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SAFE SANCTUARIES Policy and Procedures for Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the North Alabama Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "SAFE SANCTUARIES Policy and Procedures for Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the North Alabama Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 SAFE SANCTUARIES Policy and Procedures for Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the North Alabama Conference

2 PURPOSE AND GOALS 1. Why do we need a Safe Sanctuary Policy?
We need children in our care to be safe.

3 2. We have a Biblical command.
Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes one such child welcomes me”. Mark 9:36

4 If any of you put a stumbling block
before one of these little ones…,it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

5 Baptismal Covenant, United Methodist Hymnal, p. 44
WE PROMISE… With God’s help we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to eternal life. Baptismal Covenant, United Methodist Hymnal, p. 44

6 PURPOSE AND GOALS 3. We need to protect volunteers against false allegation of abuse and victim of legal judgment. 4. To protect the good reputation of the United Methodist Church

7 5. It is a General Conference Resolution ’96.
The General Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted this resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse in the church.

8 Statement of Covenant Acknowledge the risks Adopt a plan
Take steps to implement the plan Continue ministry to our church families

9 So we will..... Develop and implement an ongoing education plan for the congregation and it’s leadership to reduce the risk factors leading to child abuse. Screen, train, and annually retrain all paid, volunteer, fill-in, and chaperon workers Develop and implement safety procedures for activities Advise child/youth of agency outside the church to contact incase of abuse. Carry adequate liability insurance Develop awareness for all congregation through special curriculum or activities Have a reporting strategy Be familiar of the Annual Conference policies and laws of your state

10 TRAINING COMPONENTS Points covered: Child abuse defined
Statistics and Rates Procedures to protect children, youth, and those who work with them. How to report accidents, incidents, or suspected abuse

11 Definition The National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse defines child sexual abuse as "any sexual activity with a child, whether in the home by a caretaker, in a day-care situation, in any organized ministry, whether at the main facility (church) or away, or in any other setting, including on the street by a person unknown to the child. The abuser may be an adult, an adolescent, or another child.

12 TYPES OF CHILD ABUSE Physical Sexual Emotional (spoken and non spoken)
Neglect Ritual Abuse of vulnerable adults

3 million cases of child abuse reported each year! 8,219 per day 343 per hour 6 per minute 1 every 10 seconds Source – national center for child abuse and neglect.

By age 18: 1 in every 3 girls 1 in every 7 boys are sexually abused (numbers underestimate since many are reluctant to report) Source – national center for child abuse and neglect.

Two types: Preferable and Situational Known to the child 80% of the time Generally between years of age 20% of abuse before age 18 Often married with children 1 in 4 offenders is a member of the child’s family or one entrusted with care of the child. About half are friends of child or family 2 out of 3 who are caught abuse again

Job description Position application with personal references Background permission consent form Personal interview summary form Personal reference interview form

17 RECRUITING AND PLACING VOLUNTEERS Regular, Occasional & Last Minute
Volunteer s Should: Fill out an application Provide references Give permission to run a criminal record check. Attend Safe Sanctuary Training!

Responsibility of the local church Keep on confidential file Employment Screening Services identify yourself as a part of the North Alabama Conference to receive the discount Call or check the website:

19 THE SIX MONTH HOSPITALITY POLICY A volunteer attending the church less than six months
Volunteer must: Be assigned to a position supervised by a “cleared” person. Or… Be given a non-child-contact task until 6 month period is satisfied. With the approval of the Church leadership a volunteer may provide name of staff in former church for reference contact.

20 Safe Sanctuary Training At new member orientation, new staff/volunteer or annual review training
Must include: Copy of your Safe Sanctuary Covenant Statement Policies to be implemented Procedures for ministry Steps to report Details of what the state law requires

21 Orientation, training and annual review
All workers should be given: 1. Copy of your Safe Sanctuary Covenant Statement 2. Policies to be implemented 3. Procedures for ministry 4. Step to report 5. Details of what the state law requires

22 SUMMARY Create a Safe Sanctuary Team a. Make a Statement of Covenant
b. Develop Policies and Procedures c. Acquire needed information and keep on confidential file (including clergy) d. Keep records of education to staff, volunteers and congregation.

The following procedures pertain to all ministries involving Children and youth.

24 2-5-6 RULE adult rule years older than the age group helping
Use a Roamer when 2 adults are not available. years older than the age group helping No youth under 18 leading a group without adult supervision. month membership in the church to work with anyone under 18 years of age

Rooms occupied by children and youth must be observable from outside the room Doors in the Nursery, Children and Youth areas must be left open or have Windows Open half doors Windows in the walls

26 OVERNIGHTS In a hotel setting In a bunkroom setting
No adult shares a bed with a child. Adult sleeps in separate room with creative monitoring. Frequent adult check-ins. In a bunkroom setting At least 2 same gender adults may sleep in a large room with multiple bunk beds.

27 OFF SITE TRIPS Before departure
Give contact info, start/stop times of event, location of event, program content, lodging info, etc. Get all contact info from parent with written or documented parent/guardian permission Provide adequate supervision ratios – Same gender adult: Child or youth 1:5 for elementary age 1:5-7 for sixth through eighth grade 1:6-8 for ninth through twelfth grade Have at least 2 children and an additional adult ride in personal vehicles.

All bus and vehicle drivers must be screened including a review of their motor vehicle record and proof of updated insurance. If using church bus, trustee guidelines for use of church owned vehicle should be followed. All children must provide a permission/liability form. Never let them drive from the church to off-site location Either plan to meet at the location or transport with adult drivers Have at least 2 adults or 2 youth when driving personal vehicles

29 The children’s director should have forms.
REPORTING PROCEDURES Accidents – when an unintentional act occurs and a child is hurt. Incident – when an action is observed that does not require reporting to DHR, but does require attention Suspected Abuse – when one sees, has be told of, or suspects a child has been abused in some way. The children’s director should have forms.

30 HOW A REPORT IS MADE… Questionable Behavior Occurs Call DS Counseling
Abuse observed or reported Incident observed requiring attention Innocent, accidental event occurs Discuss with no one other than appropriate authorities File report of Suspected abuse File accident report with Director Suggest alternate behavior File incident report with director Call dep. of Fam. and child Services DHR Tell Sr. Pastor or SPR Chair Director issues warning Director offers help Call Insurance Company Call police if appropriate Training Counseling Call DS Do or say Nothing else let DHR investigate Only one speaking to media


32 APPROPRIATE TOUCH Never be the first to hug and always the first to let go. Perfect the SIDE-HUG. Should you hold a child in your lap? As long as it is age-appropriate and happens in an open area.

33 DISCIPLINE Basics Use positive words Establish rules and expectations
Tell parents the good, the bad, then the good (Sandwich Rule) Involve the church staff when necessary Plan strategy when child threatens self or others.

34 North Alabama Conference UMC
IDENTIFY YOURSELF Wear a Nametag Or identifying clothing… Your Church UMC Coach, Uniform skirt, jacket or cap YOUR NAME HERE Church Name North Alabama Conference UMC

Your congregation should come up with a plan to sign in and sign out each child. Inform the congregation of Safety Procedures. Establish release of children depending on the program and age of child. Suggestions: Newborn through second grade – parents pick up Third through Fifth grade – released with written permission.

36 POTTY POLICY Diapering: Toddler and Preschoolers
With another adult present Done in visible area. Toddler and Preschoolers Adult supervises, but allows child independence Potty “accidents” requiring help Open door 2 adults Inform Parent

Do not allow child to go to restroom alone…take at least 2 Tell other adult (leave classroom door open) Check restroom before kids go in Do not assist child unless there is an emergency. Inform the parent

38 YOUTH MINISTRY Personal relationships are a must, but whether you are serving as a counselor, friend in Faith or chaperone, if meeting with a Youth one-on-one meet: In a public place The corner of a busy room With the door open Consider a cyber use policy

Each ministry has procedures specific to the age group or activity. All workers should be given that information prior to working in that ministry. Procedures include what to do in case of illness or emergency.

40 LEISURE MINISTRIES Activities in the gym… Activities on the field…
Be aware of our open facility We cannot be sure that all who are here are safe to be around children Parents should supervise restroom breaks Activities on the field… Adults retrieve balls from the woods Pay special attention in the parking lot

In a parent meeting, tell parents to follow these child-safety rules: Parents are to remain on site, but if a parent must leave practice or game, he/she is to designate another adult to be in charge of his/her child in an emergency and tell coach who that person is. Parents are responsible for participant siblings. Player siblings should not be unattended in the building or on the playground.

Nursery doors are locked at all times for highest security and opened by staff only To avoid congestion, only one parent may enter to drop off or pick up child Tours of the nursery should be made during non-high traffic times

Conduct safe sanctuary training, provide copy of operating and reporting procedures and recommended guidelines. Have all staff/volunteers sign that they have been trained and understand procedures and guidelines Supervise paid and volunteer workers to see procedures are being followed Review policy and procedures annually Update background checks every 3 years Keep all information on confidential file.

44 Research issues Evaluate current practice Develop Policies and Procedures Plan for response Approval of Church Council Educate and Train Implement and monitor implementation


46 S Be aware of surroundings M Be mindful of manipulators
JUST BE SMART S Be aware of surroundings M Be mindful of manipulators A Be aware of what to avoid R Be ready to report issues T Be timely about telling

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