Section I: VICTORY CHURCH/ RENEW CARE GROUP AGREEMENT & RELEASE FROM LIABILITY
I acknowledge that I have voluntarily applied to Victory Church’s Renew Care Groups, a Christian, non-therapy, non-professional, discipleship, faith-based Small Group Ministry.
I am aware that my participation in Renew Care Groups IS NOT BY ANY MEANS a substitute for professional medical care, psychiatric treatment, psychotherapy, therapeutic counseling, or any other form of professional therapy or medical care. I am also aware that my participation in Renew Care Groups of Victory Church is not a substitute for my active involvement in a local Christian church body of my choice. I am voluntarily participating in this ministry with full knowledge of these facts and I accept complete responsibility for my own psychological, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. I acknowledge that it is my responsibility to ascertain my own need for professional counseling, medical care, and to seek such professional counseling and medical care as needed. I further acknowledge that my participation in Victory Church Renew Care Groups does not create any special relationship of custody or control between myself and Victory Church and VC’s Care Group Ministry (including any agent, employee, officer or director of VC’s Small Group Ministry or Trauma Care) or between myself and any other person.
As consideration for being accepted by VC’s Renew Care Groups to voluntarily participate in their groups, I, on behalf of myself and my assigns, heirs, executors, guardians and other legal representatives, hereby release Victory Church and VC’s Small Group Ministry, Trauma Care Ministry (including agents, employees, lay leaders, pastors, officers or directors of Victory Church and Trauma Care) from any liability for any injuries suffered by me during my voluntary participation in Victory Church and Care Groups Ministry. Further, I, on behalf of myself and my assigns, heirs, executors, guardians and other legal representatives, hereby agree that I will not make any claim against, sue or seek to attach the property of Victory Church and Care Group Ministry (including agents, employees, lay leaders, pastors, officers or directors of Victory Church and Care Groups Ministry) and that I waive all actions, claims or demands that I now or hereafter may have, for any injuries suffered by me during my voluntary participation at Victory Church and Care Groups Ministry.
I HAVE CAREFULLY READ THIS AGREEMENT AND THE RELEASE FROM LIABILITY STATEMENT AND FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS. I AM AWARE THAT THIS IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND BETWEEN MYSELF AND CARE GROUPS MINISTRY OF VICTORY CHURCH AND I SIGN THIS AGREEMENT OF MY OWN FREE WILL.
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Section II: CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY FOR VICTORY CHURCH’S RENEW CARE SMALL GROUP
Care Group Ministry’s leadership will hold as confidential all disclosures made with these three exceptions:
1. All Small Group Leaders reserve the right and responsibility to consult matters of concern disclosed by group members for the purpose of receiving supervision/coaching and oversight. This oversight may occur in group supervision/coaching/oversight meetings held by the Trauma Care Director and attended by other small group leaders.
2. Any group member who discloses intentions to take harmful, dangerous or criminal action against another human being or against him/herself will necessitate Care Ministry Group Leaders to warn appropriate individuals and authorities of such intentions. Suspected acts of child abuse or neglect will be reported. Those warned may include a variety of such persons as:
- the person or family of the person who is likely to suffer the results of the harmful behavior;
- the family of the group member who intends to harm him/herself or someone else; associates or friends of those threatened or making threats, and;
- law enforcement officials and/or child protective services.
3. Renew Care Ministry Groups operate under the covering and blessing of our Pastoral Executive Leadership and Board of Directors. While insuring confidentiality and anonymity of group participants, Care Ministry Group leadership reserve the right to disclose confidential information to our Pastoral Executive Leadership/Board of Directors for the purpose of pastoral oversight. Pastoral Executive Leadership/Board of Directors members are also bound to confidentiality and will limit knowledge and discussion of these matters only among themselves and exclusively within the scope and purpose of the Pastoral Executive Leadership/Board of Directors need and design.
I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY OF VICTORY CHURCH’S RENEW CARE GROUPS INCLUDING ITS EXCEPTIONS.
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Section III: GROUP GUIDELINES
Victory Church’s Care Groups Ministry exist to offer faith- based community fellowship and support. As one part of God’s restoration process, we seek to provide a safe, honest environment where each participant can freely give and receive encouragement, support and prayer. The healing and maturing process has both success and setbacks and each person grows at his or her own pace. Understanding this, and acknowledging the sensitive nature of the issues involved, we offer the following guidelines for the protection of individual participants and for the group as a whole.
1. Attire – Appropriate clothing should be worn at all times. Dress should be modest, neither drawing attention to the body nor being seductive in style. Shorts are permissible as long as they fit around the waist and do not rise above the thigh. Tank tops and tight fitting pants are not appropriate.
2. Speech – We encourage participation in all aspects of our group meetings. Encouragement and understanding occur as we discuss our successes and struggles. Because our words can have both positive and negative effects, we ask that you refrain from the use of slang terms and curse words, or the graphic discussion of sexual thoughts or encounters.
3. Confidentiality/Anonymity – Our group meetings give us the opportunity to be transparent and vulnerable with one another. In order to protect this privilege, participants are expected to maintain confidentiality in all aspects of the group. The protection of each person’s anonymity is critical to the continued “safety” of the group. Our goal is to create an environment of safety and security. Small group leaders may have your contact information for the purpose of follow up and accountability. Their correspondence with you as well as their conversations with you may be shared with the Director for safety reasons.
4. No Comparisons. Every life story is unique and different in its own way. Please resist temptation to compare your story with another’s.
5. Sharing is core to the function of this Care Group.
6. Listen to another.
7. Do not interrupt someone as they are sharing.
8. Honor one another. Be considerate of other’s need to share as well, do not overuse time.
9. Be friendly.
10. Commit to holistic care, (spirit, soul, body).
11. Do your part to create a safe environment.
Dismissal from the Group – The decision to ask a group member not to attend the group ultimately rests with the Directors. While Small Group Leaders may have input into the process, final decisions will be made by the Directors. Someone who is or becomes suicidal will need appropriate care beyond this ministry. Once a person stabilizes he/she can discuss with Director how to finish the group.
Endangerment of Self or Others – Renew Care Ministry Groups operate as community care groups, not as a therapy or counseling groups. This ministry is not designed to address serious mental health issues not is it designed to address mental illness. Each group member is highly encouraged to consider seeking professional help when dealing with serious mental and emotional issues. We recommend you seek the involvement of your physician, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or professional counselor as part of your support system in attending this Care Groups. This is particularly true for those issues involving self-harm, suicidal or homicidal thoughts or behaviors and past sexual abuse issues. All group members are encouraged to seek professional counseling and psychiatric referrals as needed.
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SECTION IV: LIFE PLAN
A ”life plan” is a checklist of activities and actions you promise to do, so you can stay safe if you begin to have thoughts of suicide. Create and share with your mental health provider your plan so that you can refer to it when you're considering suicide or in a crisis. Learn to spot your warning signs early, so you can put your plan into action.
As a foundation for your safety plan, take these steps:
Stick with your treatment plan. Commit to taking your medication as prescribed and attending all treatment sessions and appointments.
Keep a list of contact names and numbers readily available. Include your doctors, therapists and crisis centers that can help you cope with suicidal thoughts. Include friends or loved ones who agree to be available as part of your safety plan.
Remove potential means of killing yourself. This may include ridding your home of guns, razors or other objects you may consider using to hurt or kill yourself. If possible, give your medications to someone who can safeguard them for you and help you take them as prescribed.
Schedule daily activities. Activities that brought you small pleasure in the past can make a differ- ence — such as listening to music, watching a funny movie or visiting a museum. Physical activity and exercise may reduce depression symptoms. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or a new activity.
Get together with others. Establish your support network by reaching out to friends, family and people who care about you and are there when you need them. Make an effort to be social, even if you don’t feel like it.
Join a support group. Joining a support group can help you cope with suicidal thinking and recognize that there are many options in your life other than suicide.
Avoid drug and alcohol use. Rather than numb painful feelings, alcohol and drugs can increase suicidal thoughts and the likelihood of harming yourself by making you more impulsive.
Avoid risky websites on the internet. Stay away from websites that may encourage suicide as a way to solve your problems.
Write about your thoughts and feelings. Consider writing about the things in your life that you value and appreciate, no matter how small they may seem at the time.
Practice “breath prayers" such as “Lord, have mercy," or “My help comes from the Lord."
Feed on God’s Word. There are many easy to read translations as well as great Bible apps available for download.
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SECTION V: ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF AGREEMENT
I acknowledge that I have read and understand the Personal Conduct Policies of Victory Church’s Renew Care Groups. I agree to abide by these guidelines. By signing this I agree that I am not suicidal nor am I seeking for Victory to help me with mental illness or serious mental/emotional ill health issues.
I understand it is my responsibility to seek professional medical help and/ or therapy in conjunction with my attendance in this Care Group. If I become suicidal while I am attending a Care Group, I will alert my group leader and will get professional help.
I further agree to take any medication prescribed by my medical doctor as requirement for the safety of participating in this Care Group.
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