The Church, above all institutions, is called to welcome and nurture children and youth. Our goal is to maintain a safe, secure, loving place where children and youth may grow, and where those who care for them may administer to their needs in responsible ways.
A Synopsis of the
“Policy for the Prevention of Child Abuse”
1. Minimum Age: Authority Figures working with youth (grades 6th and above) must be 21 years of age or 4 years older than the participants. Authority Figures working with children (infant-5th grade) must be a minimum of 18 years of age. Assistants must be a minimum of 12 years of age and in the written judgment of an FUMC staff member must be competent to assist in the activity.
2. Two Adult Rule: A minimum of two adults (18 years of age) are to be present during all programming with children and youth. Where it is impossible to staff two adults per room, an additional adult must serve as a floater with visual and physical access.
3. Adult/Child Ratios: Ratios will vary depending on the age of the child and the activity. A minimum of two adults must always be present. It is the responsibility of the Authority Figure to know the ratio for the age group with which they work.
4. Rooming: With written parental consent, children or youth may room together without an adult. In situations where adults room with children or youth in a hotel, cabin, tent or other similar situation, there must be two adults. These adults must be the same sex as the children or youth. Adults may not sleep in the same bed with children or youth except that a parent may sleep with his or her own child.
5. Six Month Rule: All adult volunteer Authority Figures must be a member of the congregation for six months in order to serve in the area of children or youth. Others may serve as an assistant with an Authority Figure.
6. Policy Instruction: ALL volunteers and paid staff must undergo policy instruction and educational training once a year.
7. Screening: All authority figures, assistants and all employees (including clergy) must be properly screened. Screening includes the following:
• Each person completes an application form
• Each applicant is interviewed
• The church conducts reference checks on all adults and college students
• The church conducts background checks on all adults and college students
Those under eighteen will complete a modified application form and be interviewed. No background or reference checks will be required.
8. Reporting Abuse: State law requires volunteers who work with children under the age of 18 to report any type of suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. Any volunteer who makes such a report in “good faith” is protected by law from any form of liability; however, failure to make such a report can give rise to criminal and/or civil liability. Reports may be made anonymously.
a. If child abuse is suspected, the Senior Pastor or Staff Parish Relations Chairperson shall be contacted at 731-422-4002.
b. If a child is in immediate danger, the Police, Sheriff, or Highway Patrol (911) shall be contacted immediately.
(non-handicapped, not walking)