Safe Sanctuaries

Watsontown United Methodist Church and its ministries are committed to protecting those we serve, especially children and vulnerable adults. Legal requirements, including new and updated legal regulations passed in 2014 by the Pennsylvania legislature, serve as the minimum requirements and expectations of our volunteers and staff in order to ensure the safety and security of those entrusted to our care. In addition to the law, the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church and Watsontown United Methodist Church each have Safe Sanctuaries policies which are maintained and updated to ensure additional protections. These policies ensure proper screening and training for volunteers and staff trusted to care for children and vulnerable adults, safeguards to ensure accountability and avoid potentially harmful situations, and additional guidance and protections to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all.

All staff and volunteers are required to fully comply with the background screening and training components of the Safe Sanctuaries policy, which includes full compliance with Pennsylvania law, prior to engaging in employment or volunteer activity. Renewals of screenings and training are required at regular intervals. All staff persons and volunteers who are subject to these requirements are considered mandatory reporters by Pennsylvania law. If you have any questions related to the law or these policies, please ask a ministry leader.

We will entertain NO EXCEPTIONS to these policies or requirements.

Click here to read more about Pennsylvania’s new Child Protective Services Law.

Links to required clearances for staff/volunteers:

Procedures for Volunteers
Pa State Police Criminal History Report (ePATCH website)
Pa Child Abuse History Clearance (COMPASS website) 
FBI Criminal History Report (3M website) (fingerprints required)
*Affidavit for Prospective Conference Volunteers
*Affidavit may be notarized in lieu of FBI clearance for VOLUNTEERS who have lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the most recent 10 years and have no record on either the Child Abuse History or Criminal History Report.

Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Form CY 113)
Report of Suspected Child Abuse (Form CY 47)
Child Protective Services Law
Mandated Reporter Training – An excellent resource for FAQ and more.

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