Published Jul 05, 2022
AB 506 Webinar
In our role of serving ministries in California, the California Southern Baptist Convention is working to develop authoritative resources for the ministries we serve. We’ve been following the law and making sure that our ministries have all of the resources to comply with the requirements of AB 506 in California.
In the past, the standard of care for churches hasn’t been clearly defined. Now, we are appreciative that we have specifics on the minimum requirements for each ministry. Of course, every ministry should do more than what is outlined in AB 506, and those enhanced protections should be developed and tailored to each ministry. Also remember that what has been largely misunderstood about AB 506 is that, while this does address some areas of abuse prevention, it really does a great job in training our employees and youth volunteers on how to properly identify abuse and neglect, and ABCs of reporting it quickly to an outside entity. It broadens our perspective to include abuse and neglect that could be happening in area of a child’s life… in the home, at school, with friends, anywhere.
Where to Focus
1. Training Employees and Youth Workers
In this area, AB 506 is very helpful. Prior to the passage of AB 506, most would just focus on those that directly worked with youth. We are now are sure to include ALL employees and regular youth workers. While the state offers secular training for free, the CSBC has paid for ministry specific training through Church HR Network that allows each ministry to assign this to each employee and volunteer. By broadening those that we train, ministries will be better equipped to protect youth in our ministry. To sign up for your training, please book a discovery call. Please make sure that you tell them you are a California Southern Baptist ministry, as your fee for unlimited training and online resources have already been paid by us.
2. Background Checks
There are countless background checks out there. The new law requires that everyone use the background checks that are provided by the California Department of Justice. We recognize that this isn’t enough, as it only checks California, so the CSBC recommends that ministries also add an additional check, either with the FBI or a robust check from a reputable background check provider. The implementation of this process is probably the toughest obstacle to overcome for ministries (and the state is pretty backed up), but we have recently launched a dedicated resource to guide ministries on how to do this, step by step. In the long run, this is a very cost effective system for ministries to go through. The full guide to signing up for AB 506 Compliant Background Checks can be found here.
3. Policies & Procedures
AB 506 requires two screened and trained adults to be present for any youth activity. We’ve always recommended this and have a model policy available for you that will help your ministry to meet the standards set by AB 506. You can access that model policy here.
If you have a legal question or would like to have your policy reviewed by an attorney, remember that the CSBC has a legal assist program for your ministry available at no cost.
Free Compliance Support
Our friends over at Church HR Network are partnering with CSBC to provide the training and resources churches need for successful compliance and ministry! CSBC is happy to offer our churches a pre-paid HR 180 membership giving you special access to Church HR Network’s tools.
Need help? Contact Ralph Neighbour at (909) 519-4308.