdraws it is reason to pursue them immediately. Something is wrong. Given the right kind of acceptance and love they will open up. The longer they have to wait, the harder it gets to deal with. A child is typically uncomplicated and will show if something is wrong. It is a wise leader who detects this and makes time to pursue resolution.

Appendix G - Crisis Management

The points below outline some of the communication skills that facilitate crisis intervention in child abuse situations.

  1. Maintain a caring but object attitude: accept the person, not the behavior. Avoid words that convey disapproval or shock when discussing the adult's behavior.
  2. Be as supportive as possible. Usually a person involved in abuse, or being accused of the same, will feel vulnerable, very defensive, and possibly angry and/or wanting to run away. Support at this time can often minimize the use of immature stress management strategies like running away.
  3. Provide validating statements whenever possible to reinforce positive actions; e.g., "It's good that you told me what happened."
  4. Focus attention on the welfare of the children and parents. Help parents understand that their children may need assistance and that confronting abuse is in the best interest of everyone.
  5. Respond only to what parents have said and to what you can observe directly. Avoid interpretations and accusations.
  6. Provide reassurance and information that will allay the family's or individual's fears regarding the reporting process, the role of the child protective services, and the court's, etc.
  7. Use open-ended questions, e.g., instead of, "Did you...", say, "How do you see the situation?" This will decrease defensiveness, anxiety, and frustration, and increase cooperation.
  8. Restate the parents or adults answers and label the feelings to convey that you understand what has been said and what is felt. E.g., "Let me be sure I understand. You got angry because John didn't vacuum his room when you asked him to."
  9. Understand feelings but avoid statements that suggest you agree with them and condone actions e.g., say, "I understand what you felt," rather than, "Anyone would have felt the same way in the situation".
  10. Do not take verbal abuse personally; it will help you maintain control in the situation.
  11. Just remain neutral.

Appendix H

Guidelines for appointing a neutral team of Christians to judge an accusation of a child abuse brought against an individual associated with Youth With A Mission.

  1. Recognize that Youth With A Mission is not neutral in this process, and therefore should ask a team of mature and qualified believers to decide the guilt or innocence, where possible, of the accused.
  2. Youth With A Mission does have a responsibility to help bring together such a team to judge in the matter since the alleged incident happened to a person or persons working with Youth With A Mission.
  3. Both the accused and the accuser should agree to this step being done.
  4. Allow the accused and the accuser to nominate people to the team judging the matter, but select no more than one person from each party. People serving on this team should not be involved in the process prior to the time of being asked to serve. They should have no prior knowledge of the incident that would preclude them from being objective and neutral.
  5. You should seek to establish guilt, innocence, or a lack of evidence in the accusation brought against the accused, and make any further recommendations they deem appropriate.

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