Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes [a] child … welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5). Children are our present and our future, our hope, our teachers, our inspiration. They are full participants in the life of the church and in the realm of God.

God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children and other vulnerable persons from abuse. God calls us to create communities of faith where children and adults grow safe and strong. Safe Sanctuaries is our response to this church wide challenge.


Cliftondale United Methodist Church

Safe Sanctuary Policy



Biblically, we are taught to care for each other and in particular to be concerned for older and younger people among us.  Jesus specifically calls us to look out for the well- being of our children and youth.  In fulfilling this Biblical mandate, we commit ourselves as Christian disciples and as a church, to creating a safe haven for young people while focusing on their spiritual, mental and physical growth.   Thus, as part of the baptism covenant we make with each young person, we will tirelessly work to provide for their safety and wholesome Christian development.

This policy is intended to provide a guide for the protection of our children, adult workers and the church.  This policy is enacted to ensure that the parents, members, volunteers and staff of Cliftondale UMC have a clear understanding of what the policies and procedures are regarding the safety of our children, youth and vulnerable adults.  The leadership of Cliftondale United Methodist Church have a clear understanding of our policies and procedures are regarding the safety of our children, youth and vulnerable adults.  The leadership of Cliftondale UMC requests the cooperation of all in our church, as they must abide by the guidelines of this policy.



Staff and volunteers that work in any area of children and youth ministries or with vulnerable adults at Cliftondale United Methodist Church, including but not limited to visitors, friends, constituents, auxiliaries, programs, volunteers and vendors etc., are required adhere to these policies and standards as moral Christians.



The Church staff and volunteers who supervise children and youth workers and workers with vulnerable adults are charged with enforcing this policy.  Any violation of these policies or persistent failure to follow this policy can result in immediate dismissal, disciplinary action or reassignment to another area of work at the discretion of the Church Council (or Administrative Council) and/or Staff Parish Relations Committee.  Anyone who suspects this policy is not being enforced should bring it to the attention of the person who is deemed “person in charge” of the specific program or event.  This person must take immediate action on this violation.  All reports must be brought before the Senior Pastor and/or their designee immediately.

We follow reasonable safety measures in the selection and recruitment of workers, including keeping applications on file for all workers, paid and voluntary.  All who supervise children/youth in our church are experienced adults of high moral and ethical character.



The Safe Sanctuary committee (staff & volunteer) have the responsibility of oversight of the Safe Sanctuary Policy.  These policies govern all activities held by the Church that involve children and youth under the age of 18, any adult with a mental age under 18 or any vulnerable adult.


BACKGROUND CHECKS:  The North Georgia Conference UMC provides background checks.

A background check is performed on everyone who works with, teaches, counsels or chaperones children or vulnerable adults at any church, district or conference function.  All adults without background checks may serve in a non-contact function under supervision of those approved.  Criminal records checks are limited to criminal activity involving: (1) a minor; (2) child molestation; (3) any type of sexual offense; (4) any type of pornographic or obscene material; (5) any type of physical violence; and (6) suspected child abuse (7) any other offense that might jeopardize the safety of a minor.


DETAILED PROTECTION POLICIES: available upon request from church office.

Preschool Security Policies and Age-Specific Guidelines

Presently Cliftondale UMC does not have a preschool program, however, any and all programs for youth will have specific policies consistent with these outlined in this document and all employees and volunteers are required to abide by said policies and guidelines.


Outside Groups Meeting in Our Church Facilities

The Church Council will require that all outside organizations review, and agree to comply with all of the church’s safe sanctuary policy. They must provide their own background checks and train their own leadership, such as scouts, and bring a copy of those documents to the Pastor or designee.



E-mail from adults sent to youth and children is limited to information related youth and children ministries.  E-mail should not be used to pass along jokes, etc.

E-mail addresses of youth and children are protected and not freely distributed.

Photos on web sites, posted in class rooms or posted on bulletin boards should not identify individual by name.

Allergy signs if posted should not show individual’s names.

Written permission is required and should be received from parents before any photo of children or youth before posting on a church sponsored website, in classroom or on a bulletin board.