I guess the first question to answer in a “how to” post on writing incident reports, is “why?” Why is it necessary to write an incident report?
Basically it’s about documentation. It’s important to document any significant incident that happens in your church, especially on your church property. If someone slips on a wet floor and is injured, the church’s liability insurance might have to pay medical bills and other expenses related to the accident. The insurance company will want “details” related to the accident.
An incident can be anything that happens that could potentially lead to the need for documentation. Anything from a minor injury to a fender bender in the parking lot, to a report of child endangerment. Obviously as “mandatory reporters” we as clergy are obligated to report any incident of child endangerment or other abuse of vulnerable individuals about which we become aware. The incident report can be the vehicle for recording details and tracking events related to a case as they unfold.
An incident report should at least contain the following information:
- Date, Time, And Location Of The Incident
- List Of Individuals Involved In The Incident, Including Contact Information
- Detailed Description Of The Incident
- Summary Of What Actions Were Taken
- List Of Individuals Notified About The Incident, Including Contact Information
- The Individual Writing The Incident Report