A central tenet of the Christian faith is the inherent value and worth of all children, youth, and adults. Children and youth are least able to protect themselves in our society and are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. The Gulf Cove United Methodist Church is desirous of doing what it can to protect the youth and children who participate in the life of this congregation. Child abuse prevention and Ministry Protection policies and procedures are essential for congregations, not only for the protection and safety of our children and youth, but also for our volunteers and staff. The Pastor and Staff Parish Relations Committee have created our Child/Youth Protection Policy.
For additional information you may visit the Florida Conference - Ministry Protection web page.
Adult volunteers and church staff members who regularly work with the Church’s children/youth undergo regular background screening. At the present time background screening is good for 3 years after which time a re-screening will be necessary. The company used by Gulf Cove UMC to perform background checks is Trak-1 Technology.
Each person applying to work with children and/or youth shall “authorize” the church to conduct a criminal background check. Download, complete and return the Background Investigation Authorization Form to the Gulf Cove UMC office.
In addition to criminal background checks, it is important to participate in training that focuses on protecting our children and youth. Participation in this training program is required of all staff members as well as adult volunteers wishing to be certified. Staff, adult and youth volunteers who do not have current background checks or have not completed recent training can assist but only under the supervision of certified personnel.
Holly Woods-Tozer, our Children's Director, has developed a Child and Youth Protection Training module that consists of a slide presentation including an informative video. Prior to participating in the training module you will want to download and become familiar with GCUMC's Child and Youth Protection Policy.
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After completing the Certification Quiz you will need to download and complete the Participation Covenant Statement as you will need to turn in this form to our office. This completes the requirements for certification. Please be aware our Pastor or other church leader may request an personal interview before final certification.
1) All activities involving children and youth will be supervised by at least one screened adult.
2) When reasonably feasible, each room set aside for children/youth should have a door with a window. (Windows in doors tend to remove the opportunities for secrecy and isolation, conditions every child abuser seeks). Half doors should be considered for Toddler to Second Grade children to keep them from wandering outside the classroom.
3) The “Two Person Rule” is defined as having at least two people in any classroom or setting, one of which must be a screened adult volunteer or staff person.
4) A Parental Consent and Medical Authorization form is required for each child participating in church sponsored activities. The authorization is good for one calendar year. Also please complete the 'Child Registration Form'.