Presentation on theme: "SAFE SANCTUARIES Policy and Procedures for Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the North Alabama Conference."— Presentation transcript:
1 SAFE SANCTUARIESPolicy 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 inour 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…,itwould be better for you if a greatmillstone were fastened around yourneck 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 GOALS3. 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 planContinue 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 workersDevelop and implement safety procedures for activitiesAdvise child/youth of agency outside the church to contact incase of abuse.Carry adequate liability insuranceDevelop awareness for all congregation through special curriculum or activitiesHave a reporting strategyBe familiar of the Annual Conference policies and laws of your state
10 TRAINING COMPONENTS Points covered: Child abuse defined Statistics and RatesProcedures to protect children, youth, and those who work with them.How to report accidents, incidents, or suspected abuse
11 DefinitionThe 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) NeglectRitualAbuse of vulnerable adults
13 CHILD ABUSE STATISTICS 3 million cases of child abuse reported each year!8,219 per day343 per hour6 per minute1 every 10 secondsSource – national center for child abuse and neglect.
14 ESTIMATED RATES OF SEXUAL ABUSE By age 18:1 in every 3 girls1 in every 7 boysare sexually abused(numbers underestimate since many are reluctant to report)Source – national center for child abuse and neglect.
15 PROFILE OF A CHILD MOLESTER Two types: Preferable and SituationalKnown to the child 80% of the timeGenerally between years of age20% of abuse before age 18Often married with children1 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 family2 out of 3 who are caught abuse again
16 PROCEDURES FOR HIRING STAFF Job descriptionPosition application with personal referencesBackground permission consent formPersonal interview summary formPersonal reference interview form
17 RECRUITING AND PLACING VOLUNTEERS Regular, Occasional & Last Minute Volunteer s Should:Fill out an applicationProvide referencesGive permission to run a criminal record check.Attend Safe Sanctuary Training!
18 CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS Responsibility of the local churchKeep on confidential fileEmployment Screening Services identify yourself as a part of the North Alabama Conference to receive the discountCall 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 StatementPolicies to be implementedProcedures for ministrySteps to reportDetails of what the state law requires
21 Orientation, training and annual review All workers should be given:1. Copy of your Safe Sanctuary Covenant Statement2. Policies to be implemented3. Procedures for ministry4. Step to report5. Details of what the state law requires
22 SUMMARY Create a Safe Sanctuary Team a. Make a Statement of Covenant b. Develop Policies and Proceduresc. Acquire needed information and keep on confidential file (including clergy)d. Keep records of education to staff, volunteers and congregation.
23 GENERAL OPERATING PROCEDURES The following procedures pertain toall ministries involvingChildren 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 helpingNo youth under 18 leading a group without adult supervision.month membership in the church to workwith anyone under 18 years of age
25 WINDOWED AND OPEN DOORS Rooms occupied by children and youth must be observable from outside the roomDoors in the Nursery, Children and Youth areas must be left open or haveWindowsOpen half doorsWindows 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 settingAt 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 permissionProvide adequate supervision ratios –Same gender adult: Child or youth1:5 for elementary age1:5-7 for sixth through eighth grade1:6-8 for ninth through twelfth gradeHave at least 2 children and an additional adult ride in personal vehicles.
28 TRANSPORTATION AND YOUTH 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 locationEither plan to meet at the location or transport with adult driversHave at least 2 adults or 2 youth when driving personal vehicles
29 The children’s director should have forms. REPORTING PROCEDURESAccidents – 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 attentionSuspected 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 observedor reportedIncident observedrequiring attentionInnocent, accidentalevent occursDiscuss with no oneother thanappropriate authoritiesFile report ofSuspected abuseFile accident reportwith DirectorSuggest alternatebehaviorFile incident reportwith directorCall dep. ofFam. and childServicesDHRTell Sr. Pastoror SPR ChairDirector issueswarningDirector offershelpCall InsuranceCompanyCall police ifappropriateTrainingCounselingCall DSDo or sayNothing else letDHRinvestigateOnly one speaking to media
32 APPROPRIATE TOUCHNever 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 necessaryPlan strategy when child threatens self or others.
34 North Alabama Conference UMC IDENTIFY YOURSELFWear a NametagOr identifying clothing…Your Church UMC Coach, Uniform skirt, jacket or capYOUR NAME HEREChurch NameNorth Alabama Conference UMC
35 CHECK IN/CHECK OUT SYSTEM 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 upThird through Fifth grade – released with written permission.
36 POTTY POLICY Diapering: Toddler and Preschoolers With another adult presentDone in visible area.Toddler and PreschoolersAdult supervises, but allows child independencePotty “accidents” requiring helpOpen door2 adultsInform Parent
37 RESTROOM WITH BIGGER KIDS Do not allow child to go to restroom alone…take at least 2Tell other adult (leave classroom door open)Check restroom before kids go inDo not assist child unless there is an emergency.Inform the parent
38 YOUTH MINISTRYPersonal 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 placeThe corner of a busy roomWith the door openConsider a cyber use policy
39 MINISTRY SPECIFIC PROCEDURES Each ministry has procedures specificto the age group or activity.All workers should be given that informationprior to working in that ministry.Procedures include what to doin 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 childrenParents should supervise restroom breaksActivities on the field…Adults retrieve balls from the woodsPay special attention in the parking lot
41 COACH–TELL THE PARENTS! 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.
42 CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOL Nursery doors are locked at all times for highest security and opened by staff onlyTo avoid congestion, only one parent may enter to drop off or pick up childTours of the nursery should be made during non-high traffic times
43 SAFE SANCTUARY TEAM ’S RESPONSIBILITIES 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 guidelinesSupervise paid and volunteer workers to see procedures are being followedReview policy and procedures annuallyUpdate background checks every 3 yearsKeep all information on confidential file.
44 Research issuesEvaluate current practiceDevelop Policies and ProceduresPlan for responseApproval of Church CouncilEducate and TrainImplement and monitor implementation
46 S Be aware of surroundings M Be mindful of manipulators JUST BE SMARTS Be aware of surroundingsM Be mindful of manipulatorsA Be aware of what to avoidR Be ready to report issuesT Be timely about telling