Waimea United Church of Christ
Policy on Child Protection
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<![if !vml]><![endif]>1 Thessalonians 5:22 - Avoid every kind of
Ephesians 5:3 - But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality...because these are improper for God's holy people.
Matthew 18:6 - But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Matthew 18:15-17 - If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to even the Church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
The mobilization of volunteers for ministry is essential to a healthy, growing church. Scripture teaches that every believer has been equipped by God for ministry in or through the church. When everyone in the church is doing his or her part, the church normally grows spiritually and numerically (Ephesians 4:16). Therefore, a healthy church utilizes a large number of volunteers in a variety of ways both within and outside the church.
Encouraging believers to get involved in church ministries is a spiritual service. Church leaders have been given the assignment to "stimulate one another to love and good deeds."
This policy is designed to assist church leaders in recruiting a large core of volunteers and to provide, to the greatest extent possible, for the safety of children, youth, and developmentally disabled adults who are served by these volunteers.
The implementation of these policies is only possible as lay volunteers and church leaders have a thorough understanding of the rationale for such policies. Therefore, church leaders may wish to distribute portions of this document to members, lay and professional, of their ministry team and to prospective volunteers. Permission is granted to Waimea United Church of Christ leaders to duplicate any portion or all of this document.
I. Recruitment Procedures
Volunteers will be recruited by the pastoral staff or volunteers helping to administer a particular program.
All names of potential volunteers will be brought to the Chair of Christian Education and/or the pastor before these individuals are appointed to ministry assignments. If the pastor or Chair of Christian Education know of reasons why a person would not be suitable for a volunteer position, final approval or rejection of the appointment will be made only after further investigation.
II. Personal Safety Procedures
Church leaders must be concerned for the safety of the children and families they serve. At the same time they should be concerned about the safety and reputation of the adults and teens who volunteer to make this ministry possible. There will be some, however, who may come in with impure motives. The Waimea United Church of Christ, therefore, has developed these procedures to make it difficult, if not impossible, for abuse to occur.
1) There should be two adults assigned to teach in every classroom.
2) When it is necessary that only one adult teacher be in a room with children, the door of that room will remain slightly open or be a window door that will allow the observation of the classroom by looking in occasionally without interrupting the teaching process.
3) It is recommended that there be a minimum of one adult worker for every eight preschool children and one adult for every fifteen children in grades 1-6.
4) The names and addresses of parents and children shall be carefully maintained.
5) An accurate registration procedure will be maintained for each nursery child.
This is an area in which church leaders need to be very sensitive to the possibility of problems.
6) If one adult goes into a restroom alone with a child or children, a second adult should be within visual contact. One adult may take a child or children to the restroom only if he (she) stands in the open door way.
7) Employees should always conduct themselves in a Godly manner, being an example of obedience, respect, and honesty to young believers.
8) Employees must fill out a Child Protection Form, and it must be kept on file.
9) Employees, and indeed all church members, should not be involved in any of the following inappropriate activity with older children: extended hugging, kissing, sitting a child on the lap, inappropriate touching or being alone with a child (appropriate behavior is defined as side-to-side hugging or sitting in a circle).
10) Employees are not to give or apply any medication. If a child needs medication, the parent must give it. No medication will be left in the classroom or with a worker or child.
11) First aid boxes will be kept on hand and all workers are to review the location and contents regularly.
12) All employees, indeed church members generally, should know emergency exit routes from the room in which they are situated.
Parties and Field Trips
13) Always have another adult (not a relative) present at these activities.
14) Secure a signed parental release statement from each parent if the church is responsible for transporting children to these activities.
15) Invite parents to come as activity assistants. Parents helping with an activity do not need to fill out a Child Protection Form.
16) Emergency numbers will be kept on hand at all times.
17) No one under 18 shall be allowed to drive to an "official" function unless the parents of the driver and passengers have been contacted to obtain parental consent.
III. Child Abuse Protections and Procedures
1) State Policy: Any person who willfully does not report child abuse incidents can be prosecuted. While the law is sometimes unclear in requiring clergy to report child abuse, it is always in the best interest of the child to report such cases to the local public child protection agency. In most states persons reporting child abuse in good faith, except for the perpetrator and coconspirator, are immune from any liability, civil or criminal. Church leaders should become familiar with state reporting laws.
2) Church Policy: Church personnel are required to report to designated church personnel any suspected case of child abuse. Church personnel must submit all "child abuse" and "sexual abuse" allegations to the proper civil authorities. The person accused of abuse or neglect shall be removed from contact with children until an investigation can determine the veracity of the allegation. Anecdotal written records of all conversations and actions should be kept by the church.
3) Pastoral Privilege: If a suspected abuser has confessed in counseling to the pastor about abusing a minor, the pastor is obligated under as a “mandated reporter” to contact the proper civil authorities. The pastor should state that he/she is a “mandated reporter” to the person seeking counseling or confession prior to the start of the initial session. Although the pastor is required to report, pastoral privilege still exists in the event of prosecution; that is, the pastor cannot be compelled to testify.
Waimea United Church of Christ
Child Protection Form
We ask all of our volunteers who desire to work in any ministry
that involves interaction with children of all ages to fill out this form.
Our goal is to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of each child.
Application Date: __________________ OFFICE USE ONLY:
PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE:
Last First M. I. Maiden
Address _____________________________ City ___________________________
State ____ Zip _______
Number of years at this address __________
Home Phone (___) ____________________ Work Phone (___) ____________________
Driver's License # ______________________________ State ____________
Social Security # _______________________________ Date of Birth ____/____/____
Indicate if you have previously attended a different church within the last five years, the ministry (ies) in which you were involved, and the person to whom you reported.
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The information contained in this profile is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I authorize any references or churches listed in this profile to give you any information they may have regarding my character and fitness for children/youth/adult work. I release all such references from liability for any damage that may result from furnishing such evaluations to you, and I waive any right that I may have to inspect references provided on my behalf.
I agree to submit to the authority of the leadership of the Waimea United Church of Christ, and to refrain from unscriptural conduct in the performance of my services on behalf of the church.
By signing below, I acknowledge that I have also read the Waimea United Church of Christ’s Standards of Conduct statement.
APPLICANT'S SIGNATURE: _________________________________________ DATE: __________________
GUARDIAN'S SIGNATURE: __________________________________________ DATE: ___________________
(if applicant is under the age of 18)
In order to assure the health, safety, and security of our children and students, we screen our volunteers.
Please check the appropriate answers below so the church may discuss how this may impact your serving in a ministry to people from birth - high school age.
Yes ______ No ______ Do you have any health problems (disabilities, physical limitations, etc.) that might affect your work with children? If yes, please use the backside for further explanation.
Yes ______ No ______ Have you ever tested positive for HIV?
Yes ______ No ______ Have you ever been treated clinically for a psychological disorder? If yes, please use the backside for further explanation.
Yes ______ No ______ Within the last 3 years, have you ever had a problem with drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, or any other addiction, or, has anyone ever suggested that you may have a problem with any of these things? If yes, please use the backside for further explanation.
Yes ______ No ______ Have you ever been convicted or participated in, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, molestation, or exploitation of a minor? If yes, please use the backside for further information.
Yes ______ No ______ Have you been arrested? (Non-Traffic) If yes, please use the backside for further information.
Yes ______ No ______ Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a crime, including any convictions for which records may have been expunged?
Yes ______ No ______ Have you ever been involved in any type of civil litigation including but not limited to "orders of protection?"
Yes ______ No ______ Have you sought and had appropriate counseling for any of the above issues?
Yes ______ No ______ Do you feel yourself appropriately resolved of these matters?
I further authorize the church to obtain a state provided criminal records check, so long as the results are kept confidential. Yes _____ No ______ ___________(please initial)
Signature & Date
Waimea United Church of Christ
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT FOR VOLUNTEERS WORKING WITH MINORS
This set of standards is to be given to each person working with children at the church.
Volunteers in children's or youth ministry are subject to the supervision of the Pastor and the Christian Education Director. Waimea United Church of Christ reserves the right to dismiss volunteers who are unscriptural in conduct or fail to follow the policies for volunteers working with minors.
To reduce the risk of allegations and/or abuse, volunteers are asked to comply with the following procedures:
1. It is recommended that every group of children or youth have an adult present at all times. It is a good rule to never be alone with a young person.
2. It is also recommended that window blinds and doors be kept open in classrooms where children's activities are occurring. Try not to be put in what could be termed a compromising position.
3. It is recommended that volunteer workers be cautious when displaying physical affection to a young person of the opposite sex. Discretion should be used regarding physical contact with children/youth and this should only be done in the presence of other adults in an open classroom.
4. Children should have as much privacy as possible when using the restroom. Workers should only enter a restroom stall when absolutely necessary to assist a child.
5. Visitors or new volunteers are not permitted to help in children's/youth ministry unless approved by the Pastor and/or Chair of Christian Education.
6. Parents are permitted to observe their child in his or her class. Workers should not allow a child to be alone with a visiting adult (other than their parent).
7. It is recommended that volunteers not drive a child home alone without another adult in the car. In the event it is necessary, the child(ren's) parent(s) should be notified beforehand and permission granted.
As volunteers there are two other important areas of which you want to be informed. Health expectations and emergency procedures in the event of a fire are considerations that every volunteer worker should know.
1. Every room has an emergency exit route. Know what you should do in the event of a fire in the building.
2. The First Aid Kit is kept handy.
3. Please report any accidents or injuries to the parents, Pastor, and to the Chair of Christian Education.
The Staff and Leadership of the Waimea United Church of Christ are grateful to God for the faithful service of the marvelous volunteers Christ has given us to minister to the babies, toddlers, children, and youth that are a vital part of this fellowship. We as leaders covenant to support our volunteers in prayer and through training in identifying abuse and how our volunteers can protect themselves from accusations of abuse, as well as how to deal with disease and emergencies. These procedures are part of the process.
ABUSE REPORT (FORM #1)
Today's Date: ____________________________________
Your Name: _________________________________________________
Child's Name: _______________________________________________
Describe the Situation Observed:
When did this occur?
Did anyone else observe this?
To whom did you first report this?
It is the desire and intent of the Waimea United Church of Christ leadership to maintain confidentiality in cases of suspected child abuse. However, this cannot be guaranteed. It may become necessary for you to confront the suspected offender and/or testify about what you have observed. Please be assured that the church leadership is acting in good faith and in a spiritually correct manner. They will extend strong support toward you and to the individual so that inappropriate action is halted.
ACCIDENT REPORT (FORM #2)
Name of Student ______________________________________________________________________ Grade _________________
Parent/Guardian ______________________________________________________________________ Phone _________________
Date of Accident ___________________________________________ Location _________________________________________
Description of Accident ________________________________________________________________________
Type of Injury ________________________________________________________________________
First Aid Given _______________________________________________________________________
Family Notified _______________________ Time __________________
Child Released to: ________________________________________________________________________