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Abuse Prevention & Safe Sanctuaries
Abuse Prevention and Risk Reduction:
The following language appears in the Oregon/Idaho Policy Template for local ministry settings, titled Safe Sanctuaries: Abuse Risk Reduction and Prevention Policy.
"God cares for all.
God suffers when children, youth, and vulnerable adults suffer.
The United Methodist church was founded by John Wesley who taught:
First, do no harm. Do all the good you can. Stay in love with God.
[We] recognize that staying in love with God requires safe sanctuary for the Vulnerable and support for survivors of sexual violence.
This Safe Sanctuaries: Abuse Risk Reduction and Prevention Policy is a core missional statement of this congregation."
Updates made in 2014 to the policy are intended to simplify the process of providing a safe community, while offering more resource to the local church. The following list shows how to fulfill local ministry requirements:
- All local ministries are required to have an Abuse prevention policy and submit it each year to the District office.
- Local ministries are encouraged to use the Policy Template to fulfill the requirement.
- The Template includes all the minimum standards for abuse prevention in the OI Annual Conference.
- The Template is easy to use: simply download and fill in the blanks with a pen.
- If the ministry desires to add material, it can be added by use of a printed section, entitled, “Addendum” at the end of the policy. Churches are not encouraged to create additional material, but may submit it with their policy.
- Local ministries may opt out of using the Policy Template by submitting an alternative policy.
- The District Office, with resource and support by the OI Conference Safe Sanctuaries Team, will check each policy for compliance with the minimum standards as set forth in the Policy Template. Nonconforming policies will be noted and local ministries advised to update.
- ALSO, please use the forms provided on the menu item (left), “Abuse Prevention in Local Ministry Settings.” The forms are required for use by the Annual Conference.
- Additional material is also provided here, including:
- The abuse prevention policy for Conference/District events. This document explains the abuse prevention policy for all events sponsored by Annual Conference or one of its four Districts. Persons or Ministry Teams responsible for Conference/District events involving children, youth or vulnerable adults must become familiar with this policy and implement it for the event. It is important that recruited leadership for Conference/District events are oriented to the policy and understand the required procedures.
- Frequently Asked Question about Abuse Prevention
- Training Resources
- Worship Resources
- Other Resources
- Disclosure and Background Check Resources, including:
Trak-1 Background Check Service. This document will explain how your church can use the background check services of Trak-1. Since our conference is a member of Trak-1, membership rates will apply to provided services. There are links to a price chart and to a customer service agreement which must be completed by your church before you can use Trak-1. The agreement form can be complicated, so the document also includes instructions for completing the agreement form that come directly from Trak-1.
For assistance with the Conference Safe Sanctuary Policies, contact your District Superintendent.