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Update from Child Protection and Community Assistance Officer

October 16, 2009

After every General Board of Global Ministries board of directors meeting, my office will post updates regarding the progress on following the recommendations laid out by the Independent Panel for the Review of Child Abuse in Mission Settings. These are updates beyond the Preamble written by Global Ministries that can be found in the Final Report.

The full recommendations from the panel can be found on pages 64-74 of the Final Report Document.

If there are no updates for a specific recommendation, then the information stated in the Preamble is the current status.

Recommendation 6 – A written apology was given to all known survivors and the parents of some of them in March 2009. In addition, an in-person apology was given to those survivors present at the April 2009 Board Meeting.

Recommendation 8 – After the April 2009 Board of Directors meeting and the posting of the Final Report on the Global Ministries website, where it is available for download, we submitted it to the entities below in the following manner:

  1. All active and retired missionaries received an article in their Summer 2009 Mission Matters on page 12 regarding the Final Report and how to request a copy or view it online or download it. A hard copy was given to the United Methodist Missionary Association. Everyone on the Independent Panel's mailing list received information on how to receive a copy of the final report.
  2. All United Methodist Church seminary libraries received a hard copy of the report mailed to the attention of the seminary librarian.
  3. The General Commission on Archives and History received a hard copy of the report for their holdings.
  4. The Presbyterian Church USA – Office of Executive Director, and the Sexual Misconduct Ombudsperson received a hard copy of the report.
  5. The Missionary Kids Safety Net has posted the link to the downloadable file on their website.
  6. In addition to the above, we put information on page 31 of the July/August 2009 New World Outlook regarding the report, and sent a hard copy of the report to Scarritt Bennett Center Mission Research Library in Nashville, Tennessee. We submitted information and a link to the report to the United Methodist Sexual Ethics team, the United Methodist InterAgency Team on Children, and the Mission Personnel unit executive staff of Global Ministries. The Child Protection Officer gave an interview to Linda Bloom of the United Methodist News Service in May 2009 (to my knowledge, however, they never released a story).

Recommendation 9 – At the October 2009 Board Meeting, the directors approved the request. My office will be working with the survivors in order to plan this return trip to the Congo.

Recommendation 10 – Besides the collaboration with the Presbyterian and Lutheran Church that has already been in process, and our work with FaithTrust Institute, The Child Protection and Community Assistance Office has recently been in contact with the Child Safety and Protection Network--a group of 29 mission agencies who have come together to collaborate, share resources, and develop best-practice standards in the area of child safety. I plan to meet with the group for the first time in January 2010. It is my understanding that survivors of various denominations have been a part of this network.  My office was given a copy of All God's Children AllGodsChildrenTheFilm.com, which has also informed my work.

Recommendation 17 – A formal thank-you letter was sent by the General Secretary in March 2009.

Child Safety and Protection Office
475 Riverside Drive, Room 1413
New York, NY 10115
Secure Phone: 212-870-3833
Secure Fax: 212-870-3813
Email: childsafetyoffice@gbgm-umc.org