Providing a safe environment for children and teens
Shandon is a Safe Sanctuary church and is committed to providing a safe and caring environment where children and teens can grow in their faith and Christian living.
CHILD AND YOUTH ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY
Requirements for Volunteers with Children and Youth
Before working with children or youth, all volunteer church workers must:
- Be a SUMC member or actively involved at SUMC for at least six months.
- Attend a training session and sign a statement that they have been trained, have read, understand, and will abide by this Policy and the Procedures to Reduce Risk and Abuse for both children and youth. This Policy also includes a Social Media and Electronic Communication addendum.
- Pass a National Background Check, a Social Security Verification Check, and a SLED criminal records check. Rechecks will be required every three years.
- Complete and sign a Volunteer Application, listing 3 non-related references.
Two Adult Rule
Two or more Safe Sanctuary certified adults are to be present during any church sponsored programs involving children. Youth must have the required Safe Sanctuary certified adult supervision in addition to being with a group of no less than three unrelated persons. If two of the supervising adults are related, another unrelated adult must be present. One adult should not be alone with a single child or youth, including in vehicles participating in church sponsored programs.
No one under the age of 18 will have sole responsibility, nor be alone with children or youth. Youth staff, counselors, teachers, and leaders will be at least 5 years older than the age group they have been recruited to facilitate, unless two other approved adults who are 5 years older than the age group are also present. A youth may assist with children or youth only when two Safe Sanctuary certified approved adults are present.
Personal information of children and youth, including but not limited to names, will not be used with photos or videos posted on social media or the internet. Photos will not be tagged on our social media.
Reporting Suspected Abuse
Anyone associated with Shandon UMC who observes abuse, or has reason to suspect abuse, should immediately report these observations or suspicions directly to the Shandon UMC clergyperson or staff director of the relevant program, and in their absence, to the Senior Minister or, in his absence, to another SUMC clergy person. The Senior Minister or Acting Senior Minister should be immediately contacted and will be personally responsible for executing the initial response procedures (pages 4-5).