Safe Sanctuaries Policy Review Guidelines

July 06, 2022
Whether your church regularly reviews its Safe Sanctuaries policy or is blowing the dust off of it for the first time in many years, reviewing your policy is an important part of ensuring that it meets the church's needs and is appropriate to its context. The following guidelines will be helpful as your church reviews its existing policy and determines next steps in updating it.

Need some more help with this process? Especially if your church hasn't updated its policy in a while, you may want some additional assistance in reviewing your policy. Certified trainers are available in every district to help review, update, and conduct training based on your church's policy. To connect with one, contact your district office.

Step 1: Review the Model Local Church Policy

In 2021, the Conference introduced the Model Local Church Safe Sanctuaries Policy, which has been reviewed by the Conference and is based on Conference best practices. If this policy is appropriate for a church's context, it can be adopted "as-is" by the church council. Even if the model policy is not appropriate as-is for the church, it can be a helpful starting point for developing the church's own policy. For more details about the model policy, click here.


Step 2: Use the Policy Review Checklist

The Conference provides a Policy Review Checklist as a resource for reviewing Safe Sanctuaries policies. This checklist helps churches conduct a comprehensive review of their policy based on best practices recommended by the Conference. To download the Policy Review Checklist and instructions, click here.

Step 3: See What's Missing

Once the basic policy has been developed, ask what, if anything, is missing. One way to do this is to review children's and youth events throughout the year and ask whether those events comply with the policy as written. If not, consider whether the policy needs to be updated or the event needs to be modified.

Step 4: Contact a Trainer

While you can contact a trainer at any point in this process, once you've done an initial review of the policy it's time to bring one in who can help conduct a final review of the policy, think through any lingering questions, and lead training as needed for volunteers and staff. To connect with a trainer, contact your district office.
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