The children in your church are precious. They deserve to feel safe and secure. Parents expect nothing less when they entrust their children to the care of ministry leaders and volunteers. Yet, child sexual abuse allegations is one of the top five reasons churches end up in court. The good news is you can decrease the likelihood of a child being harmed or your church facing costly allegations when you implement the Reducing the Risk awareness program. Created by noted legal expert Richard Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, this established program, used by thousands of churches, includes everything you need to train pastors, staff members, and volunteer leaders every year with confidence and ease. Video and training resources walk participants through an effective screening and selection process, common supervision scenarios that require thoughtful decisions, and insights on best practices that can most effectively reduce vulnerabilities. Conveniently delivered to you on DVD or online streaming video, the Reducing the Risk training program includes:
- Closed-captioned videos (English)—NEW.
- Nine newly-edited training videos to further help viewers retain what they've learned.
- Stream-lined Leader's Guide to easily facilitate training—complete with sample training schedules, group discussion questions, and key points of emphasis for the training day.
- Updated Trainee Workbook featuring activities, discussion questions, and resources to help participants immediately apply the training.
- Electronically fillable screening forms—avoid the hassle of distributing paper forms to participants or dealing with illegible handwriting.
- All support materials in a PDF format—print as many or as few as you need, or share them electronically within your church.
- Insights and practical tips from leaders in the insurance and legal professions on liability concerns and how to set wise ministry policy guidelines.
Training Video Summaries
Video #1: Child Protection as the Foundation of Your Ministry
Children's ministry director David Staal introduces churches to the problem of child sexual abuse in the church. This segment gets people invested in solving this safety issue by engaging them, heart and mind. It should be the first presentation that you view and show.
Video #2: A Victim's Story
This segment presents the true story of a victim of clergy abuse. It should help sensitize leaders to the human cost of sexual abuse in ministry settings.
Video #3: Sexual Abuse in Faith Communities—An Expert Roundtable
This presentation features five experts who deal with different aspects of sexual abuse in the church, ranging from a psychologist who helped create his church's child protection program to an insurance claims manager who understands the legal impact of sexual abuse allegations. By sitting in on this group's discussion, viewers gain insight into the issues surrounding child sexual abuse in ministries today.
Video #4: Screening & Selection: Your First Line of Defense
Richard Hammar, noted church attorney and CPA, and one of the creators of Reducing the Risk, presents a powerful teaching session on the importance of proper screening and selection of staff and volunteers. This segment provides a five-step plan for reducing liability.
Video #5: Screening & Selection: The Candidate (a short film)
This segment creatively teaches leaders how to interview a candidate, conduct a background check, and check references. Participants will see and hear what the screening and selection process should look like.
Video #6: Legal Requirements: The Church's Responsibility to Protect Kids (with Richard Hammar)
Viewers receive more training by the most trusted name in church law—Richard Hammar. In this segment, he explains legal requirements for protecting children in your ministry, plus practical tips on how your ministry can meet the "reasonable standard of care."
Video #7: Supervising Scenarios: What Would You Do?
This fast-paced, interactive segment teaches principles of good supervision. It helps children and youth volunteers think through common scenarios of supervision.
Video #8: Responding to an Allegation
What would your church do if it were faced with an allegation of child sexual abuse? This video depicts the story of how one church handled this situation. Experts add insights to this first-person story.
Video #9: Taking the Next Steps.
Spokesperson David Staal wraps up the DVD and offers action steps your church can take to implement or strengthen your child-protection program.
The Reducing the Risk training is divided into 5 sessions with each session being approximately 45 minutes. There are 9 videos—the total video time is 1 hour and 7 minutes (individual videos vary in length, from 4 minutes to 10 minutes).
This listing is for the Reducing the Risk DVD. You can also purchase access to this resource as online streaming video.
"Taking a church through a child protection program is a massive task, but Reducing The Risk guides you step-by-step to develop the best program for your congregation." Janet Williamson, Children's Ministry Director, Church of the Resurrection, IL
"Ministry leadership today requires deliberate, consistent, & steadfast passion for kids' safety. Reducing the Risk will help you ignite that passion & take proven steps toward protecting your church's children & youth." Dave Staal, Kids Hope USA