Dove's Nest Blog
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.
Dove’s Nest is celebrating a significant increase in the number of churches reporting they have a written child protection policy. This finding appeared in a survey conducted by Dove’s Nest board and staff this spring, began as the organization is approaching its ten-year anniversary in 2019.
There was beauty in the room as women and girls from 12 different states entered a sacred space July 26-27 in Omaha, Nebraska, to explore and claim healthy personal boundaries. I breathed a prayer of thanks that I could attend “Empowering Women: Claiming Healthy Personal Boundaries,”a collaboration of Mennonite Women USA and Dove’s Nest.
“We need a Circle of Grace training for adults” was a request heard repeatedly in recent years by Anna Groff, executive director of Dove’s Nest, and Marlene Bogard, outgoing executive director of Mennonite Women USA.
Katherine Burkey Wiens, Dove’s Nest Speaker’s Bureau Member
Recently, I visited with a pastor who needed counsel about how to handle a situation of possible abuse. The pastor’s struggle was whether they should make a report to the state or simply talk with the family about what had happened. Adding to the complexity, clergy are not mandated reporters in the pastor’s state, therefore they are not required by law to report suspected child abuse. The question I posed to this pastor was “Who are you trying to protect in this situation?”
By Marlene Bogard, Executive Director of Mennonite Women USA and Dove's Nest Speaker's Bureau Member
Don, a jovial man in his 50s, called me to announce, “I quit.” As a congregational mentor, his frustration with the 14-year-old youth with whom he was paired had reached a tipping point. “He shows up late to our meetings, grunts in response to my questions, and doesn’t respect me,” Don complained.