Safe Church Policy

APPROVED BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS: February 25, 2013
EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2013

POLICY STATEMENTS

  1. Any person who may pose a threat to children, youth, or vulnerable adults, or is a registered sex offender, will be prohibited from working in any church-sponsored programs, activities, and events involving children, youth, or vulnerable adults.
  2. All candidates for employment in any position will be subject to background and reference screening.
  3. All volunteers for any ministry involving children, youth, or vulnerable adults will be subject to background and reference screening.
  4. University Christian Church (the Church) considers any allegation of injury, abuse, or molestation a serious matter. Each situation will be fully investigated.

APPLICABILITY

  1. This policy applies to all candidates for employment, to employees in all positions, and to volunteers engaged in the care, teaching, and leading of children, youth, and vulnerable adults participating in church-sponsored programs, activities, and events.
  2. This policy applies to church-sponsored programs, activities, and events both at the church building and away from the church building.

SCREENING PROCEDURES

  1. All individuals volunteering to work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults and all candidates for employment will provide contact information for two references, not related to the individual, and the necessary personal information for a criminal background check to the Church Education Director, or other Division (Ministry) Director as appropriate, prior to employment or being permitted to volunteer.
  2. The Director will conduct a criminal background check through a provider of such services.
  3. The Director or his/her delegate will obtain two references for the candidate for employment or volunteering.
  4. When indicated by negative background or reference checks, the Director will remove from consideration a candidate who may have a prior history of physical or sexual abuse directed against another person and will inform the candidate of this action.
  5. The candidate may appeal the Director’s decision to the President of the Congregation.

WAITING PERIOD

All volunteer candidates will have been involved in the programs and activities of the Church for six months or more before they will be considered for any ministry position involving contact with children, youth, or vulnerable adults.

PROGRAM SUPERVISION

  1. At least two adults must be present at every program, activity, or event involving children, youth, or vulnerable adults, when practical. “Adults” means individuals 18 years of age and older. This requirement applies to activities in classrooms, vehicles, or other enclosed areas. For large groups, the number of adult supervisors must be increased.
  2. One or more of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.
  3. For times when two adults cannot be present, employees and volunteers will follow the “Rule of Three”. The “Rule of Three” means that all groups will include at least three individuals, one of whom is an approved, screened adult.

RECORD-KEEPING

  1. Attendance - The Division (Ministry) responsible for programs, activities, and events will maintain an attendance list for every function. Employees and volunteers will record the date and time of the function, along with the names of all participants, including employees and volunteers.
  2. Emergency Contacts – The Division (Ministry) responsible for programs, activities, and events will maintain emergency contact information for every regular participant.
  3. Permission Slips – The Division (Ministry) responsible for programs, activities, and events will collect permission slips signed by a parent or guardian for every time the participants will be leaving the church and when any participant is transported by an unrelated adult.
  4. Injury/Incident Reports – Employees and volunteers will prepare a written injury or incident report whenever such an event occurs during a church-sponsored program, activity, or event and promptly forward the report to the Senior Minister and the program, activity, or event leader.
  5. Applications, References, and Background Checks - The Division (Ministry) will retain hard copies of employee and volunteer application materials, background checks, references, and notes from interviews in a locked file cabinet or other secure location. Electronic records will be kept in a password-protected, electronic file accessible only to the Senior Minister, the President of the Congregation, the President–elect, and the Division (Ministry) Directors.

RETENTION SCHEDULE

  1. Volunteer applications, references, and background checks will be retained for five years and then shredded, destroyed, and/or deleted.
  2. Employee applications, references, interview materials, and background checks will be retained for the length of the employment, plus five years.

MANDATORY TRAINING AND ANNUAL REVIEW

Each year, Division (Ministry) Directors will develop training materials and conduct a training session on this policy for all employees, volunteers, and candidates for volunteer positions.

REVISION OF POLICY AND PROCEDURES

The Board of Directors may amend this policy at any time.

FORMS

Forms will be available in hard copy and, in some cases, online at the Church website.

  1. Permission Slip for Youth Programs Form
  2. Emergency Form
  3. Information/Application Form
  4. Reference Response Information Form
  5. Injury and Incident Report Form
  6. Attendance Register