Child Protection Policy – Glidden
The General Board of The United Methodist Church, in April 1996, adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse in the church. The adopted resolution includes the following statement:
Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes [a] child…welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:5). Children are our present and our future, our hope,
our teachers, our inspiration. they are full participants in the life of the church and in the realm of God.
Jesus also said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones…, it would be better for you if a great millstone were
fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6) Our Christian faith calls us to offer both
hospitality and protection to the little ones, the children. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state that “…children must
be protected from economic, physical and sexual exploitation, and abuse.”
Tragically, churches have not always been safe places for children. Child sexual abuse, exploitation and ritual abuse occur in churches,
both large and small, urban and rural. The problem cuts across all economic, cultural and racial lines. It is real, and it is appears to be
increasing. Most annual conferences can cite specific incidents of child sexual abuse and exploitation in their churches. Virtually every
congregation has among its members adult survivors of early sexual trauma.
Such incidents are devastating to all who are involved: the child, the family, the local church and its leaders. Increasingly, churches are torn
apart by the legal, emotional, and monetary consequences of litigation following allegations of abuse.
God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children and other vulnerable persons from sexual and ritual abuse. (From The
Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church-1996. Copyright(c) 1996 by The United Methodist Publishing House.)
Thus, in covenant with all United Methodist congregations, we adopt this policy for the prevention of child abuse in our church.
Our congregation’s purpose for establishing this Child Protection Policy and accompanying procedures is to demonstrate our absolute and unwavering commitment to the physical safety and spiritual growth of all of our children and youth.
Statement of Covenant
Therefore, as a Christian community of faith and a United Methodist congregation, we pledge to conduct the ministry of the gospel in ways that assure the safety and spiritual growth of all of our children and youth as well as all of the workers with children and youth. We will follow reasonable safety measures in the selection and recruitment of workers; we will implement prudent operational procedures in all programs and events; we will educate all of our workers with children and youth regarding the use of all appropriate policies and methods; we will have a clearly defined procedure for reporting a suspected incident of abuse that conforms to the requirements of state law; and we will be prepared to respond to media inquiries if an incident occurs.
In all of our ministries with children and youth, this congregation is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ so that each child will be “…surrounded by steadfast love, …established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal” (Baptismal Covenant II, The United Methodist Hymnal, p.44).
Policies and Procedures
1. Adults who have been identified as having committed sexual or physical abuse or having a criminal record involving a violent crime to another person will not knowingly be employed by the Glidden United Methodist Church or accepted as a volunteer with programs or activities for children or youth.
2. Applicants and volunteers must provide positive personal references.
3. To the extent it is reasonably possible, at least two adults will be present in all settings involving youth or children.
4. All employees and volunteers will be offered training regarding relevant policies and procedures.
All employees and volunteers are specifically prohibited from committing any act of child/youth mistreatment, neglect, or abuse. Prohibited behaviors for all employees and volunteers include, but are not limited to:
Using verbally or emotionally abusive language
Using sexually implicit or explicit language or behavior
Physically striking, hitting, or spanking
Fondling, kissing, or unwelcome physical contact
Touching or tickling in an inappropriate or sexual manner
Inappropriate or intimidating actions or body language
An application for volunteers and employees must be filled out and turned in before any supervision of children or youth is allowed. These applications will remain confidential. They will be kept on file, in a locked file cabinet, with limited access.
Supervision of Children and Youth
- To the extent that it is reasonably possible, two or more adults will be present at all times during any event
- To the extent that it is reasonably possible, one of the adults should be at least 21 years old or 5 years older than the maximum age of participants
- To the extent that it is reasonably possible, adult leadership should include both men and women
- Children participating in indoor activities in classrooms should be visually accessible from outside the classroom. If a door does not have a window, the door should be left open.
- Drivers must have a valid Iowa driver’s license and proof of a good driving record, and must adhere to applicable laws.
- Without exception, all drivers must be at least 18 years of age.
- Passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
- Children must use child safety seats as required by Iowa law.
- Owner of the vehicle must have evidence of insurance to at least minimum state of ownership requirements.
- No smoking while in the vehicle or consumption of alcohol at any time by a driver or adult passenger while traveling to, from, or during church sponsored activity.
Reporting an Incident
When an incident/accident, or a suspected incident/accident occurs, the adult who observed the incident, or to whom it was reported, will inform the person in charge of the event and obtain an incident/accident reporting sheet from the office. This report will be filled out promptly and given to the person in charge of the event. Appropriate action will be taken.
Communication with the Media or Outside Entity
All communication will be handled by the Iowa Annual Conference Communications Office. The number for the office is 515-283-1991
Building Use Policy — Glidden United Methodist Church
Our mission as a church includes adding to the life of the community. We believe that a church is more than a building for its members to worship, but a place for everyone to experience the hospitality of God. Therefore, we wish to be open to the entire community for activities and events. You are welcome here.
The following are guidelines we ask you to follow when using our building for your event:
- If you wish to reserve a date for your event, call the Pastor or the Secretary to check for availability. Glidden United Methodist member groups will be given priority for building use.
- Fees: $100 non-members; $50 members. Community service organizations are exempt.
- If something is broken while you are using the facility, please repair or replace the item.
- If you use church linens, please return them after washing them.
- Please clean up after your event. Wipe down the tables and sweep the floor. We are just asking you to leave the room as you found it.
- Our building is a smoke-free facility.
- Alcohol is not to be used on our property.
- The area available for use is the fellowship hall, kitchen, and bathrooms. The education unit and sanctuary are not be used by outside groups.