Unitarian Universalists seek to affirm the dignity and worth of all individuals. This affirmation includes registered sex offenders. At the same time, UUFR must take reasonable steps to protect our children, youth, and adults with an appropriate policy.
This year, the Healthy Congregations Committee researched policies developed by other faith communities and reviewed the model policy recommended by the UUA. The committee then proposed, and the Board adopted a policy to enter into limited-participation agreements with registered sex offenders. The Lead Minister is responsible for developing these agreements which establish how registered sex offenders may participate in Fellowship programs and activities.
The new policy can be found at section 600.5 (page 55) of our UUFR Policies and Procedures Manual, available in PDF format here [LINK].
This policy seeks to specify how registered sex offenders can participate in UUFR programs and activities; establishes ways to protect UUFR’s children, youth, and adults; and protects registered sex offenders from possible harassment by UUFR members and friends. For example, the policy recommends that registered sex offender participation in UUFR programs be limited to attending worship services during the first year of the agreement. These offenders must be accompanied by an adult host who knows their status and maintains contact with them at Fellowship programs and activities.
Limited participation agreements should be reviewed on an annual basis and can be modified as circumstances permit.
For more information about this policy, contact John Luecke, chair of Healthy Congregations Committee, at [email protected].
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