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Dove's Nest Blog

Five discoveries about Amish families, communities

By Jeanette Harder, Dove's Nest Board President

As a representative of Dove’s Nest, I was invited by the New York Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS) to help them relate to the growing population of Amish and Old Order Mennonites in their state.

While two-thirds of the Amish live in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, they are also rapidly growing in Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Kentucky. In fact, the Amish are growing faster than nearly any other subgroup in the U.S., with a population of 300,000 currently and some projecting that number reaching 1 million by 2050.

My New Role and Signs of Hope

By Anna Groff, Executive Director

When I share with people about my new role with Dove’s Nest, I hear everything from, “I thought child protection policies were required for all churches”—from someone in Pennsylvania, a state with new laws for all volunteers working with children—to “I didn’t know abuse happened in churches.” 

While we all wish the second comment were true, we know it isn’t.

Learning the Limits of Background Screening

By Michael Crosby

A thorough background screening process is a critical component of any set of Safe Church practices.

The experts are unanimous on this point: social workers, lawyers, liability specialists, law enforcement, and child safety professionals all commend background screening procedures to churches and other organizations whose workers—paid and/or volunteer—interact with minors. Good practice includes contacting personal references, verifying employment history (especially when considering candidates for a paid position), and conducting a criminal records check. This last item is the focus of this article.

Protection Policies Are Gifts to Children

Jon Stanton

By Jon Stanton

The weather this spring and summer has been brutal on my garden, and I don’t like it.

While Nebraska weather is often unpredictable, I can usually count on spring being a little bit wet and summer being dry and hot. This year spring was record-breaking wet and summer stayed cool for much longer than usual until temps suddenly soared into the 90s and beyond. 

I have a container garden, since I don’t have space in my backyard for a traditional garden. I also have sundry flowers and flower beds spread throughout our yard. This year, my plants have required more care and attention than usual. I have found myself taking measures to protect them from flooding rains, fungal plagues, squirrels, birds, and blazing 100-plus degree sunlight. In each situation, my response was different depending on the plant and the dilemma.

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