The tragedy of abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults is a reality in our world. Because we recognize our responsibility to ensure a safe and protected environment for our children, The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference (GNJAC) of the United Methodist Church has developed a policy and associated guidelines to reduce the risk of abuse of children and youth in our church. A Future with Hope follows and enforces this policy for all team members that have any youth (under the age of 18).
- The volunteer application form shall be used for screening all workers. Screening forms are designed to gain information on persons who are applicants for volunteering and to enhance the protection of those who participate in the programs.
- A background check is required for all regular workers, volunteer workers, lay people and clergy and is designed to protect those individuals involved in the programs offered by the church to children, youth and vulnerable adults.
- Screening forms and background checks shall be reviewed by A Future with Hope staff and maintained in the confidential personnel files of the organization.
- All host sites have the necessary "certificates of occupancy."
- A Future with Hope has the necessary certificates of insurance for both liability and workers compensation. They shall be displayed as required by law.
- A Future with Hope conforms to Federal and State wage and tax laws for employees.
- All paid and volunteer workers with children, youth and vulnerable adults shall be trained, screened and checked.
- Any abuse suspected or alleged will be reported to authorities immediately.
All teams that have youth members must adhere to the following basic procedural guidelines.
- Make sure 2 adults are present at all times.
- Avoid all 1-adult-1-child situations, such as closed-door bathroom breaks.
- Use a third adult as a “floater” between groups if necessary.
- Have a first aid/CPR trained person available at all times.
- Orient all volunteers and paid staff of appropriate behavior; accepted policies and procedures.
- Ensure adults are at least 5 years older than the oldest youth.
- Un-shaded windows in all classroom doors.
- Counsel all youth with an open door.
- Notify parents of all program events and activities.
- Inform parents about abuse and the components of the Safe Sanctuaries Policy.
- Use appropriate equipment and supervision for the setting and activity. Some settings or activities will require more supervision or expertise than others.
- Set rules and guidelines for all church computers and internet activities.
- Segregated sleeping quarters by gender and have same sex supervision in sleeping quarters.