Safe Sanctuaries Operational/Supervision Procedures
Providing a holy place of safety for children requires conscientious and intentional supervision. These procedures are designed to reduce the possibility of abuse to children and to protect persons from unwarranted accusations. These are minimum standards. Each Children’s Activity may adopt more stringent standards as necessary.
- Training is a requirement for all staff persons and volunteers working with children in Children’s Activities.
- The St. Paul’s Safe Sanctuary or Susquehanna Conference Safe Sanctuary training must be taken once. The training includes information about this policy, procedures for supervision, as well as information on how to identify and report child abuse. [Pastors must renew this training every 4 years.]
- Every year a reminder of Safe Sanctuary procedures, i.e., the Two-Adult rule, no child left alone, etc. will be distributed to St. Paul’s staff and volunteers.
- Mandated Reporter Training (effective December 31, 2014 per Act 31 of 2014) applies only to St. Paul’s Christian Preschool and Childcare. All child care facility applicants and staff are required to complete this training. The training is required to be renewed every five years. All St. Paul’s staff and volunteers are encouraged to attend the training.
- Minimum supervisory standards include the “Two-Adult Rule.” No matter the size of the group, two non-related adult employees or volunteers shall be present with the ministry or event participants at all times. The “Two-Adult Rule” standard not only helps provide a safe and loving environment for the children, it also provides volunteers with more encouragement, creativity, and flexibility.
- No child or youth will be left unsupervised while attending a St. Paul’s sponsored ministry or event. In the event that child care/supervision services are not provided by the church for a church sponsored ministry or event (i.e. retreats, small groups, worship services, etc.), the parents or legal guardians shall be fully responsible for their children during the ministry or event. In the event that supervised programming for youth is not provided by the church for any church sponsored ministry or event (i.e. retreats, small groups, worship services, etc.), the parents or legal guardians shall be fully responsible for the supervision of their youths during the ministry or event. Said children or youth shall remain in the presence of their parents or legal guardians, and shall at no time be left alone and unsupervised. Should the parents or legal guardians arrange for their own child care/supervision of their children or youth for a church sponsored ministry or event to occur within the event facility, said child care/supervision shall be in compliance with the Safe Sanctuaries Policies. If parents/legal guardians refuse to comply with the Safe Sanctuaries Policies, they and their children and/or youth will be asked to leave the ministry or event.
- No person shall serve as a Children’s Activity Coordinator or a Mentor unless he or she is at least 18 years old and at least 5 years older than the children they will be supervising.
- Each room or space where children are being cared for shall have a window(s) left uncovered in the door or the door shall be left open. All Children’s Activities shall occur in open view.
- Whenever possible, children will be encouraged to take care of their own bathroom needs, but should a child require assistance, the outer bathroom door will remain open while an employee or volunteer assists the child, with an additional employee or volunteer also being present.
- If the Children’s Activity is an outdoor program or in a setting which makes it difficult to comply with this Policy, the staff person in charge of the activity shall take appropriate measures to make sure the setting suits the activity and the children are properly supervised.