With the formation of our NMC Child-Safe Committee, we are building on the foundational work done in 2004 by the Director of Christian Education, Bertha Roggie, and her lay leaders. This new committee, under the capable leadership of attorney Kris Plakans, is represented by a variety of professions: Marcy High (private school teacher), Bonnie Zehr (pediatrician), Nate Campbell (mandated-reporting teacher), Lisa Clark (nurse), Amanda Reiff (childcare coordinator), and Linda Helmus (children’s pastor).
They have met twice to date, and are increasing their awareness of child safety by participating in seminars and utilizing online resources. Linda Crockett from Lancaster-based Samaritan Center has also been a valuable support.
Two recommendations from the committee have already been implemented:
- A numbered check-in system for parents and children, using coil ID bracelets, to ensure the correct person retrieves the child at the end of Sunday School or childcare
- Requiring service applications and ministry covenant forms from all our volunteers
In addition, NMC has begun using Shepherd’s Watch for our background screening system. This is a less expensive option than the previous Lexis Nexis. An on-site inspector recently visited our church to be sure our records and building are adequately secured. Next step is having recent staff hires fingerprinted—a new FBI requirement.