One significant element of emotional health is understanding the importance of boundaries, especially in church settings and faith communities. As Dove’s Nest speaker Leah Schulte says, “Emotional and spiritual energies run high in these spaces—so we thirst for physical touch to affirm those feelings.”
Dove's Nest Blog
The following is an example of one church's rules for touch. It reflects the rules of one church. Each church and faith community will need to create their own list that fits their community. This list is used by permission from The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries by Basyle Tchividjian and Shira M. Berkovits.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States. Dove's Nest encourages faith communities to take time during April to consider the plight of abused children and find practical methods to end child abuse and neglect in the communities where they live, work, and worship.
By Anna Groff
Last month, I took my two daughters to McDonald’s to play in the play area and get some ice cream. We needed to get out of the house, and it was too dark for the park. While I was in the parking lot getting them out of their car seats, a security guard alerted us that we might want to use the drive-through, as there was a man inside “tweaking out” on meth. I thanked him and said we’d head to another McDonald’s up the road.
Ten-year-old Kylie has been thriving—protected and safe—in her church family ever since her earliest days in the church nursery thanks, in part, to you. Your generous support for Dove’s Nest during our first decade provided training on the very best ways to keep kids safe to Kylie's Sunday school teachers and her whole church. You gave that gift of safety to Kylie’s church and to children in faith communities across North America.
This material about physical boundaries for adults working with children comes from Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church’s 2009 “Safe Church Policies and Guidelines For Children in Childcare.”
Respect, safety, and appropriate boundaries are the guiding principles for physical contact between childcare workers and children. The guidelines below are intended to avoid contact that is or may appear threatening or inappropriate.
By Carol Knieriem, Dove’s Nest Board Member and Volunteer
Forty-year-old George has a hard time walking in the doors of a church—the result of being molested by his youth pastor at age fifteen. After a year of being molested, church officials were informed about the abuse. George’s perpetrator was told to leave the church, and George was instructed not to tell anyone about the abuse.