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.” The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church-1996, p. 384. The Church of the Resurrection takes very seriously the call of Jesus Christ to minister to all people and to seek to meet their needs. We recognize the great problem and risk of child abuse today. This document was developed in order to assure that reasonable safety measures are taken to safeguard the physical and emotional welfare of children and youth that participate in the ministries of the Church of the Resurrection. It is our desire to handle any situation in a Christ-like manner. This policy applies to all paid staff and volunteers who participate in Church of the Resurrection’s children and youth programs, including church sponsored events held in any location in which minors are present. DEFINITIONS Sexual abuse—The sexual exploitation or use of anyone under 18 years of age through any contact or interaction in which the minor is used for the satisfaction of the older person. This includes both touching and non-touching behaviors. Touching behaviors—Behaviors including, but not limited to, kissing on the mouth, fondling, intercourse, forcible rape, genital anal penetration and oral sex. Non-touching behaviors—Behaviors including, but not limited to, verbal comments of a sexual nature, display of pornography, obscene telephone calls, exhibitionism and allowing or coercing minors to witness sexual activity. Minor—Includes any child or youth under the age of 18. Paid staff—Compensated employees of the Church of the Resurrection. Volunteer—Any adult who has direct or indirect contact with any minor, as well as youth volunteers who have direct or indirect contact with any minor that has not yet entered high school. High school student—Students in grades nine through twelve. SELECTION AND SCREENING Careful screening is one way to reduce the potential of sexual abuse of children and/or youth at the Church of the Resurrection. Screening includes the careful gathering and review of information in search of persons who can provide safe and caring supervision in a safe environment. All screening results will remain confidential. 1. 2. Prior to employment as a paid staff person or acceptance as a volunteer, adults may be permitted to observe ministry programs if they wear a visible nametag that identifies them as an observer. The Church of the Resurrection shall direct each prospective paid staff or volunteer to complete an Application for Working with Minors (see attachment). By signing this form, the applicant will give the Church of the Resurrection permission to contact references and perform any necessary investigation, including contacting appropriate law enforcement agencies and references. The Church of the Resurrection shall receive the completed forms and reports and review them. If any of the reports raises questions about the fitness of the prospective volunteer or staff member, the Church of the Resurrection shall disapprove the applicant for working with minors and notify the appropriate program directors. a. The Church of the Resurrection reserves the right to turn away any person for volunteer or paid service. b. Applicants for all paid staff, lay and clergy, must have at least two references contacted and a background check administered by a reputable investigative organization prior to employment. c. Persons alleged and convicted of sexual abuse, past or present, will not be considered as volunteers for minors.


SUPERVISION Volunteers: Failure to uphold any of the following policies may result in removal of the volunteer from ministry with minors.


2. 3. 4.

There must be at least one other non-related person present whenever a volunteer meets with a minor. Volunteers must not engage in isolated one-to-one interaction with minors. In the event that one-to-one interaction is necessary, prior consent must be obtained from a parent or guardian of the minor. Volunteers will not date or have romantic involvement with a minor. Paid staff members will have an open invitation to make unannounced visits whenever any volunteer(s) get together with any minor(s). If any volunteer suspects that a policy has been broken, he/she must report the incident to a staff member or pastor. The incident will be documented and adressed by the staff member or pastor.


All volunteers working with minors on site at the Church of the Resurrection must wear a nametag.

Paid Staff Members : 1. Paid staff members may occasionally need to meet individually with a minor. In the event that one-onone ministry with a minor is necessary, the meeting should, if possible, take place in a well-lit public and visible area with a minor of the same sex. When possible, another staff member and/or the minor’s parents should be made aware of the meeting. 2. Adult paid staff members will not date or have romantic involvement with a minor. 3. If any paid staff member suspects that a policy has been broken, he/she must report the incident to another staff member or pastor. The incident must be documented and addressed. 4. Any staff member working with minors on site at the Church of the Resurrection must wear a nametag. REPORTING OF SUSPECTED INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS 1. When a paid staff member or volunteer at a church sponsored program or event suspects that abuse has taken place, he or she should report the incident immediately to the Senior Pastor or to a staff member. The person suspected of abuse should, for the safety and well being of the minor involved, be removed from further contact with the minor until an appropriate investigation has taken place. If a staff member is the alleged suspect, then the report should be made initially to their supervisor. In the event that the Senior Pastor is suspected, the report should be made to the District Superintendent. The matter should be held in strict confidence and must not be discussed with anyone else. 2. Following the report of an incident, the Senior Pastor or designated supervisor (hereafter referred to as the investigator) should document the report then speak with the alleged victim, being careful to use open-ended questions. 3. The investigator should then speak with the person accused of the sexual abuse, again being careful to use open-ended questions. 4. If the investigator determines that there is reason to suspect that sexual abuse may have occurred, he/she should immediately: a. Contact an attorney for the church and the church’s insurance company. b. Contact the parents of the alleged victim, and c. Report the incident to the State Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (800-9225330) or local law enforcement agency immediately, and 5. All conversations should be documented. An Investigation Report Form (see attached) is available in the church office. 6. The Staff Parish Committee shall be informed of any incident that involves a staff member. MEDIA RESPONSE The Senior Pastor or his/her designee shall be informed of all investigations or allegations of sexual abuse. If investigations of allegations of sexual abuse should come to the attention of the media, all communication shall come only from the Senior Pastor or his/her designee. The Church of the Resurrection will not engage in denial, minimization or blame. Privacy and confidentiality of all involved will be guarded. The spokesperson may acknowledge that an investigation is in process but should not make any further comment or give specific detail about the alleged incident. It is recommended that, when necessary, information be released only to members of record.