Safe Sanctuary Policy

Epworth UMC is a Safe Sanctuary for Children. Epworth staff and the Methodist District office want you to be aware of our guidelines in this area. Our children must be in a safe and nurturing environment at all times when they are here.

In the Nursery

There are to be two adults, or one adult and one youth sitter. There are to be two workers for every 10 children. Diaper changes are to be done by parents whenever possible. When changes are done by staff there will be at least one other nursery worker or other adult in the room. Parents need to sign their child in and out, noting where in the building they will be.

In the Toddler Room

There are to be two adults or one adult and one youth sitter for every 10 children. Diaper changes are to be done in the nursery, by the above procedure. Potty training children are to use the bathroom located in the classroom. The door to the bathroom is to be left slightly open if the child needs assistance. Children will be encouraged to “do it all by themselves”. Parents will be encouraged to have children use the bathroom before they are dropped off. Parents need to sign their child in and out, noting where in the building they will be.

In the Preschool Rooms

One adult volunteer will teach in each preschool room. Nametags should be worn at all times. Children will use the bathrooms in the classroom and the teachers will give no bathroom assistance. Special care should be taken to have teachers wear their nametags and introduce themselves to any parent they don’t know. Parents will always sign their child in and out, noting where in the building they will be.

In the Elementary Rooms

One adult volunteer will teach, one adult volunteer small group leader will be with each class. All Leaders should remember to wear their nametags and introduce themselves to any parents they don’t know. Parents will always sign their child in and out, noting where in the building they will be. Children should be encouraged to go to the bathroom in pairs. No assistance will be given by children’s ministry leaders in the bathroom.

In All Spaces

No foods are to be served that contain peanut or peanut products, any child with a known serious allergy will have an allergy report posted in his/her Sunday school room or leader’s supply box. How to recognize signs of abuse and what to do about it will be included in leader training.

All Paid and Volunteer Staff

An annual background check is required. Paid and volunteer staff will also maintain certifications in first aid/CPR/AED for children and infants as well as being A.L.I.C.E. certified.

Youth Sitters

Youth sitters will know an adult will stop by at any time to check on how things are going. The door should remain closed and locked for everyone’s safety. Sitters will be trained and reminded from time to time on the emergency procedures and how to use the church’s phone system.