Checklist for a Safe Congregation

Answer each question “yes” or “no.” Make a plan for turning every “no” into a “yes.”

Do you:

  • Have a written policy on safe congregations addressing sexual harassment, sexual abuse and improper sexual relationships between staff and congregants?

  • Have a Safe Congregations Committee or a Sexual Misconduct and Abuse Response Team with primary responsibilities for these issues?

  • Ensure that your clergy, religious educators and board chair know the state laws for reporting concerns about abuse to children?

  • Provide annual training to all volunteers in religious education and youth ministries about what to do if they suspect child abuse or child sexual abuse?

  • Have a screening form for all employees, regardless of position, and all volunteers who work with children and youth asking them directly about possible histories of sexual offenses?

  • Require that two adults be present in each class or program for children and youth as well as in cars transporting young people to activities?

  • Have a draft of a limited access agreement or checklist for convicted or accused sex offenders in your congregation?

  • Include education about child sexual abuse prevention in your religious education program at least twice during elementary school, once during middle school, and once for your teen group?

  • Hold an annual adult education program on sexual abuse prevention for parents and families?

  • Have support groups or counseling available to those who have survived child sexual abuse?

  • Have a referral list of community organizations and therapists who specialize in sex abuse prevention and treatment?