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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Greetings to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference,
One of the important responsibilities of our churches is the maintenance of a Safe Sanctuaries policy. This newsletter is full of helpful information. Please read this carefully and make sure your church is on board.
Bishop Peggy Johnson
The recent headlines about child sexual abuse allegations at Penn State and Syracuse Universities have reminded us abuse can happen anywhere. Our Conference requires all churches to have a Safe Sanctuaries Policy in place. It is a lot of work, but considering the damage to one victim it is a worth it. Of course as serious as committing child sexual abuse is, failing to report accusations of abuse is every bit as serious.
This can serve as a wakeup call. Many abusers are good at leading a double life and those closest are often the last to suspect anything. Our Insurance Provider, at our request, has put together this Preventing Sexual Misconduct Safety Newsletter. Please read, pass it along and check out some of the links to their website. There are other Safe Sanctuaries Resources available at our conference website: http://www.epaumc.org/resources/safesanctuaries
John Laughlin, President Conference Board of Trustees
Below is some of the information from the From the PA Department of Public Welfare website:
Reporting Child Abuse - ChildLine 1-800-932-0313
The Pennsylvania ChildLine and Abuse Registry is known as “ChildLine.” ChildLine accepts and assigns reports of child and student abuse to county children and youth agencies for investigation. ChildLine may also provide information and referral services for families and children.
Child Abuse (from Child Protective Services Law 23 PA CS§6303; 55 PA Code §3490.4)
The term "child abuse" shall mean any of the following:
· Any recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator* which causes non-accidental serious physical injury to a child under 18 years of age.
· An act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes non-accidental serious mental injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child less than 18 years of age.
· Any recent act, failure to act or series of such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.
· Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate medical care, which endangers a child's life or development or impairs the child's functioning.
Persons required to report include but are not limited to:
· A licensed physician, medical examiner, coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, osteopath, chiropractor, psychologist, podiatrist, intern, registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
· Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons.
· A Christian Science practitioner, member of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school nurse, school librarian, social services worker, day care center worker or another child care or foster care worker, mental health professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.