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Safe Sanctuaries

Creating Safe Spaces: Children, Youth, and Vulnerable Adults

Online October 24-28, 2022

As more congregations move into hybrid forms of worship and study – in person and online – it is time to review risk reduction policies. These policies ensure that children, youth, vulnerable adults – the staff and volunteer workers with those groups – and the entire congregation are free from abuse, false accusations of abuse, and the associated costs.

This one-week course is a condensed version of both prior courses (Children/Youth and Vulnerable Adults). It focuses on the basics, but many additional resources will be available. The instructor will also be available by email for another week after the course ends. Price is $60 and 0.5 CEU is available.
Click here for more information and to register.

All courses are primarily asynchronous. That means you don’t have to be online at the same time as other students in order to participate. Participants have access to the course environment 24/7. You choose, according to your own schedule, when to log into Blackboard each day to read course materials, complete assignments, and participate in online discussions with your classmates via the discussion board for the day.

There will generally be an assignment every day, five or six days a week during the course period as shown by the dates.

It is recommended you plan one hour in your daily schedule for completing assignments in the online course, but it’s your schedule. More details are available on the question and answer page here:

Protection Policies for Minors and Vulnerable Adults

Below are resources provided through The United Methodist Church and the Virginia Conference for protection policies for minors and vulnerable adults. Many of these resources are part of the resources created by The United Methodist Church called “Safe Sanctuaries.” Safe Sanctuaries is an expression of a faith that makes a congregation a safe place for children, youths, seniors and vulnerable adults to experience the abiding love of God. God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children and other vulnerable persons from abuse. We are also called to make off-site venues or activities as safe as possible.

Background Checks

The Virginia Conference has partnered with ScreeningOne to conduct volunteer and staff background checks for the conference and United Methodist churches in Virginia. Through this agreement, the conference has established a preferred product package that combines various criminal background searches for an industry-best, pre-employment, criminal history report. Churches can sign up for their own ScreeningOne account with no paperwork and receive exclusive conference rates. There are no minimums and no sign-up fees. For details on the program and any questions, contact the Virginia UMC representative, Paul Craddock, at (919) 533-5005 or [email protected]

Child/Youth/At-Risk Adult Protection Policy (implemented by the Virginia Conference) – pdf

 Basic Safe Sanctuaries Trainers

Below is a list of people who might be available to lead Basic Safe Sanctuaries training in your church. Local Churches resourcing trainers will provide compensation for travel and offer an honorarium for their training services.

Debbie Brown ([email protected] or 540-344-6225, ext. 3) – Roanoke/Roanoke District

Cecelia Short ([email protected] or H: 757-826-3009 or C: 757-254-3505) – Hampton/York River District

Jason Stanley ([email protected]) – Norfolk/Elizabeth River District

Cindy Banek ([email protected] or 757-229-1771, ext. 258) – Williamsburg/York River District

Safe Sanctuary resources available for Children, Youths, Vulnerable Adults and Seniors from Discipleship Ministries:

 Discipleship Ministries offers new Safe Sanctuaries videos

Click Here

Resources available from the Virginia Department of Social Services for Vulnerable Adults and Seniors:

Signs of Adult Abuse – Virginia Department of Social Services  

Online Training for Mandated Reporters

For more information

For more information contact 804-521-1139, or email our Learning Ministries Office at [email protected].

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