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I, too, have been in the ministry for many years, and a type 1 diabetic for
at least as long. Over the years I've seen the laws change considerably.
The threat of lawsuits lurk around every corner. Churches are not immune.
Churches and part-time church daycares are not publicly funded, but it is
usually suggested that we meet the strict guidelines laid down by state
agencies. They do this mostly for the protection of the church in the event
of a lawsuit for something like abuse. Laws differ from state to state and
some churches choose to take the risk of not setting up their childcare
ministries to abide by the laws of the state. Policies and procedures,
whether they meet the state laws or not, are in place in most
church-sponsored daycares. As far as I'm concerned, it is a wise decision on
the part of part-time or volunteer church childcare to turn down a special
needs child if they think they cannot provide adequate care for the child.
The child could be placed in danger and the church is wise to admit that they
might not be able to handle the situation.
Quite frankly, most church daycares and other nursery opportunities are
staffed by volunteers or part-time workers who have little or no formal
training. While the care they provide can be excellent, they are certainly
not equipped, nor do they have the special funds to train their workers for
special needs children. I personally would not want my child to be placed in
danger in the hands of someone who is, at the very least, not excited about
learning how to take care of my child.
I do not think the decision by this church sounds like discrimination or a
mean-spirited slap in the face. I would think they are trying to protect the
child by letting you know that they don't feel they can handle the challenge
of a young diabetic child for extended hours. Bottom line is you probably
need to find a daycare that is equipped by state funds to handle a situation
like this. Your church is admitting it can't handle it. Be thankful.
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