Key point 10-12.01. Churches can reduce the risk of liability associated with pastoral or lay counseling by adopting risk management policies and procedures.
Churches can implement a number of risk management strategies to reduce the risk of liability associated with pastoral or lay counseling. These include the following:
1. Reducing the Risk of Sexual Misconduct and False Accusations
Churches have adopted a number of precautions to reduce the risk of sexual misconduct by pastoral and lay counselors. These precautions also reduce the risk associated with false accusations. Consider the following:
(1) the "third person" rule
One effective way to deal with these risks is to adopt a policy prohibiting any male minister or counselor on staff from counseling privately with an unaccompanied female (i.e., opposite sex counseling) unless a third person is present. The third person may be the ...