Child Protection and Safety Concerns



The government has established laws and procedures to protect the nation's children. These laws permit, and even mandate that children be removed from their homes when their safety is in question. Children and youth service agencies promptly investigate reports of suspected abuse. Relating to these agencies calls for carefulness and discernment. If we are to maintain Biblical concepts of the role and responsibility of parents, we must give adequate attention to some current issues.

General Society

We increasingly live under scrutiny from neighbors, professional people, and the general populace. Be aware that public opinion toward many of our practices is different from what it was twenty or thirty years ago. One illustration would be in the realm of discipline. The present generation is trying to raise children without using corporal punishment. Most people view Biblical methods of child training as outdated and abusive, and they cannot understand or appreciate our convictions.

Governmental Involvement

We also live in an increasingly socialized society. People expect government to provide answers for social problems. Therefore government authority over and involvement in family affairs is also increasing. The result is an increasing tide of legislation, some of which affects us adversely as parents, we must know what issues could entangle our families with children and youth service agencies, and we must take preventive measures.

Parental Awareness

Parents should be focusing on six particular aspects of this issue:

  1. Health Care
  2. Child Discipline
  3. Work Involvements
  4. Safety Issues
  5. Moral Purity
  6. Agency Investigations and Contacts

Other areas may become apparent later. We must pray that the Lord will give us the foresight and insight that we need in today's world. We need not become paranoid about these matters, but neither should we be naive. We should especially avoid saying and doing things that might cause our children to feel insecure and fearful.

We must continue to obey the government when doing so does not conflict with the principles of God's Word. When conflicts do arise, we must continue to discharge our parental responsibilities without becoming arrogant and militant. Such responses are inconsistent with our high calling as Christians.

Remember that God's people have faced similar challenges before. The Israelites in Egypt offer one example. God always has made and always will make a way for His people. Our strong trust in Him will not be disappointed.

This booklet was prepared by a committee under the direction of the bishops of Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church.

35 pages -- paperback
Dimensions: 5" x 7.5"
Copyright: 2004
Eastern Mennonite Publications
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SUMMARY: 6066 Child Protection and Safety Concerns