Child Protection Policy - Safe Sanctuaries





CHRIST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Last Updated : October 2010
Last Reviewed : September 2014


 

“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them ‘Let the children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.’” (Mark 10:13-16)

This incident from the ministry of Jesus speaks of the value our Lord placed on children and the example of faith that they provide for the rest of us. As followers of Jesus, we understand that children/youth are inherently valuable members of Christ’s community. Jesus highlighted not only the faith and openness of children, but also their vulnerability. This vulnerability puts children at risk, but it also places them close to God. Their dependence on God may be what Jesus was trying to get his disciples to see as a model for their own faith. This vulnerability and dependence makes the protection and support of the community of faith even more important. Jesus was teaching that, within the community of believers, there must be protection for each of us in our dependence on God and on each other.

As followers of Christ, we resolve to protect children in their vulnerability and also to learn from them as we all grow in the faith. Our culture appears to be experiencing an increase in the incidence of child abuse and neglect. As much as we do not like to think about abusive and hurtful things happening in the church, it is clear that it is our duty as the Church to guard and protect the children, youth, church staff and volunteers who participate in our ministries.

The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, in April 1996, adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse in the church. The adopted resolution includes the following statement:

“Our Christian faith calls us to offer both hospitality and protection to the little ones, the children. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state that ‘. . . children must be protected from economic, physical and sexual exploitation, and abuse.’

Tragically, churches have not always been safe places for children. Child sexual abuse, exploitation and ritual abuse . . . occur in churches, both large and small, urban and rural. The problem cuts across all economic, cultural and racial lines. It is real, and it appears to be increasing. Most annual conferences can cite specific incidents of child sexual abuse and exploitation in their churches. Virtually every congregation has among its members adult survivors of early sexual trauma. Such incidents are devastating to all who are involved: the child, the family, the local church and its leaders. Increasingly, churches are torn apart by the legal, emotional, and monetary consequences of litigation following allegations of abuse.

God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children and other vulnerable persons from sexual and ritual abuse. God calls us to create communities of faith where children and adults grow safe and strong.” (From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church -- 1996. pp. 384-386.) Since the 1996 General Conference, every annual conference in the U.S. has reported at least one incident of child abuse. Thus, in covenant with all United Methodist congregations, we adopt this policy for the prevention of child abuse in our church.
 

Click the links below to access the policy and forms (all require Adobe PDF reader available here):

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY COVER SHEET

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

APPLICATION TO WORK/VOLUNTEER WITH CHILDREN AND/OR YOUTH

EVENT PERMISSION FORM

INCIDENT REPORT

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

TRANSPORTATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

SUSPECTED INCIDENT OF CHILD ABUSE

WRITTEN RECORD OF CONTACT WITH A REFERENCE

NURSERY LOG

TRAINING SLIDES

 

All completed forms should be turned into the church office for retention for a minimum of three (3) years.