Get your congregation Safe Gatherings compliant

8/15/2013

The online Safe Gatherings abuse-prevention and boundary-awareness program was initiated in the Kansas West and East conferences last year, replacing the in-person Boundary Awareness and Safe and Sacred Space trainings used previously.

The 2012 Kansas West Annual Conference adopted a policy that mandates each local church in the conference adopt a policy for the protection of children, youth and developmentally disabled dependent people to be implemented by each church by 2013. The Kansas East Conference had already mandated the policy.

Since July 1, 2012, more than 4,000 Safe Gatherings applications have been processed. However, many churches still need to have people certified to be in compliance with conference policy.

Congregations should be aware:

  • Any uncertified volunteer is required to be teamed with a certified person.
  • Mission-trip volunteers need to be certified.
  • Many insurance companies are requiring volunteers to be certified before providing coverage for a church.
  • Allow at least two weeks for the certification process.

Common mistakes that may delay Safe Gatherings certification:

  • Completing the application but not the training course.
  • Neglecting to send in the Release of Information form required by the Kansas State Department for Children and Families background check. These background checks are done manually in Topeka by department personnel.
  • Not signing the Release of Information form.
  • Inaccurate email addresses given for references.
  • Using a family member as a reference.
  • Not knowing the reference a minimum of two years.

For more information about Safe Gatherings certification, contact Kathie Monroe at 800-745-2350 or kmonroe@greatplainsumc.org.

Learn more about Safe Gatherings and conference policy at www.kansaseast.org/SafeGatherings.
 


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