April 16th, 2012 00:08 EST
Penn State's Abuse Scandal: 12 Lessons Church Leaders Should Learn
The allegations of child molestation by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky stunned the nation last fall. In the 25th anniversary edition of Church Law & Tax Report releasing this May, Richard Hammar - an attorney and leading authority on church legal matters - provides a comprehensive article designed for church leadership teams to read and discuss together. Hammar addresses a dozen vital issues, including how to:
Recognize "grooming" behavior
Recognize abuse disguised as "horseplay"
Identify reportable abuse
Understand who mandatory reporters are Report abuse and to whom
Understand the criminal liability for failing to report
Understand civil liabilities for perpetrators of child abuse
Understand civil liabilities of employers for employees` failure to report child abuse
Understand civil liabilities for employers based on negligent hiring, retention, and supervision
Implement the two-adult rule
Obtain insurance for intentional acts
Pre Prevent site access by former employees
Situations like that of Penn State tarnish the image and reputation of those involved in the despicable acts, but also those people and organizations who had the responsibility to report and failed to report. An important lesson for church leaders is to treat every allegation of misconduct seriously, take immediate steps to protect the congregation from being victimized, and in the case of child abuse, make a report to civil authorities immediately.
Church leaders can get the complete report by subscribing to Church Law & Tax Report at a special 25th anniversary rate. Richard Hammar also will host a free webinar, Child Abuse Reporting Laws -- What Churches Can Learn from Penn State on Wednesday, May 2. Space is limited so sign up today.
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