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Safe Sanctuaries

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 (  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
Santuarios Seguros, the training resource in Spanish, is available only through as a print on demand.
Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Churches is currently researching options for background checks for volunteers. One option used by many of our churches is Public Data at or First Advantage at

Safe Sanctuaries, A Model for Training Workers 

*The 2014 Central Texas Annual Conference voted to move the conference’s required abuse prevention system from Safe Sanctuaries to MinistrySafe.  The transition will be complete by July 1, 2015. For more information, visit
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
817/338-4541 (fax)