Safe Sanctuary

The United Methodist Church defines “Safe Sanctuaries is an overt expression in making congregations safe places where children, youth and elders may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith.” They provide resources for establishing, maintaining and training congregations in Safe Sanctuary practices.” (http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/safe-sanctuaries)

The Iowa UMC Conference provides guidelines for Child and Youth Protection located at http://www.iaumc.org/files/fileslibrary/Child_and_Youth_Protection_Policy.pdf

The First United Methodist Church will be implimenting a new system for background checks, as part of an on-going commitment to keep our children, youth and elders safe. Adult volunteers working with the following ministries need to complete a new form by June 15:

     Children’s Ministry, including Sunday School, Peacemakers and VBS

     Childcare, including nursery

     ELL, including all teachers, childcare workers and drivers

     Stephen Ministry

     Summer Lunch and Fun Ministry

     Youth Ministry, including EPIC and mission trip adults

     Anyone else working with children, youth or vulnerable adults

The background check involves criminal backgrounds, not consumer reports. The background check is good for two years. Chairpersons from each team will receive the Background Check Authorization forms for each individual to fill out. Creation Kids and the Pantry maintain background checks on their workers and volunteers.

Completing all of the background checks at the same time during the year provides one expiration date and more accurate records. Multiple expiration dates and frequent applications has required a large amount of staff time to track and adequately maintain. Ninety percent of the checks should be done this June. September 15 and January 15 will be used to complete background checks for new volunteers to the above ministries .

Thank you for helping us to maintain our Safe Sanctuary policy.

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