SAFE CHILDREN POLICY
Guidelines for Appropriate Conduct for Safeguarding Children and Youth
The church will conduct a minimum of two reference checks for any individual working with children in a one-on-one mentoring relationship with minors, or for individuals taking part in any overnight activities.
No person working with children in a one-on-one, or overnight situation will be considered for such position until she/he has been involved with the church for a minimum of six months.
The church will obtain and have on file, for all volunteers and employees, a national criminal background check. Such reports will remain confidential, seen only by the church moderator, and the pastor when appropriate.
All programs involving children and youth observe an open-door policy. Parents, clergy, and elected church leaders may visit and observe any program unannounced. Meetings involving children are coordinated through the Christian Education Committee and the youth minister.
No adult, other than the parent of the child, should be alone with a child in the church or church related event where he or she cannot be observed by others.
During overnight activities, sleeping accommodations for children and chaperones are separated by gender.
Children who come to any church-related program are supervised until they are dismissed.
Chaperones and Parents' Responsibilities
It is our goal that a minimum of two adult workers will be in attendance at all times when children are being supervised during our programs and activities. In the instances where only one adult is available, we will endeavor to have a high school assistant present and keep the doors to the classroom open.
For children and/or youth activities away from church, the pastor and the youth minister, in conjunction with the Christian Education Committee, will approve chaperones as a part of the planning process. Chaperones must be 18 years old or older.
Except by prior arrangement at youth group outings, youth leaders and chaperones are not responsible for driving children or youths home from meetings or activities. By prior arrangement only, a child may be dismissed to a person other than the person with whom he/she arrived.
A parent or guardian must sign a permission form for activities held away from the church. Parents will be informed about location, departure, and arrival times.
Sunday school classes will be released at the end of the Sunday school hour or the end of the church service. It is the parents' responsibility to collect their children at the end of these activities.
Expectations of Behavior
Physical contact, such as wrestling, sardines, or other high contact games, is inappropriate in church-sponsored activities or gatherings.
Participants in all groups are expected to remain together throughout the meeting time. Unsupervised separation from the group is not permitted, unless under direction of the leader.
Guidelines for Reporting Complaints Regarding Building Safety or Misconduct
Complaints regarding building safety or personal misconduct should be brought to the pastor, church moderator, or chairperson of the deacons immediately. The church council will initiate a prompt and appropriate response to remove and/or correct any threat to the safety and well being of the congregation or our children.