Child Protection Policy at FBCN

General Purpose Statement

The First Baptist Church of Narragansett seeks to provide a safe and secure environment for
the children who participate in our programs and activities. By implementing the below practices,
our goal is to protect the children of First Baptist Church of Narragansett from incidents
of misconduct or inappropriate behavior while also protecting our staff and volunteers (workers)
from false accusations.

Definitions
For purposes of this policy, the terms “child” or “children” include all persons under the age of
eighteen (18) years. The term “worker” includes both paid and unpaid persons who work with
children. The term “volunteer” means anyone involved in a day care or school, in overnight activities
involving minors, in counseling of minors, or in one-on-one mentoring of minors.

Selection of Workers
All persons who desire to work with the children participating in our programs and activities will
be screened. This screening includes the following:

a) Six Month Rule
No person will be considered for any volunteer position involving contact with minors
until she/he has been involved with First Baptist Church of Narragansett for a minimum
of six (6) months. This time of interaction between our leadership and the applicant
allows for better evaluation and suitability of the applicant for working with
children.

b) Written Application
All persons seeking to work with children must complete and sign a written application
in a form to be supplied by us. The application will request basic information
from the applicant and will inquire into previous experience with children, previous
Church affiliation, reference and employment information, as well as disclosure of
any previous criminal convictions. The application form will be maintained in confidence
on file at the First Baptist Church of Narragansett.

c) Personal Interview
Upon completion of the application, a face-to-face interview may be scheduled with
the applicant to discuss his/her suitability for the position.

d) Reference Checks
Before an applicant is permitted to work with children, at least two of the applicants’
references will be checked. These references should be of an institutional nature as
opposed to personal or family references, preferably from organizations where the
applicant has worked with children in the past. Documentation of the reference
checks will be maintained in confidence on file at First Baptist Church of Narragansett.

e) Criminal Background Check
A national criminal background check is required for all employees (regardless of position)
and “volunteers” as defined above.

Before a background check is run, prospective workers will be asked to sign an authorization
form allowing the church/synagogue/meeting to run the check. If an individual declines
to sign the authorization form, s/he will be unable to work with children.
A disqualifying offense that will keep an individual from working with children will be determined
by Elders on a case-by-case basis in light of all the surrounding circumstances.
Generally, convictions for an offense involving children and/or for offenses involving violence,
dishonesty, illegal substances, indecency and any conduct contrary to our mission will
preclude someone from being permitted to work with children. Failure to disclose a criminal
conviction on the application form will also be a disqualifying event.
The background check authorization form and results will be maintained in confidence on
file at First Baptist Church of Narragansett.

Two Adult Rule
It is our goal that a minimum of two unrelated adult workers will be in attendance at all times
when children are being supervised during our programs and activities. Some youth classes
may have only one adult teacher in attendance during the class session; in these instances,
doors to the classroom should remain open and there should be no fewer than three students
with the adult teacher. We do not allow minors to be alone with one adult on our premises or in
any sponsored activity unless in a counseling situation.

Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse
For purposes of this policy, “child abuse” is any action (or lack of action) that endangers or
harms a child’s physical, psychological or emotional health and development. Child abuse occurs
in different ways and includes the following:
• Physical abuse – any physical injury to a child that is not accidental, such as beating,
shaking, burns, and biting.
Emotional abuse – emotional injury when the child is not nurtured or provided with love
and security, such as an environment of constant criticism, belittling and persistent teasing.
• Sexual abuse – any sexual activity between a child and an adult or between a child and
another child at least four years older than the victim, including activities such as
fondling, exhibitionism, intercourse, incest, and pornography.
• Neglect – depriving a child of his or her essential needs, such as adequate food, water,
shelter, and medical care.

Childcare workers may have the opportunity to become aware of abuse or neglect of the children
under our care. In the event that an individual involved in the care of children at First Baptist
Church of Narragansett becomes aware of suspected abuse or neglect of a child under
his/her care, this should be reported immediately to the Elders for further action, including reporting
to authorities as may be mandated by state law.

In the event that an incident of abuse or neglect is alleged to have occurred at First Baptist
Church of Narragansett or during our sponsored programs or activities, the following procedure
shall be followed:
1. The parent or guardian of the child will be notified.
2. The worker or church member alleged to be the perpetrator of the abuse or misconduct
will immediately be placed on leave pending an investigation and instructed to remain
away from the premises during the investigation. He or she should be instructed to have
no contact with the victim or with witnesses.
3. All allegations of abuse should be reported to the civil authorities, and the organization
will comply with the state’s requirements regarding mandatory reporting of abuse as the
law then exists. The organization will fully cooperate with the investigation of the incident
by civil authorities.
4. The insurance company will be notified, and the organization will complete an incident
report. Any documents received relating to the incident and/or allegations will immediately
be forwarded to the insurance company.
5. The organization will designate a spokesperson to the media concerning incidents of
abuse or neglect. The advice of legal counsel will be sought before responding to media
inquiries or releasing information about the situation to the congregation. All other representatives
of the organization should refrain from speaking to the media.
6. A pastoral visit will be arranged for those who desire it. This should be for the purpose
of providing pastoral support during the time of crisis and not for the purpose of investigating
the incident or influencing the investigation.
7. Any person who is not found innocent of the alleged abuse or misconduct will be removed
from their position working with children or youth.

Open Door Policy
Classroom doors should remain open unless there is a window in the door or a side window beside
it. Doors should never be locked while persons are inside the room.

Teenage Workers
We recognize that there may be times when it is necessary or desirable for babysitters (paid or
volunteer) who are themselves under age 18 to assist in caring for children during programs or
activities. The following guidelines apply to teenage workers:
• Must be at least age 13.
• Must be screened as specified above.
• Must be under the supervision of an adult and must never be left alone with children.

Check-in/Check-out Procedure
For children below third grade, a security check-in/check-out procedure will be followed. The
child will be signed in by a parent or guardian, who will receive a “child check” for the child similar
to a claim check. The parent or guardian must present the “child check” in order to sign out
the child from our care. In the event that a parent or guardian is unable to present the “child
check,” an Elder will be contacted. The Elder will be responsible for releasing the child to the
care of a parent or guardian after discussing the surrounding circumstances with the parent or
guardian.

Sick Child Policy
It is our desire to provide a healthy and safe environment for all of the children at First Baptist
Church of Narragansett. Parents are encouraged to be considerate of other children when
deciding whether to place a child under our care. In general, children with the following symptoms
should NOT be dropped off:
• Fever, diarrhea, or vomiting within the last 48 hours;
• Green or yellow runny nose;
• Eye or skin infections; and/or
• Other symptoms of communicable or infectious disease.
Children who are observed by our workers to be ill will be separated from other children and the
parent or guardian will be contacted to request that the child be picked up for the day.

Medications Policy
It is the policy of First Baptist Church of Narragansett not to administer either prescription or
non-prescription medications to the children under our care. Medications should be administered
by a parent at home. Parents are reminded of our sick child policy.
Exceptions to the medications policy may be granted to parents of children with potentially life-threatening
conditions (such as asthma or severe allergic reactions). Parents of such children
should address their situation with Classroom Teacher/Nursery Worker to develop a plan of action.

Discipline Policy
It is the policy of First Baptist Church of Narragansett not to administer corporal punishment,
even if parents have suggested or given permission for it. There should be no spanking, grabbing,
hitting, or other physical discipline of children. Workers should consult with an Elder if assistance
is needed with disciplinary issues.

Restroom Guidelines
Children five years of age and younger should use a classroom bathroom if one is available.
If a classroom bathroom is not available, workers should escort a group of children to the hallway
bathroom. They should go in a group whenever possible. Whenever possible, a child
should not be taken to the bathroom alone.
The worker(s) should check the bathroom first to make sure that it is empty, and then allow the
children (child) inside. The worker(s) should then remain outside the bathroom door and escort
the children (child) back to the classroom.
If a child is taking longer than seems necessary, the worker should open the bathroom door and
call the child’s name. If a child requires assistance, the workers should prop open the bathroom
door, and leave the stall door open as they assist the child.
For children over the age of five, at least one adult male should take boys to the restroom and at
least one adult female should take girls. The worker should check the bathroom first to make
sure that the bathroom is empty, and then allow the children inside. The worker should then remain
outside the bathroom door and escort the children back to the classroom.
For the protection of all, workers should never be alone with a child in a bathroom with the door
closed and never be in a closed bathroom stall with a child. Parents are strongly encouraged to
have their children visit the bathroom prior to each class.

Accidental Injuries to Children
In the event that a child or youth is injured while under our care, the following steps should be
followed:
1. For minor injuries, scrapes, and bruises, workers will provide First Aid (Band-Aids,
etc.) as appropriate and will notify the child’s parent or guardian of the injury at the
time the child is picked up from our care.
2. For injuries requiring medical treatment beyond simple First Aid, the parent and/or
guardian will immediately be summoned in addition to the worker’s supervisor. If warranted
by circumstances, an ambulance will be called.
3. Once the child has received appropriate medical attention, an incident report will be
completed in the case of injuries requiring treatment by a medical professional.

Training
First Baptist Church of Narragansett will provide training on this child protection policy to all
new childcare workers and will strive to provide opportunities for additional training classes or
events on an annual basis. All workers are strongly encouraged to attend these training events.

Updated at FBCN March 2020
(Updated 04.18.16)
© 2016 GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved.
This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice.
You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation.