Safe Sanctuaries Policy
UUMC has adopted a "Safe Sanctuaries Policy", which appears below.
An Outline of Basic Procedures for Safe Ministry with Children and Youth at UUMC
- The church will abide by the “two-adult rule” which requires that no fewer than two adults be present at all times during any church-sponsored program, event, or ministry involving children under the age of 18. In following the “two-adult rule”, the two adults must be over the age of 18 and one shall be over 21. The adults must be at least five years older than the oldest under-age 18 participant. For overnight activities or field trips where there is a mixed gender of children/youth there must be 1 female adult leader and 1 male adult leader. Volunteers who work with children and youth should be church members and have regularly attended UUMC for 6 months prior to being in a leadership position. The entire church family is responsible for insuring that this procedure is followed.
- The church will take steps to ensure that staff and volunteers who work with children and youth have access to a course on first aid and CPR. The SPRC will be responsible for identifying and arranging for appropriate training. The church will be responsible for paying for one group training session each year, and will make information available about other training opportunities.
- The church will conduct an annual criminal records check for all clergy, paid staff, and regular volunteers. Signing of an authorization and request for such a check will be a fundamental condition of employment. The SPRC will be responsible for ensuring that this is done and for securing funding.
- A Response to Allegations of Abuse procedure will be adopted and UUMC will comply with Maryland law in reporting suspected abuse and neglect.
- The church will conduct an annual orientation meeting for staff and volunteers who work with children and youth. The Director of Christian Education and the Education Committee will be responsible for organizing and presenting this orientation.
- The church will conduct a survey of classrooms and adopt a plan to install windows in all doors where necessary. The Trustees will be responsible for formulating and implementing this plan.
- The church will abide by the “open door” rule requiring that the door of the room remain open during any counseling sessions with children or youth. The entire church family will insure that this procedure is followed.
- The church will provide advance notice to parents about any planned events involving children and youth. The organizers of these events will be responsible for seeing that this procedure is followed.
- The church will require a covenant of participation for all paid and unpaid participants in which the participants agree to abide by the basic procedures laid out here. The SPRC will insure that all paid clergy and staff sign the covenant. The Director of Christian Education and the education committee (or when appropriate, the director of music) will insure that unpaid volunteers within the church sign the covenant.
- The church will require a covenant of safe ministry from the leader of any outside groups who use the church facility. The committee or individual within the church who makes the arrangements with the outside group will insure that the leader of the outside group signs this covenant.