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Children

and
Vulnerable
Adult
Abuse
Prevention
Program
St. Pauls UCC /
ELCA 100 N.
Fremont St.
Lewiston, MN
Adopted September 15,
2015

Dear St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Community,


It is the expectation of St Pauls that volunteers, staff and church members maintain a highly
moral and ethical relationship with all persons of any age, striving to be above even the
appearance of wrongdoing.
However living in a broken and sinful world, we know that harmful actions and hurtful decisions
occur with frequency. Therefore, we are motivated to be proactive in the prevention of
misconduct because:
we are entrusted with the spiritual and moral development of our children and youth
we intend to be a place of safety and respect for all persons.
We expect our pastors, staff, program leaders, and volunteers to respect the principles, intentions,
and specifics of this abuse prevention program.
We do not thereby assume that our staff and volunteers are untrustworthy or dangerous
to the safety and well-being of our children.
Likewise, we will not promote a climate of suspicion or fear in our community of faith.
This policy is not in reaction to problems within St Pauls but prompted instead by
awareness of problems in our society and its institutions, including churches.
This program helps protect our children and youth. It helps protect our staff, volunteers,
and church members from unfounded allegations. It helps protect our congregation
from legal risk and liability.
Most parents today are familiar with - and expect - policies such as this for the protection of their
families. Many parents are also aware of the need for these considerations when volunteering to
participate in activities that serve children and youth. Lewiston-Altura Elementary School, for
example, requires background checks of all parents / adult chaperones for school field trips.
Language and advice of people in other churches and from other resources has shaped this
program and the documents accompanying it.
Thank you for being part of a community with a commitment to care for the least of these.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Arianna Arends
September 15, 2015

Children and Vulnerable Adult Abuse


Prevention Program
Draft August 31, 2015

Introductory Letter

Page 1

I). Screening Process

Page 3

II). Training Process

Page 6

III). Supervision Guidelines

Page 7

IV). Reporting Obligations

Page 9

V.) Partnerships with other Ministries

Page 10

VI). Types of Child Abuse

Page 11

VII). Vulnerable Adult Abuse

Page 12

VIII). Signature / Acknowledgement

Page 13

I) SCREENING PROCESS:
All references to children and youth in the following procedures refer to children under the
age of 18 and vulnerable adults.
The following screening process will be followed every three years for any person over 18 who
seeks to volunteer at St Pauls UCC / ELCA Church who may have or seeks to have access to
children and vulnerable adults to whom St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church provides care, education,
training, instruction or recreation. At minimum this includes the pastor, youth director, St. Pauls
Youth event volunteers, Sunday School superintendent, and Sunday School teachers.
1. Employment Application and/or the Volunteer Application.
Our Employment Application includes questions regarding:
Current and previous residence addresses.
Current and previous employment, including addresses, dates, duties, titles, and reasons
for leaving.
Names and addresses of schools attended and degree(s) earned.
References from previous employers and organizations that serve children.
* By Minnesota law employment applications may not inquire as to criminal history.
Passage of a background check will be required before hiring.
Our Volunteer Application includes questions regarding:
Current address.
Volunteer experience.
Criminal history information.
Personal references.
2.

Application and Authorization for Background Check


All staff and volunteers shall truthfully and fully complete, date and sign this document. It
includes an Authorization for a Criminal Background Records Check. With this
authorization, St Pauls UCC / ELCA Church will request a background records check to
determine whether the applicant is the subject of any reported conviction for background
check crimes, under the provisions of the Child Protection Background Check Act.

3. Confidential Interview
All volunteers shall meet with the staff leader of the ministry they are applying to serve in
and complete a face-to-face interview.
4. Reference Checks
St Pauls Sunday School superintendent, pastor and / or youth director will contact all listed
references for volunteers. St Pauls Mutual ministry committee council representative and /
or council president will contact all listed references and employers for paid staff.
5. Pastoral Background Check
Council President and Mutual Ministry Committee Council Representative will check with
the pastors denominational affiliation to ensure a background check is current every three
years after the pastors call is issued.
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If in the opinion of the church leadership (pastor, youth leader, Sunday school superintendent,
church council) the applicant presents a serious potential threat to the safety of children or
vulnerable adults at St. Pauls, the applicant shall be denied the opportunity to work at St. Pauls
UCC / ELCA Church.
About your privacy
Information obtained through the screening, application, reference check, interview, and criminal
background check will be kept in confidence, unless otherwise required by law. All information
discovered or obtained through the above-referenced means will be kept in a secure location in
the pastors office and access to it will be restricted to paid youth staff and St Pauls UCC /
ECLAs current pastor. These materials will be archived.
The applicant has a right to be informed by St. Pauls of the response of the Bureau of Criminal
Apprehension to the background records check and to obtain from St. Pauls a copy of the
background records check report. The applicant has a right to obtain from the Bureau of Criminal
Apprehension any record that forms the basis for the report. The applicant has a right to be
informed by St. Pauls Lutheran Church if the applicant has been denied an opportunity to work
with children because of the response from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The applicant
has the right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of any information contained in the
background check report or record by appealing to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Six-Month Rule:
All volunteers will be required to have been a member of St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church for
six months, or if not members, regularly and frequently associated with St. Pauls UCC / ELCA
Church for at least a year. Note: New members are encouraged to become active in youth
ministry. Their involvement with youth will be accommodated by having them work in a team
with a person who has been a member for at least six months.
St. Pauls leadership Expectations:
The leaders of the programmatic areas of Children, Youth and Family Ministries are in a public
and visible position within the church and are looked at as role models for the participants of our
programs. St. Pauls Church expects that these leaders, whether children or adults, live their lives
in accordance with Biblical principles. The staff reserves the right to make decisions about
whether individuals should or should not be granted leadership roles based on those principles.
These include, but are not limited to, background, recommendations, and reputation within the
community, lifestyle and participation in the life of St. Pauls Church.
Individuals who will not be allowed to care for, supervise, control, or oversee children, youth or
vulnerable adults:
1. Individuals convicted of any offence against minors as defined by state or national law.
2. Convicted felons.
3. Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense as defined by state law that is
classified as sexual assault, indecency with a minor or adult, assault of a minor or adult,
injury to a minor or adult, abandoning or endangering a minor, sexual performance with a
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minor or adult, possession or promoting child pornography, enticing a minor, bigamy,


incest, drug related offenses, or family violence.
4. Individuals with illness or character problems that could affect or impair working with
children, youth or vulnerable adults.
* If any applicant for volunteer or paid position would like to give the circumstances surrounding
any information received in a background check or references he or she will be able to meet with
a group which may include the Council President, Pastor, Youth Director, Sunday School
Superintendent and / or the Mutual Ministry Committee Council Representative.

II) Training of Staff and Volunteers


1. All volunteers and staff will have reviewed and signed the Child and Youth Abuse
Prevention Program.
2. All volunteers and staff will be given orientation to the building and areas in which they
will be supervising children or youth if they are unfamiliar with the church building.
3. All volunteers and staff will participate in Safeguarding Gods Children Training for
Parents and Congregations before supervising children or youth and every two years
after that.
4. Council members and staff will participate in Safeguarding Gods Children Training for
Parents and Congregations and Safeguarding Gods Children Training for Ministries.
III)

Implementation
1. Education
a. This policy will be available for review and reference in print format in the St.
Pauls church office and online on the St. Pauls church website
(stpaulsc.weebly.com)
b. Information about this policy will be published after adoption in the St Pauls
church newsletter, on the website and through announcements at church events.
c. An informational meeting with question and answer time will be held at a date
after adoption.
d. All congregation and community members are welcome at any training session
whether volunteering with children / youth or not.
2. Children / Youth education
a. A program will be developed to be implemented in the Fall of 2016 to educate
children on issues of personal body safety, dangerous situations, where to go to
for help and feelings of shame and guilt.
i. Parents / Guardians will be advised and will have the option of
withholding their child for this lesson and / or teaching the lesson
themselves to their child(ren)
3. Timeline for Implementation
i. January 2016; Youth Director, Sunday School staff and volunteers;
Training and Background Checks
ii. April or March 2016; Youth Event Volunteers; Training and Background
Checks
iii. August or September 2016; St Pauls Church Council, Secretarial and
Custodial staff; Training only
4. Job Descriptions
a. The Mutual Ministry Committee will be in charge of updating any or all job
descriptions which are affected by this policy

I) Supervision Guidelines for Staff and Volunteers

Supervision Procedures
Unless an extenuating situation exists, St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church:
1. Will have adequate number of screened and trained paid staff or volunteers present at events
involving minors. Supervision will increase in proportion to the risk of the activity.
2. Will monitor facilities during activities involving children. Random and frequent supervisory
visits will be made to all classrooms, especially rooms that are isolated from view.
3. will request parents to pick up their child(ren) at the Sunday School classroom door. Parents
may inform Sunday School program (in writing) if it is okay to release child to older sibling,
or on their own. Children entering 7th grade or older will be trusted to leave Sunday School,
Confirmation, St. Paul's Youth and other St Paul's church events on their own. Parents of
children entering 7th grade or older may request in writing that his/ her child(ren) be released
only to specified adult, sibling, or emergency contact.
4. Will obtain written parental permission, including a signed medical treatment form and
emergency contacts, before taking minors on trips and should provide information regarding
the trip.
5. Will encourage minors to use a "buddy system" whenever minors go on trips off of St. Pauls
UCC / ELCA Church property.
6. Will screen all paid staff and volunteers and approve those individuals in advance for any
overnight activities.
7. Will designate a "confidential counselor" to whom any minor can go at any time, without
special permission, to discuss any problems he or she is having. These "confidential
counselor" will be the Pastor, the paid youth worker, and the volunteer Sunday school
superintendent. Alternates will be offered when these individuals are unavailable.

Behavioral Guidelines for St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Paid Staff


All volunteers and paid staff will observe the following guidelines:
1. Do not provide alcoholic beverages, tobacco, drugs, contraband, or anything that is
prohibited by law to minors.
2. To the extent possible, St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church events that are co-educational will
have both male and female chaperones.
3. Whenever possible, at least two unrelated paid staff or volunteers will be in the room when
minors are present. Doors will be left fully open if one adult needs to leave the room
temporarily and during arrival to the class or event before both adults are present. Adults will
not have one-to-one contact with children or youth in a closed-door environment. However,
the church recognizes that one-to-one contact may be appropriate at times to maintain
confidentiality. When this type of activity is appropriate, it is mandatory that a second adult
be on the premises, aware of this activity, and available if needed.
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4. Avoid all inappropriate touching with minors. All touching shall be based on the needs of the
individual being touched, not on the needs of the volunteer or paid staff. In the event a minor
initiates physical contact and/or inappropriate touching, it is appropriate to inform the minor
that such touching is inappropriate.
5. Never engage in physical discipline of a minor. Volunteers and paid staff shall not abuse
minors in any way, including but not limited to physical abuse, verbal/mental abuse,
emotional abuse, and sexual abuse of any kind.
6. If you recognize an inappropriate relationship developing between a minor and adult,
maintain clear professional boundaries and refer the minor to another individual with
supervisory authority.
7. If one-on-one pastoral care is necessary, avoid meeting in isolated environments.
8. Anyone who observes abuse of a minor will take appropriate steps to immediately intervene
and provide assistance. Report any inappropriate conduct to the proper authorities and
officials of St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church for handling.

St. Pauls Policy Regarding People with Disabilities


We want all people to be included in the ministries and activities at St. Pauls. Because most
events are run by volunteers and not trained medical/health care staff, our policy does not
allow staff or volunteers to take care of special health/physical needs of others, e.g., selfcare, toileting, monitoring medications, feeding, etc. In order for each person to get the most
out of events (especially overnight and day long retreats), those requiring assistance with
physical cares will need to invite a friend, family member or attendant to assist them.

II) Reporting Obligations for Staff and Volunteers


Our governing principle is that we know that it is in Gods heart and will to care for and protect
children and adults.
Our considerations/goals are
Care and protection for victim(s) and their families
Clear and compassionate public stance
Protection for members, public, St. Pauls
Respect for accused
Who Should Report Suspected Abuse?
Volunteers (supervisors/staff can help you make report)
Staff
Mandatory reporters (are professionals, or professionals delegates, law enforcement, teachers,
doctors, nurses, social workers).
How to Report?
If you know or suspect that a child, youth or vulnerable adult is in immediate danger, call 911.
Reports for Children and Youth: Winona Co. Child Protection at (507) 457-6500
Reports for Vulnerable Adults: Day: 507-457-6500,
Evenings and weekends: 507-457-6368 (law enforcement)
Or - Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433
Make report immediately or within 24-hours. When in doubt, make a report.
Protection for Reporters
No civil or criminal liability for good faith reports.
Identity of reporter not divulged (except with consent or by court order).
Penalties for retaliation against reporter.
Civil protection for good faith investigative activities.

III)

Partnerships with other Ministries


1.) St Pauls UCC / ELCA partners with other ministries to offer programs for the entire
community. As part of our dedication to care for the vulnerable members of our
community we ask our partner ministries to create and enforce an abuse prevention
program of their own.
2.) St. Pauls UCC / ELCA will ask for documentation of background checks on all
volunteers from other ministries working in partnership with St Pauls on St Pauls
property.
3.) If no background check has been performed in the last year starting September 1 and
ending August 31, St Pauls will require and pay for the background check.
4.) St Pauls UCC / ELCA will require all volunteers to be known and associated with a
partner ministry for at least 6 months prior to working with children / vulnerable adults.
5.) St Pauls will not require volunteers from other ministries to participate in Safeguarding
Gods Children training.
6.) The Supervisory and Behavior Guidelines, and Reporting Obligations outlined in this
program for Staff and Volunteers of St Pauls will apply to volunteers from other partner
ministries while working with St Pauls UCC /ELCA in joint activities.

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Types of Child Abuse:


While child abuse has gotten more attention in the last few decades (it wasnt until 1961 that the
medical profession formally recognized child abuse), it is still a growing problem in our society.
Child abuse can be described in four different categories: Physical, Mental, Sexual, and Neglect.
Physical Abuse
Inflicting injury upon a child by other than
accidental means, which causes death,
disfigurement, impairment of physical or
emotional health, or loss or impairment of
any bodily function.
Placing a child in a situation where they
will likely be injured.
Characterized by injury from punching,
kicking, biting, burning or otherwise
physically harming a child.

Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is any sexual activity
with a child in any setting. The abuser may
be an adult, an adolescent, or another child.
Child sexual abuse may be violent or nonviolent.
Child sexual abuse is criminal behavior
that involves children in sexual behaviors
for which they are not personally, socially or
developmentally ready.
Child sexual abuse may include actual or
threatened touching or non-touching
behavior.
Types of child sexual abuse that involve
touching include the following: fondling;
oral, genital or anal penetration; intercourse;
forcible rape; etc.
Types of child abuse that do not involve
touching, pornographic pictures; obscene
phone calls; exhibitionism; allowing
children to view sexual activity, verbal
comments, etc.

Mental Abuse
Emotional, or psychological injury that
causes, or could cause, behavioral,
emotional, or mental disorders.
Verbal comments, actions or statements
that would cause a child to believe their
person, emotions, physical form, family,
race, background, religious background, or
social status is somehow bad, inferior,
unacceptable or shameful.
Emotional abuse is almost always present
with other types of abuse.

Neglect
This can be physical, such as delay of
nourishment or health care; educational,
such as permitting a child to be truant from
school; or emotional, such as extreme
spousal abuse in front of the child; or failing
to provide psychological care as needed; or
financial, such as not providing adequately
for the child.

While it is possible that only one type of child abuse could be noticed in a situation, it is
more likely that more than one category of abuse will be present. As with any problem, an
awareness of the indicators for that problem can be a big first step in the right direction.
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Vulnerable Adult Abuse


Who is a vulnerable adult?

Types of abuse

A vulnerable adult in the state of Minnesota


is a person who is 18 years of age or older
and who fits the criteria of either categorical
vulnerable adult or functional vulnerable
adult.

Assault
Conduct producing pain or injury, such
as: hitting, slapping, kicking, pinching, use
of force to compel cooperation,
involuntary confinement, deprivation
Use of malicious language (oral, written,
or gesture) toward a vulnerable adult:
disparaging, humiliating, harassing or
threatening
Criminal sexual conduct
Use of drugs to injure or to facilitate a
crime
Promotion of prostitution
Neglect
Failure to provide care or services such
as: food, clothing, shelter, supervision,
medical care
May be caused by self or caregiver
Financial Exploitation
By legal fiduciary: unauthorized
expenditure or failure to use financial
resources to provide basic needs of
vulnerable adult
By others: willfully uses, withholds, or
disposes of the vulnerable adults funds or
property obtains control or interest in
vulnerable adults funds or property
through undue influence, harassment,
duress, deception or fraud compels
vulnerable adult to perform for the profit
of another

Categorical ~ either a resident of a licensed


facility, a recipient of services from a
licensed facility or provider, or a recipient of
licensed home health care services or MA
funded personal care attendant services.
Functional ~ a person with physical or
mental infirmity, or emotional dysfunction
which impairs their ability to meet basic
needs and their ability to protect themselves
from maltreatment.
unable to meet own basic needs: food,
shelter clothing
unable to perform activities of daily
living: bathing, grooming, dressing,
shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning,
paying bills, administering medications,
etc.
unable to protect self from maltreatment:
identify maltreatment, escape from
maltreatment, ask for/call for assistance,
develop and implement a protective plan
has diminished mental capacity

What to Report:
Vulnerable adult
Time, date, location of incident
Caregiver
Any evidence of previous maltreatment
Nature and extent of suspected maltreatment

For more information see www.leg.state.mn.us

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Child and Vulnerable Abuse Prevention Program


Acknowledgment
These guidelines have been designed to guide and assist you when working with minors. The
information establishes general practices and guidelines and should not be construed in any way
as a contract of employment or continued employment. St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church reserves
the right to make changes in the content or application of this program and to implement those
changes with or without notice.
The terms defined herein are defined for the purposes of the program and do not suppose or
establish a legal relationship. These terms are not defined for the purposes of creating a legal
relationship with the St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church or any related or associated entity and
instead are to be used with this document.
I have received a copy of the St. Pauls UCC / ELCA Church's Child and Youth Abuse
Prevention Program. I understand it is my responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to
the information contained herein. I understand that these policies are the property of the St.
Pauls UCC / ELCA Church.

______________________________________
Print Name
______________________________________
Signature
______________________________________
Date