The East Rochester United Methodist Church is a Safe Sanctuaries congregation. A policy has been passed and implemented that reflects the standards established by the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and our insurance carriers.
Every effort is made to ensure the safety of children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
Approved volunteers have on file an application, evidence of a clean criminal background check, references, and proof of annual checks with the sex offender registry as posted by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice. In addition, all approved volunteers have been oriented to the policy and are offered educational opportunities sponsored by the Upper New York Annual Conference to maintain Safe Sanctuaries skills.
Jeanne Paige, Marilynn Amberger, James Coleman, Linda Boiauova, Patricia Walter, Karen O'Donnell, Stefany DeLorme, Laura Garrand, Jennifer DeRycke, Carol Sierk, Todd Goddard.
Approved Safe Sanctuaries Policy
Safe Sanctuaries Policy of the East Rochester United Methodist Church
Passed November 1, 2012 by the Annual Church Conference
We, of the East Rochester United Methodist Church, recognized the importance of protecting our children and vulnerable adults and that we called to safely protect those in our care. Our policy contains the recommendations and forms of the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. The forms used are modified from Safe Sanctuaries Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church by Joy Thornburg Melton, pages 62-74.
- There will be a written position description for those situations which include ministry to children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
- An application will be completed for each position. This form will include identification information; employment history; volunteer work; experiences and skills specifically related to the position; church membership; personal references which exclude family members; waiver of right to confidentiality; voluntary disclosure of past criminal convictions; and authorization to conduct a criminal background check.
- References will be checked by the pastor or designated person. Questions should include applicant's ability to work with children, youth and vulnerable adults.
- A personal interview shall be conducted.
- A criminal background check will be done for all clergy and workers who have regular and direct contact with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. The checks shall be done every 7 years of service. The results will be kept in a secure place.
- The volunteers shall be in active relationship with the church for at least six months before being in a supervisory role. They may be helpers before that.
- Those selected will be those who have successfully completed the application and screening process.
- If the criminal background check reveals problems, the pastor or another ministry leader shall consult with the applicant.
- No one will be accepted to work with children, youth or vulnerable adults who is under investigation or have charges pending for child abuse.
Procedures for Conduction Ministry Programs and Events for Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults
- The "two-adult rule" will be in affect at all times. No adult is, ever to be alone with children, youth or vulnerable adults for any activity. There shall always be two unrelated adults present. And no child, youth or vulnerable adult shall be left unsupervised.
- Adult staff/volunteers will be at least 18 years old and at least five years old than the oldest minor present.
- The adults should be on the watch for unusual behavior in their charges and report such • observations to the appropriate supervisor.
- Each worker/volunteer shall be given a copy of the Safe Sanctuaries policy.
- All activities shall be held in open view of others.
- Written attendance records shall be kept for all ministry events/activities involving children and youth. These records shall include the date and names of all participants, and any allergies or other health information. These shall be kept until Jesus returns (perpetuity).
- Written permission slips are required for any activities needing transportation. Drivers must be at least 21 years old. The event supervisor shall have a copy of the drivers current license an proof of insurance.
- The facilities shall be safe for all those participating.
- Clergy shall regularly review and be familiar with public sex offenders registries maintained by NYS law enforcement agencies This is done by accessing: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp
There shall be training using information given by the Upper New York Conference.
Reporting and Response
Reporting is required by the adult that personally witnesses an incident of abuse or exploitation, or by the supervisor who is told of the incident.
- The pastor and immediate staff supervisor are to be informed immediately before or subsequent to the making of a report. Necessary information is be gathered (victim, victim's address and family information, alleged abuse and what was observed). The NYS Child Protective Services Hotline should be contacted at (800) 342-3720.
- If the accused is the clergy, or a family member, the allegations shall be immediately reported to the District Superintendent.
- All clergy are included in the mandatory reporting.
- After appropriate reporting is completed, the District Superintendent shall be notified.
- The person in charge of the event must keep a written report of the steps taken by the church in response to the reported abuse. The report shall be brief and only contain the factual information relevant to the situation. This report will be kept in a secure place.
- This is a private matter and shall not be discussed with others; This is to protect the victim, their family and the church.
A quick, compassionate and unified response to an alleged incident of abuse is expected. All allegations shall be taken seriously. In all cases of reported or observed abuse there shall be cooperation with all official investigating agencies.
- Media requests for statements shall be directed to the Annual Conference Director of Communications.
- We will take allegations seriously and will reach out to the family.
- The accused with be removed from further involvement with children, youth or vulnerable adults. He/she will be told of the alleged abuse. No details will be disclosed.
- If it a staff member or volunteer being accused, he/she shall no contact with children, youth of vulnerable adults until the incident has been fully resolved.
- Let the parents/guardians of the victim know what steps have been taken.
- The church shall provide a supportive atmosphere to all those affected.