Each child is a special gift from God. Accordingly, Gracehouse Family Church (GHFC) is committed to protecting its children, and will not tolerate child abuse or neglect. Because we recognize God’s love and concern for our children, it is our desire to make our church environment a safe place for all who seek to worship and fellowship with us.
In an effort to protect our children, staff and volunteers, we have in place a policy that prohibits persons who have been convicted of child abuse, or who have a history of inappropriate conduct with children from being employed or volunteering with GHFC.
The policy also requires that all staff undergo criminal background checks and all persons who desire to work with children and youth under eighteen years of age must: (a) attend GHFC for at least six months; (b) complete and sign GHFC’s Service Application Form, and provide character references at least every five years; (c) annually read and acknowledge that you have read and understood GHFC’s Child Safety and Volunteer Protection Policy; and (d) annually read and sign GHFC’s Children/Youth Ministry Covenant.
If the position sought is one of higher risk (i.e., requiring overnight activities, unsupervised activities, or if other risk factors are present), or if any information is collected that indicates a possibility of child abuse, a criminal record check and a child abuse history clearance will be required, and a pastor staff person or Elder will interview the applicant as necessary.
In general, GHFC’s policy requires that two approved adults or one approved adult and a junior high/senior high youth shall be present during any church activity involving infants and children up to four years of age. Classroom doors without windows shall remain open. And emergency release form and express, written parent or guardian permission shall be obtained for children/youth to participate in all off-site and/or overnight activities. There shall be no physical discipline of any child or youth.
When an activity involves transportation of children, written permission must be obtained from parents/guardians, drivers must have a valid driver’s license, current automobile insurance, and South African Vehicle Code restraint laws must be observed. During Sunday school worship times, and during Wednesday Night Service, the exterior children area church gate shall remain locked, and no one shall be permitted to enter through them.
All persons are required to immediately report to the proper church Leadership, parents/guardians, pastoral staff or Elders any incidents of child abuse they have witnessed, or about any incident which they have knowledge. For more detailed information about GHFC’s specific reporting procedures and response plans, please speak to our staff at the Welcome Center or contact the admin at the church office.