In our ministries, the heartbreaking reality is that we’ll have students who have been—or are being—abused. That’s why it’s crucial for us as youth workers to know what to do when a situation involving abuse surfaces. On this episode, join ministry leaders for a conversation with licensed professional counselor Dr. Chinwe Williams about how we can best care for students in our youth ministries who have been physically, sexually, or psychologically abused.
- Childhood abuse often leads to an adult mental health diagnosis. (6:30)
- Child abuse is defined as actions or inactions on the part of an adult in a child’s life that significantly cause harm or risk of harm.(8:00)
- Attachment is the sense of security and belonging that a child has with their primary caregiver. (14:00)
- What are some of the physical and behavioral indicators of abuse? (21:00)
- Multiple indicators over time could mean a student is being abused. (24:00)
- Self-harm and depression can be linked to abuse. (25:00)
- It’s impossible for you to see signs of abuse in your students if you are programmatic and not relational. (27:00)
- Neglect is one of the most harmful types of abuse that there is. (28:30)
- Attention, affection, and acknowledgement are critical in the life of every student. (30:00)
- What should our focus be when we find out a student is being abused? Say: “I am a trusted adult and you are important to me.” (33:00)
- It’s not always the event that leaves a scar, it’s how someone responds to the event. (37:30)
- Your ministry is only as safe as the stories that your students are brave enough to share. (54:00)
- As youth pastors, we have to remember we are not trained professional counselors, and we must move our students out to professionals. (58:00)
QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
VOICES IN THIS EPISODE
CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School and Social Media Strategist for XP3’s blog and social media platforms. CJ has been leading small groups for middle school and high school students at North Point Community Church for the past 10 years. He also placed 5th in his 8th grade class fun run. CJ and his wife, Teri, live in Alpharetta, GA.
Charlie is an XP3 Orange Specialist at Orange after spending the past 20 years working with students in educational and ministry settings. Most recently, Charlie spent 12 years as the middle school youth pastor in a thriving Methodist church in the Metro Atlanta area. Charlie grew up in rural Illinois but has been living in metro Atlanta, GA for the past 14 years. She lives with her husband Eric, her sometimes snarky but lovable daughter, and their three pups.
Stuart Hall is an influential leader who speaks to thousands of students, leaders, coaches, and parents each year. Stuart has coauthored three books: The Seven Checkpoints: Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know, MAX Q: Developing Students of Influence, and Wired: For a Life of Worship, Leaders Edition. Stuart also laughs incessantly, serves as a volunteer high school varsity girls basketball coach, and loves his wife and three kids.
Dr. Chinwe Williams specializes in treating individuals who experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, histories of trauma/abuse, grief and loss, and relationship challenges. Dr. Chinwe Williams is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia and a National Certified Counselor (NCC), with twelve years of experience providing counseling services for adolescents, adults, and families.
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