Child and Youth protection guidelines:

These guideline are excerpted from the UUFR Safe Congregation Policy:

Annual Training, Awareness and Education

  • The Safe Congregation Committee will sponsor annual “Open Forums” for purpose of discussing UUFR policy and creating awareness of abuse issues in the community at large.
  • Age-appropriate training and information about understanding and responding to the abuse of children will be made available to paid staff, volunteers, adult members and youth members annually.
  • OWL (Our Whole Lives) Program materials, workshops, lectures and additional printed materials, and other means of education will be integrated in the RE curriculum.
  • The UUFR Safe Congregations Policy will be distributed to the entire congregation, will be included in New Member materials, and will be posted in a common, well-lit area.

Screening and Selection of Paid and Volunteer Staff of Children and Youth Programs

  • All paid and volunteer workers providing direct care or supervision of children or teenage youth will meet the following criteria:
    • At least 16 years of age
    • An active congregant (member of friend) for at least six months, and have participated regularly for at 6 months and /or have references from other UU churches that include the minister or RE director
  • Will have attended at least one teacher training session which contained components on child.
  • All paid and volunteer staff must consent to a background check and such background checks will be performed.
  • Information will be shared the Safe Congregation Committee and the DRE as appropriate and appropriate.
  • The Congregation Administrator will be responsible for coordination with the screening vendor, and for the security of screening materials.
  • The DRE will be responsible for distribution, completion and collection of volunteer screening materials.
  • All screening results will be kept in the Congregational Administrators locked, confidential files.
  • Paid staff will supply at least two personal or professional references.
  • Individuals convicted of, under current indictment for, or who self disclose any act of sexual misconduct involving a child or of child abuse are precluded from participation in any UUFR programs on or off premises involving children.
  • All paid and volunteer staff must sign a Code of Conduct
  • A minimum of two paid or volunteer staff are to be scheduled to supervise any children or youth program group
    • A “group” is defined as those minors who have been assigned to a nursery, preschool, or individual class or specific program or activity within the context of that class, as well as youth who are taking part in planned, organized component of their program.
    • A “program” is defined as any UUFR sponsored and supervised group activity.
    • An “event” is defined as an informal group activity. If this informal group activity included families, it is the parents who are responsible for supervising their own children
    • “Supervision” is defined as being awake, physically present and unimpaired.

    Recommended adult-to-child/youth ratio:

  • Nursery 1:3
  • Preschool 1:5
  • Elementary 1:6
  • Middle School 1:8
  • High School 1:10
  • If the host site for a UUFR sponsored program involving children and youth has established more stringent adult-to-child/youth ratios, those of the host site will take precedent.
  • Corporal punishment may not be used under any circumstances.
  • Any one-on-one, private meeting with a child during a UUFR sponsored program will not be conducted behind closed doors.
  • If an adult other than a parent or guardian has a private one-to-one meeting with a child or youth during a UUFR sponsored program, another worker in the program shall be notified of the meeting, either before the meeting or promptly afterward.
  • It is strongly recommended that the following guidelines be used when providing transportation to UUFR Sponsored Programs:
  • All drivers must be at least 25 years of age, hold a valid driver’s license, and provide proof of insurance.
  • The vehicle must be equipped with seatbelts for all youth passengers, and seatbelts are to be used when transporting you during UUFR-sponsored activities.
  • No driver may consume alcohol or use any for of drugs that can affect physical or mental performance during or before carrying out his/her duty as a driver.
  • A minimum of two adults must accompany a group going off-site. One adult may drive two or more children to an off-site program, providing program supervisory guidelines are in place at the destination.
  • All paid or volunteer staff will sign the UUFR Code of Conduct regardless of whether they are supervising children or not.
  • Domains of reporting and response
    • Reports of abuse, or suspicions of abuse that allegedly occurred within or among the church community and/or staff, whether or not the alleged incident occurred during a UUFR sponsored program.
    • Reports of abuse, or suspicions of abuse that allegedly occurred outside the UUFR community against or by a member or friend of UUFR.
    • Reports of abuse, or suspicions of abuse, involving a staff member, either as victim or as accused.
    • Disclosure by a member of a current situation or past history as a perpetrator.
  • Reporting Within the Church
    • If a person within the church community or a staff member believes abuse occurred within the reporting domains, the individual should:
      • Report his or her concerns a member of the Safe Congregation Committee.
      • The SCC will assemble a RESPONSE TEAM, if appropriate, that supports and represents the interests of of the alleged victim, the accused and the congregation.
      • The SCC will advise in accordance with North Carolina laws on child abuse, including the Mandatory Reporter statute.
      • N.C. State Reporting Guideline (See Attachment A - N.C. Gen. Statute 7B-301)
  • N.C. General Statue Chapter 7B- 301
    • … requires “any person or institution who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent…or has died as a result of maltreatment” to report the case of that juvenile to the director of the department of social services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found.

Supervision Requirements

Minimum adult-to-child/youth ratio:

  • Nursery 1:5
  • Preschool 1:8
  • Elementary 1:10
  • Middle School 1:10
  • High School 1:10

Code of Conduct for Staff with Children and Youth

SCOPE OF RESPONSE TO REPORTS OF ABUSE AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVOLVING CHILDREN AND STAFF

Code of Ethics for Adults

Adults are in a position of stewardship and play a key role in fostering the spiritual development of both individuals and the community. It is, therefore, especially important that adults be qualified to provide the special nurture, care, and support that will enable youth to develop a positive sense of self and responsibility. The relation between young people and adults must be one of mutual respect if the positive potential of their relationship is to be realized.

There are no more important areas of growth than those of self-worth and the development of a healthy identity as a sexual being. Adults play a key role in assisting youth in these areas of growth. Wisdom dictates that youth and adults suffer damaging effects when leaders become sexually involved with young persons in their care; therefore, leaders will refrain from engaging in sexual, seductive or erotic behavior with youth. Neither shall they sexually harass or engage in behavior with youth which constitutes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. Leaders shall be informed of the code of ethics and agree to it before assuming their role.

In cases of violation of this code, appropriate action will be taken.

Copyright 2006 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh