As a "Safe Sanctuary," Hope United Methodist Church has an unwavering commitment to the physical safety and spiritual growth of children and youth and for the adults nurturing these young people. Hope UMC categorically opposes any form of child abuse. Further, we proactively engage in efforts to protect children and youth in our care to assure that this church and its activities are places of safety and nurture.
- LIVE-SCAN FBI BACKGROUND CLEARANCE: All paid employees of Hope UMC, regardless of whether they work directly with minors, have undergone a Live-ScanFBI Background Clearance. This includes all members of the office staff and childcare staff, and select volunteers who are in key leadership roles.
- VOLUNTEER INFORMATION SHEET: All volunteers working with minors at Hope have completed a Volunteer Information Sheet which provides information such as prior church experience, leadership roles, a brief statement of faith, personal character references, and a signed statement indicating permission to perform a criminal background check.
- STATEWIDE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: Volunteers who have attended Hope UMC for less than one year and who will be working with minors have had a statewide criminal background check performed.
- REFERENCE CHECK: Volunteers who have attended Hope UMC for less than one year and who will be working with minors have had their personal references checked and have undergone a detailed orientation about leading a children's or youth class.
- "OPEN" CLASSROOMS: All classrooms have a "line of sight" into the room so that passers by can see what is going on in the classroom from the outside. In addition, parents are welcome to remain with their children at any time.
- TWO-ADULT RULE: We strive to have two adults present in each classroom with minors. When this is not possible, we combine classes or leave movable walls open between classrooms.
REPORTING ABUSE: Hope UMC has a written procedure regarding the faithful reporting and plan of response to any allegation of abuse. The procedure includes cooperating fully with investigative and law enforcement agencies, maintaining the confidentiality of those involved, and providing appropriate pastoral care for those involved.
LIMITED ACCESS AGREEMENT: A person who has been convicted of, has a history of, or who has an unresolved accusation of any sexual misconduct with a minor or adult shall never be allowed to volunteer or socialize with minors at any church or church-sponsored events and shall not be allowed to hold leadership roles of any sort at Hope UMC. Any such person who wishes to worship at Hope UMC shall have a Limited Access Agreement on file with the church which sets clear boundaries regarding the activities the individual may and may not participate in. Congregation members shall be informed of the situation on an as-needed basis.
POLICY REGARDING EXTREME AGGRESSION: Anyone displaying forms of extreme verbal or physical aggression will be asked to leave the church campus. Conditions regarding that individual's return to Hope UMC and Hope UMC activities will be at the discretion of the pastors.