For many years, I used a five-step checklist for minimizing the risk of child sexual abuse on church property or during church activities:
- a written application
- an interview
- reference checks
- a six-month rule (no one considered for youth or children’s ministry who has not been a member of the church for at least six months)
- a two-adult rule (no child allowed to be alone with one unrelated adult at any time)
In recent years, I added a sixth precaution—a criminal records check (national database and national sex offender registry).
After reviewing numerous recent precedents, developments, and key insights related to public revulsion of child abuse, I now recommend a 14-step set of precautions to manage the risk of child sexual abuse in churches.
Background court case
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a Catholic diocese was not liable on the basis of negligent hiring ...