The Central Texas Conference voted in 2005 that each local church in the Central Texas Conference must have in place a SAFE SANCTUARY ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY no later than May 1, 2006. The policy must be maintained in an easily-accessible location within the local church and available for review by district or conference personnel if requested. More detailed information on “Getting Started” and “Updating” Safe Sanctuary policies can be found on the GBOD website under the “Getting Started” section. (Click here to go to that site.)
In addition, local churches should be intentional to train all persons who have contact and leadership with children and youth about their policy and safe sanctuary guidelines and procedures. It is recommended that this training be offered every year to insure that new persons receive the training and to remind experienced teachers about all the issues and reporting protocol. A recommended resource for developing/updating your policy is “Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth” by Joy Thornburg Melton and can be ordered from Cokesbury stores at (www.cokesbury.com). Also, a Training Dowload from the General Board of Discipleship now includes a "Basics of Safe Sanctuaries" PowerPoint Show that invidivuals and groups can easily access for training purposes at http://bit.ly/T540Ja
Santuarios Seguros, the training resource in Spanish, is available only through http://amzn.to/R4sJjj as a print on demand.
A resource for obtaining background screenings for volunteers with children and youth is LexisNexis. Through our partnership with LexisNexis, United Methodist Churches in the Central Texas Conference have access to the services of LexisNexis without paying a set-up fee. The recommended package for individuals who work with children and youth includes the following:
*Choicepoint Plus, which includes the National Criminal File Search (sex offender registries, county and state records on a national level) and also researches any alias names found related to the Social Security Number.
*Felony Including Misdemeanor Search, which is a county search based on the applicant's current address. This includes a re-verification of all positive recoreds at the court level.
*Social Security Number Verification validates the SSN and pulls address history.
The typical turn-around time to run these screenings is 24-72 hours. The fee for this package is $16/individual.
LexisNexis also serves the Central Texas Conference with other risk management tools that might be necessary for your screening of staff/volunteers in other areas of ministry. These include driver license verification, credit reports, and education or employment verification. To read more about the services, visit www.volunteerselectplus.com
If you would like to enroll your church with LexisNexis, please contact one of the following and mention that you are affiliated with the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church (the Central Texas Conference Promo Code is CTC).
LexisNexis contact information:
Nonprofit National Account Manager
LexisNexis Screening Solutions
For questions or concerns, contact:
Rev. Dawne Phillips
Director of Missions, Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church
464 Bailey Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76107-2153