8 am EARLY WORSHIP Service
10 am TRADITIONAL Service
11:30 am ALTERNATIVE Service

SUNDAY SCHOOL
9 am Classes for all Ages

Safe Child Church Policies and Procedures

Salem Church of Darmstadt

Policies and Procedures for Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct and Inappropriate Behavior

 Core Beliefs about Protection

We believe that it is our responsibility to safeguard members, staff, and all we serve.  These policies and procedures have been created to inform and set appropriate guidelines and expectations for those who work with children in any affiliation with our congregation as well as guidelines for appropriate boundaries and behavior for adults.

God intends for Salem Church of Darmstadt (“Church”) to be a safe place for all to encounter God and grow into lives of service and fulfillment.  Inappropriate behavior distorts the goodness of God’s gifts, is destructive of relationships, and is an abuse of power and trust.  In setting forth these policies and procedures, we acknowledge the sacred trust to which the Church has been called, and recommits itself to faithful, joyful service in the name of Jesus Christ.

Definition of Harm  Any incident of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse or misconduct, exploitation, exposure to pornography, bullying, or harassment.

Included in these Policies and Procedures are the following forms:

  • Acknowledgement/Receipt of Policies;
  • Employee/Child Volunteer Screening;
  • Reference Form for Volunteer Position Working Directly with Children;
  • Report of Suspected Policy Breach and/or Misconduct; and
  • Response of Suspected Policy Breach and/or Misconduct.

Signed Acknowledgement/of Receipt of Policies

All full time, part time, and temporary Church personnel, all child care workers and volunteers who accompany, work with, or supervise children in relation to Church activities; Church Elders, and all volunteers who are engaged in Church related contact with children shall sign the Acknowledgement/Receipt of Policies form and thus formally acknowledge that they have received, reviewed, understand, and adhere to follow the guidelines and standards of these Policies and Procedures prior to employment or prior to assuming a volunteer role in the Church.

The Acknowledgement/Receipt of Policies form shall be signed and dated by each person and be given to the Church secretary prior to employment or assuming a volunteer role.   The Church secretary shall maintain a record of persons in compliance with the screening and the training requirements of these Policies and Procedures, and shall report this annually to the President of the Board of Christian Education.  Original forms shall be filed in the Church office and maintained by the Church secretary.

Employee/Child Volunteer Screening

Employees All candidates being considered for employment shall complete the Employee/Child Volunteer Screening form and be screened based on the following:

  • Application for employment;
  • Authorization to check criminal record;
  • Background check (sex offender registry);
  • Documented face to face interview; and
  • Two non-family personal or professional references.

The screening shall be arranged and documented by the Pastor or Church secretary.

Child Volunteers All volunteers being considered for roles with access to and/or supervision of children shall have six months Church involvement and complete the Employee/Child Volunteer Screening form and be screened based on the following:

  • Volunteer application;
  • Authorization to check criminal record;
  • Background check (sex offender registry); and
  • Two non-family personal or professional references.

The screening shall be arranged and documented by the Pastor or Church secretary.

Policies for Interaction with/Supervision of Children

  • One adult shall never be alone with a child/children in an unobservable situation;
  • Interaction with children should always be interruptible and/or observable (open doors, windows, etc.);
  • Adults will be a minimum of five years older than the children they are supervising;
  • No physical discipline shall be tolerated;
  • No sexual language or contact shall be tolerated; and
  • No inappropriate communication shall be tolerated.

Policies and Procedures for Restroom

  • Diapering of infants and toddlers shall be done where the changing table is located and where two adults may observe the entire changing process. If two adults are not available, the parent/ guardian should be called to do the changing.
  • Preschool and Kindergarten age children shall be escorted to the restroom by an adult, but the door shall remain open.
  • Children in grades First through Fifth can use the restrooms unescorted provided they return in a reasonable amount of time.

 Policies and Procedures for Specific Functions with Children

Off-Site Activity In the event of an off-site activity involving children, the following shall be completed or complied with:

  • Signed Parental/Guardian Consent and Release Form;
  • Compliance with the Policies and Procedures for Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct and Inappropriate Behavior (“Policies and Procedures”);
  • Hold a valid driver’s license and show proof of automobile insurance to be a driver of a vehicle; and
  • One adult and one child transport situation shall not be permitted.

Overnight Arrangements In the event of an overnight activity involving children, the following shall be completed or complied with:

  • Only same-sex sleeping arrangements;
  • In an open-spaced, dorm setting, at least two same-sex, non-family chaperones one of which is an approved adult volunteer shall dorm with the same-sex children;
  • In individual sleeping quarters, adult volunteers shall not sleep in the same room as the children; and
  • All applicable Policies and Procedures of Off-Site Activity shall apply.

Non-Church Activities Held at Church Outside groups shall adhere to the Policies and Procedures or outside groups shall not be allowed to provide their own childcare.  Each group shall be notified of the Policies and Procedures and be informed as to how to adhere to the Policies and Procedures.  Each group shall have a representative sign the Policies and Procedures agreeing to comply with the Policies and Procedures, prior to the activity.

Training to Prevent Child Abuse

“Stewards of Children” is a two hour structured training program developed by Darkness to Light, Inc. to prevent child sexual abuse by educating adults and motivating them to use their range of influence to protect children.  The online “Stewards of Children” course is available through Darkness to Light (www.d2l.org).  This structured training program shall be completed by all employees, Church Elders, and volunteers prior to employment or providing volunteer services.

Report/Response Policies

  • Report Any violation of Policies and Procedures, physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse or misconduct, exploitation, exposure to pornography, bullying, or harassment of children, shall be reported to the Indiana Child Protection Hotline: 1-800-800-5556 by the Reporter. The Reporter shall report the violation and/or misconduct to the Pastor and President of the Board of Christian Education by completing the Report of Suspected Policy Breach and/or Misconduct form (“Report Form”).  The Reporter shall sign the Report Form.  The Pastor and the President of the Board of Christian Education shall then review the Report Form with the President of the Church Council.   
  • Response The response shall be recorded on the Response of Suspected Policy Breach and /or Misconduct form (“Response Form”) available through the Church office. The Response Form shall be signed by the Pastor or President of the Church Council.   The Report Form and the Response Form shall be filed in the Church office.
  • Parents/guardians of affected children shall be notified of the incident and the response as soon as reasonably possible.
  • Other parents/guardians in the congregation may be notified of the incident as applicable for child safety, in the sole discretion of the Church Council.
  • Response to the individual(s) involved in the incident may include the following appropriate actions:
    • Report to Indiana Child Protection Services (CPS);
    • Removal from role and/or membership;
    • Referral for intervention/counseling;
    • Retraining in Policies and Procedures; and
    • Disciplinary action of employees.

Adopted:  ___       _6_/  06  /_2017____