What Would You Do? Fall 2021

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

You are volunteering in a children’s department at your organization, and you are supervising kids outside on the playground. A child approaches you and says his uncle has been hurting him. The child says his uncle told him it is a secret just between them, and the boy is afraid he will get in trouble for telling. What do you do?

First, take the accusation seriously and remain calm. Hopefully, your church has a policy in place for this scenario; in this case, follow the steps as directed by that policy. It is important to listen carefully and then document the conversation to pass along to your supervisor or other church personnel. Be sure to thank the child for telling you and tell the child that you are going to do what you can to help, but don’t make promises.

If you are a mandatory reporter, you will need to report what you have heard immediately to the appropriate authorities. The child has taken the first step by coming forward—now it is up to you and others in your organization to take next steps to help protect the child from further harm.