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Article by Melodie Bissell | President of Plan to Protect®

I was recently interviewed by
Faith Today Magazine and they asked, “how many organizations and churches have a plan to protect?”

My hope is that every organization and church that serves the vulnerable sector, would have some sort of a plan to protect but not all plans are the same, nor do they all adhere to the same standard.

As we review and customize hundreds of policies and procedure manuals per year, we see such a wide variety of policies including:

  • Policies which range from one page to 500 pages;

  • Policies addressing only sexual abuse to policies that cover all types of abuse and neglect; and

  • Policies which are designed only to protect children to policies that protect all vulnerable persons.

Plan to Protect® was first written in 1996 and our desire has been and continues to be to provide the HIGHEST STANDARD of protection and abuse prevention. However,
in the last 22 years Plan to Protect® has gone through many updates and revisions. For example, we’re now on our third significant edition of the manual – please ensure your Plan to Protect® published manual was written after 2010 to make sure you have the most up-to-date one.

The Plan to Protect® the manual is not a policy, but it is a plan to develop a policy for your church or organization. It has been named the encyclopedia of best practices of abuse prevention and protection. It does require implementation and effort to achieve and maintain a high standard of protection.

With each purchase of a manual comes a single license use.
If you don’t have a Plan to Protect® manual, you do not have a license to the copyright resources or the name Plan to Protect®.

There are thousands of churches and organizations in Canada and the United States who are now licensed to use Plan to Protect®. Yes, over the past ten years we have sold well over 12,000 copies of Plan to Protect® and licensed 14 denominations and associations with Plan to Protect®.

These organizations and churches are striving to achieve a HIGH STANDARD of protection. The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada were one of the first denominations we partnered with. PAOC churches receive 10% discount on our memberships and services.

A strong plan for protection would include:

  • Customized policies to protect children, youth and vulnerable adults (elderly, individuals with physical and mental disabilities, new immigrants, and those experiencing distress);

  • A policy demonstrating your duty of care to your volunteers and staff;

  • Definition of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, financial, neglect, spiritual (for Faith communities), inappropriate touch, harassment and discrimination;

  • Screening steps for volunteers and staff;

  • Operational procedures (see the manual for a complete list of procedures to choose from);

  • A strategy to provide orientation and refresher training with qualified and knowledgeable trainers;

  • Modified premises to reduce the risk of injury, harm and abuse; and

  • Reporting and response protocols.

    If you have a plan to protect in place, we encourage you to confirm you have a license to use Plan to Protect®, and ensure your policies, procedures and training are achieving the standard desired. To identify gaps in your policy, contact us for our complimentary assessment.

    Also, you never have to do it alone. Why recreate the wheel when we are committed to helping you by providing tools, training and momentum to stay abreast of best practices.

    To learn more visit,