Please note: in an effort to ensure that resources provided by the Conference are as comprehensive as possible, this Model Local Church Policy is the only sample policy currently available, and the example small, medium, and large church policies provided in the past are no longer being maintained. If you have questions or need resources previously provided with an example policy, please contact Rev. John Fleischauer at email@example.com.
The North Alabama Conference has developed a model Safe Sanctuaries policy for local churches and ministries as a resource to use in adopting a child protection (Safe Sanctuaries) policy that is compliant with the best practices for policies as described in the Conference policy. Churches/ministries for whom this policy is appropriate to their context can simply fill out the appropriate fields in this model policy and have it approved.
In general, churches for whom this policy is appropriate:
Have children/youth programming that is generally limited to weekly events at the church facility (i.e. Sunday School, UMYF, etc.)
Do not regularly transport children/youth or have overnight events
Do not have a school-like setting (daycare, preschool, mothers’ day out, etc.)
Do not have substantial ministries specifically for vulnerable adults
In using this model policy, it is the church’s responsibility to:
Ensure that their policy is appropriate to their context. While this model policy may be beneficial as a starting point for churches with more complex Safe Sanctuaries needs, it will likely need to be modified to align with the church’s context. If churches have questions or need assistance updating the policy to be appropriate to their context, they can contact their district office (contact information is available at www.umcna.org/districts).
Have the model policy approved by the appropriate body in the church (usually the administrative board). Like any policy in the church, this model policy must be approved by the appropriate governing body, not just an individual.
Facilitate and maintain records about training of staff and volunteers. The Conference has an online training available at training.umcna.org that is based on this model policy and fulfills the training requirements set forth in it. Following completion of the online training, participants will receive a certificate which the church should keep on file. If the church has modified this model policy, they should consult with a district trainer to determine what training is appropriate.
Provide for other screening and training requirements. This includes applications for volunteers and staff, background checks, and other similar requirements.
Churches that have adopted the model policy without any further modifications do not need to submit it at Charge Conference. Instead, churches may submit a Model Policy Confirmation Form which can be found here. Note that the policy must be re-adopted and the form submitted on at least an annual basis.
Churches who have adopted the model policy can have their staff and volunteers complete Safe Sanctuaries training online. The training is developed by the Conference and is available in a self-paced, online format using our online training platform, Moodle.