In our recent study of 100 sex offenders (Manley, Journal of the APPCA, 2010) we were shocked to learn of the number of offenders who used youth groups in Houses of Faith to stalk their victims.
Churches are assumed to be safe places because of the community feel and endorsement of a House of Faith. It is where people gather to express love, hope and encouragement. However, if is also a place where offenders seek to invade. So, they come like wolves in sheep's clothing.
It is very important that churches conduct a background check on all volunteers. If your church does not do this, you should do one yourself. They are affordable and readily available through the Internet. You can also call your local sheriff's office to see if a report has been filed against the individual.
You should also attend at least one meeting with your child. This will help to make you appear to be the kind of parent who is very involved and whose kid an offender should think twice about getting involved with.