Caring well challenge

Immanuel Baptist Church has implemented the Caring Well Challenge.  A national initiative, the Caring Well Challenge provides churches with a clear pathway to immediately enhance their efforts to help prevent abuse and to provide responsive and compassionate care for abuse survivors. You can read about the Caring Well Challenge here.

Caring well TEAM

The Caring Well Team will serve as a standing team and resource for the church.  Any time a situation arises in the church that concerns suspected child sexual or physical abuse, it will immediately be reported to church staff, who will then forward to the Caring Well Team for handling. The team will create an incident-specific action plan to protect the victim and provide needed support to the victim and their family. The plan will also include details for updating the congregation on the incident, as needed.  The Caring Well Team is composed of IBC ministry area leaders and members with backgrounds in such fields as education, counseling, law, and policy development. They will be trained and prepared to respond to abuse should it arise, to care for victims, and to provide a place where incidents of abuse can be voiced.

Caring well coordinator

Caring Well Coordinator We have hired Melissa Weddle as our Caring Well Coordinator. Melissa serves as a staff liaison to the Caring Well Team.

Updated Policies and Procedures

Updated policies and procedures were adopted in January, 2024, and are now being implemented. You can read them here (hyperlink).  Here are some key updates within the policies.
a. Volunteer Screening - All volunteers are required to complete an online application, background check, hiring interview, social media review, and training in our policies and procedures.
b. Mandatory Volunteer Training - All volunteers will be trained on our updated policies.
c. Ongoing Policy Review and Updates - All policies and procedures will be reviewed annually, or more often as needed, by the Caring Well Team to make any needed changes to ensure that our policies stay relevant and current to our environment.
d. Security Cameras - Security Cameras (video only) will be installed in all kids and preschool classrooms for added visibility and security.
e. Incident Review and Response- Any violation of IBC ministry policies and procedures will be submitted to and reviewed by the Caring Well Team for proper response.
f. Staff Training - All Staff have been trained on Caring Well policy and procedure and will be trained on reporting requirements of the Arkansas Mandated Reporter Laws.

Partnership on behalf of children

Immanuel has partnered with The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. A Child Advocacy Center, CAC, is a community-based facility which uses a multidisciplinary approach to reduce trauma to child victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Collaboration exists between medical, mental health, prosecutorial, child protective service, and law enforcement in an effort to serve the best interests of young victims.  The center has a wealth of valuable experience and resources that we will utilize in our time of need to care for any potential abuse victim.  More information about the mission and purpose of CACar is available on their website: Children's Advocacy Centers of Arkansas ( . For further information, contact Melissa Weddle at the church office at