Rules for Child Protection
Why Is It Important? The Texas Department of State Health Services, which is the licensing agent for public camps, requires certain criteria for all adults at camp. This law requires any adult who has contact with children at camp to be screened for criminal and sex offender records. In addition, the adults are also required to take a one hour training course and pass a test regarding child protection and reducing the risk of child abuse and molestation. This new law applies to all state licensed youth camps, and is meant for the safety and protection of the children.
Statistics show that many child molesters are known and trusted by their victims. Many molesters seek out situations and atmospheres where they are trusted and accepted by those around them, such as the local church. They could even disguise themselves as the ideal children or youth worker in churches or other similar organizations. We do not want to give the impression that the camp is automatically suspecting or accusing any of our staff or sponsors at camp of this type of behavior. However, we must be aware of how molesters work and do everything within our power to protect the children that God has entrusted to us.
The best way to deter abuse from happening at our camps is to develop an environment that puts the offender, rather than the child, at risk. An adequate screening process, proper supervision and accountability will discourage this type of offender.
The one hour training course informs all the adults of the effects of child abuse, the methods of operation of child molesters, the signs and symptoms of abuse to watch for and the proper method of reporting abuse. The course also focuses on ways for adults to guard against any situation that could put themselves at risk for accusation.
The Heart of Texas Baptist Camp chooses to comply with these state regulations in order to serve and protect the children of our area. We have a responsibility not only to the children, but to the parents and churches we serve to provide a safe and secure environment to learn about God's eternal love.
You may take the Child Protection Training Course online!
Follow these instructions to take the course online!
Instructions for church leaders:
1. Visit Ministry Grid Pro -- https://ministrygrid.lifeway.com/#/redeem-invite/MDVQ/MJTN
2. Follow the instructions on the ministry grid site.
3. Complete all required training sessions, the assessment, and bring a “Certificate of Completion” to camp once you’ve completed the course.
According to Texas State Law, all adult counselors/sponsors that have any direct contact with underage individuals at a Camp must have...
1. A criminal background check performed prior to contact with underage campers.
2. A sex offender background check performed prior to contact with underage campers.
3. Successfully complete a one hour child abuse and sexual abuse prevention and recognition class (Child Protection Training Course) and pass a written exam prior to contact with underage campers.
4. Proof of criminal and sex offender background checks, along with proof of satisfactory completion of Child Protection Training Course, must be provided at camp registration.
Child abuse or Sexual abuse, real or alleged, must be reported to proper authorities.
We Are Here To Help
This is how you can accomplish these requirements.
1. A criminal background check may be performed online at the Texas Department of Public Safety or other criminal history vendor sites for a nominal charge. It is the sponsoring churches, camp directors, and/or each attending adults responsibility to make sure these background checks are completed prior to arrival on camp and ready to submit at registration.
2. A sex offender background check may be performed online at the Texas Department of Public Safety or the National Sex Offender Public Registry, for no charge. It is the sponsoring churches, camp directors, and/or each attending adults responsibility to make sure these background checks are completed prior to arrival on camp and ready to submit at registration.
3. The one hour child abuse and sexual abuse prevention/recognition class, along with the written exam, must be completed by each adult before arrival to camp. Each adult will need a printed Certificate of Completion to prove their completion of this course. The Child Protection Training Course is available to you free of charge and is offered online. It is the sponsoring churches, camp directors, and/or each attending adults responsibility to make sure this course is completed prior to arrival on camp and certificate ready to submit at registration.
4. Criminal and sex offender background checks, along with Certificate of Completion for the Child Protection Training Course, must be submitted at camp registration.