CHILD PROTECTION GUIDELINES FOR ADULT WORKERS WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH
- Lead a life in keeping with the highest ideals of the Christian life.
- Be a member of the church (or have been actively involved) for six months before volunteering.
- Submit a signed Children/Youth Volunteer Application, and be interviewed and approved by the appropriate ministry leader (and/or the pastor).
- Submit a criminal record check (from PA State Police or the FBI, depending on length of residency in Pennsylvania), and a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Report, repeating every 60 months.
- Attend the annual Child Protection Training provided by the church.
- Whenever possible, work together with at least one other person.
- Whenever possible, work with children/youth in areas that are open and public.
- Never leave children/youth unsupervised while at a ministry event.
- Keep physical contact to an appropriate minimum (handshakes, brief hugs, touches on the shoulder, etc.), and only in the presence of other adults.
- Discourage children/youth from sitting on a worker’s lap while the room is darkened or when other workers are not present.
- Whenever possible do not individually take a lone child to the restroom.
- Whenever possible, take children of the same gender to the rest room.
- Give younger children as much privacy as possible in bathroom situations, entering a stall only when absolutely necessary and keeping the stall door open.
- Change diapers only in designated areas like the nursery.
- Send older children and youth to the restroom without accompaniment, observing from the hallway.
- Provide proof of a valid driver’s license and insurance when transporting children or youth.
- Whenever possible transport children/youth only with prior parental permission.
- Report to the ministry/program coordinator, or the pastor, unknown persons in the building, or any other suspicious or dangerous activity or situations.
- Report suspected cases of abuse in a timely fashion through ChildLine. You can do this by phone (800-932-0313) or online (https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home), followed by a written report on form CY-47 within 48 hours, providing a copy to the pastor.
- Inform the ministry/program coordinator and the pastor of such a report in a timely fashion.
Additional Policy Notes
- Anyone supervising children/youth must be at least 5 years older than the oldest participant.
- No one under 18 can be a supervisor of children, although they can serve as a helper.
- Report to the pastor within 72 hours any conviction that would disqualify you from working with children/youth.
SAFE SANCTUARY CLEARANCES
Our Safe Sanctuary policy requires everyone working with children and youth at Christ UMC to fill out two background clearances: a criminal background check and a child abuse history report. Both can be done online.
Note: If you have been a resident of Pennsylvania for all of the last 10 years, you may apply for a criminal background check through the Pennsylvania State Police. If you have not been a resident of Pennsylvania for all of the last 10 years, you must also apply for an FBI clearance.
The links for the three clearances are:
Criminal Record Check: Pennsylvania State Police
It is free for volunteers. All you have to do is fill out the online application, and the report will be generated, and mailed to you (as well as being available to print out online). You can apply online at:
Criminal Record Check: FBI
The cost is $27.50. After you fill out the application, and pay for the clearance, you must go to one of the listed places to be fingerprinted. The report will then be generated, and mailed to you. This is now done by IdentoGo. For volunteers, you will need to use the code 1KG6ZJ.
Child Abuse History Clearance
It is free for volunteers. All you have to do is fill out the online application, and the report will be generated, and mailed to you (as well as being available to print out online).
The Pennsylvania State Police report will be ready to print out almost immediately. We recommend you print out 2 copies, one to give to the church and one for your own records. The Child Abuse History Clearance Report will be available online, but not immediately. You may have to login again on the site to get it a few hours or a day later to print it out. A copy also will be mailed. We recommend that you print out 2 copies, one to give to the church and one for your own records. The FBI clearance report will be mailed to you.
If you have printed copies specifically for the church, you can turn those in to the office. If you only have one original copy, we will photocopy it for our records, and then return the original copy to you.
Records will be kept in a secure file in the pastor’s office. No one else will have access to them. In addition, before the copies are placed in the file, the social security number will be blacked out.
If you have any other questions, call the office, or talk to Pastor Lloyd.