Nolensville First United Methodist Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Building Christ's Family to Love God and to Serve Others
Excerpts from the Policy:
In order to provide a safe and healthy environment for children and youth who participate in its programs and activities, Nolensville First United Methodist Church (NFUMC) has developed the policies and procedures contained in our Safe Sanctuary Policy. It is the goal of NFUMC to provide programs for children and youth, which instill Christ-like values and provide opportunities for witness and spiritual growth. In all our ministries with children and youth, NFUMC is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ so that each child will be “…surrounded by steadfast love, established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.” (Baptismal Covenant: Congregational Pledge 2, United Methodist Hymnal, 2001, p. 44).
As Christians, we are called to create a safe sanctuary in our church, its programs and sponsored activities. It must be a holy, safe and protective community for all of God’s children. The purpose of this policy is to address the safety of our children and youth. We recognize the need to have a formal, written policy with procedures in place to (1) help prevent the opportunity for abuse of children and youth, (2) help protect workers from false accusations, and (3) to have an established procedure to report a suspected incident of child abuse. The following policy and procedures are not based on a lack of trust in workers, but are intended to protect our children, youth, workers, employees, volunteers and the entire church body.
As a Christian community of faith, we pledge to conduct the ministry of the gospel in ways that provide an environment for spiritual growth and safety of all children and youth in our care, as well as those who work with children and youth in the ministry.
We will follow the measures of this policy in the recruitment and selection of paid staff as well as volunteer workers with children and youth. We will implement the operational procedures of this policy. We will train and educate our staff and volunteer workers in the use of these policies. We will define and follow procedures for reporting a suspected incident of abuse that conforms to Tennessee State law. We will define and follow procedures for handling an allegation of abuse among staff or workers. We will be prepared to respond to media inquiries by following the policy of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church if an incident occurs.
All applicants will be considered and must be approved prior to working with children and youth using the following guidelines:
I. All those wishing to volunteer in programs working with children and/or youth will complete a written application and are required to sign a Criminal Background Check consent form. All applications will be kept confidential and secured in the Church office. See Nolensville First United Methodist Church Volunteer Application (Appendix A) and Criminal Background Check Consent Form (Appendix B).
II. An interview by SPPR or Authority designated by SPPR is required for paid staff positions. Volunteers will be interviewed by Ministry Area personnel.
III. All applicants are subject to in-depth reference checks, a criminal background check and the screening process as defined below.
IV. Volunteers working with children (birth to 18 years) must attend NFUMC for six months before they are eligible to begin a volunteer position. However, such individuals may begin the application, training and background check process at any time during that six-month period.
Appendix B: Background Check Consent Form
Appendix C: Accident Report Form
Appendix D: Incident Report FormAppendix E: Off-Site Activity Form and Emergency Medical Release