KidCheck Secure Children's Check-In Presents Through the Eyes of a Predator with Group Publishing

This week KidCheck CEO, Alex Smith, and Angela Lewton, Child Protection Specialist, sat down with Craig Cable of Group Publishing for a free webinar entitled “Through the Eyes of a Predator”. Craig is the Church Safety and Security Director for Group Publishing. The webinar was designed to provide information on the “how” and “why” predators target churches and actionable steps to protect the church.

Craig kicked it off with some startling statistics which established the small number of offenders that get convicted due to the low rate of reporting. He followed those numbers with more statistics on claims of sexual abuse by clergy, church staff, congregation members, and volunteers.

KidCheck discussed the most common predator characteristics and how they create the illusion of the perfect volunteer. There’s no one-size fits all profile and include men and women from all walks of life. They’re masters of deception and learn how to fit into the organizations culture. Grooming was covered and how it has evolved from a single victim to families, leadership, Board of Directors, and sometimes whole organizations.

“Why churches?” was addressed, including the redemptive nature of churches, the lack of comprehensive screening, the absence of leadership support for safety and protection as a priority, as well as the need to create environments that encourage transparency and prioritize communication.

Actionable steps and examples on how to protect against predators were presented across six main areas.

  1. Set Policy and Live It! – Refers to the Child Protection Policy and how it should be an ever- evolving, living and breathing document used for training, guidance, and the elimination of a grey area for those interacting with children.
  2. Comprehensive Screening – There are seven steps to comprehensively screen candidates who wish to have direct access to children.
  3. Drop Off and Pick Up – An integral part of the overall safety plan.
  4. On-Boarding and Training – Always include a full overview of the organization’s commitment to safety, policy and what you do to prevent abuse. The safety of the church’s most vulnerable should never be a sidebar conversation but lauded as one of the main talking points.
  5. Encourage Transparency – People need to know if they see something that doesn’t sit well with them, they should say something, and the organization supports their effort.
  6. Prioritize CommunicationCommunication should be top down, habitual, on-going, and extend across all ministries.

Click here to watch the full webinar.

Also, many resources are available including Shepard’s Watch, Group’s Safe and Secure Church Kit, and KidCheck’s free safety resources.

For more information on additional safety-related topics join our growing social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Click here for more information on the benefits of KidCheck secure children’s check-in or to schedule a free online demo of our product.