Safe Sanctuary Policy
The Jubilee! Community honors all of creation as sacred. We value our sacred journey, honesty, integrity, connection, authenticity, service and social justice. We teach love and respect for all living things, including ourselves. As a community we strive to create a sanctuary in which we express our creativity by how we celebrate together, honor all life, express our love and compassion, share our deep gratitude and acknowledge our fallibility and our limitations. A practical way in which we nurture sanctuary is by ensuring the emotional, spiritual and physical safety of all of the members of our community. To preserve and protect sanctuary for all, the following policy, guidelines and educational programs have been adopted to reduce the possibility of any sexual or physical abuse, harmful behavior, or harassment occurring in our community. Although no policy can anticipate and prevent all possible instances of harmful behavior, it can state a purpose and provide guidance to achieve that purpose. The following policy implements healthy structures, boundaries and guidelines for our life together that are designed to foster a safe and nurturing environment for Jubilants of all ages. It is the intention of the Jubilee! Community to respond constructively to behaviors that are contrary to this policy.
II. POLICY OBJECTIVES
A. To have in place clearly defined procedures for reporting instances of injury, harm, neglect or abuse, which conform to requirements of state law;
B. To implement and follow reasonable measures to promote safety in the selection and recruitment of staff and volunteers;
C. To provide training for staff and volunteers regarding policy and guidelines and their implementation;
D. To implement reasonable procedures in all programs and events to promote a safe environment for all participants;
E. To be mindful of the physical characteristics of our facility and to take reasonable steps to conform our facility to promote our safety standards and to reduce risk of harm or injury;
F. To educate Jubilants regarding this policy and its guidelines and to periodically review and amend as necessary the policy and guidelines.
G. To provide a process to respond to incidents of harmful behavior as defined by this policy.
The policy and guidelines included in this document apply to all Jubilee! activities, which take place within the building of the Jubilee! Community, as well as programs, activities, or events scheduled as part of the celebration of this community which take place elsewhere. This applies to all Jubilants, friends, volunteers and employees of the Jubilee! Community as they participate in these activities.
Adult: A person eighteen years of age and older.
Approved Driver: Any driver 21 years of age or older whose driving record check reveals that their license has not been suspended or revoked within the last five years due to reckless driving or driving while intoxicated and/or under the influence of a controlled substance.
Approved Volunteer: Any person who offers or is recruited, has completed the volunteer application process and has been accepted by the appropriate Coordinator to provide unpaid services. This may include Nurture Program assistants, youth group leaders, drivers for Jubilee!-sponsored events and persons assisting with adults.
Child, Children ¬and Youth: These terms refer to any person(s) under the age of eighteen years.
Dependency: This occurs when a child has no adult to provide care for him or her, such as through abandonment, death, imprisonment, or lack of a responsible adult.
Direct Contact: someone who has the immediate responsibility for the care of children or regular face to face interactions with children, such as Nurture Program teachers and aides, youth group leaders, chaperones, mentors or nursery staff.
Disabled Adult: any person 18 years of age or over or any lawfully emancipated minor who is present in the State of North Carolina and who is physically or mentally incapacitated due to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy or autism; organic brain damage caused by advanced age or other physical degeneration in connection therewith; or due to conditions incurred at any age which are the result of accident, organic brain damage, mental or physical illness, or continued consumption or absorption of substances.
Emotional Abuse: This refers to attitudes or behaviors expressed toward a child that create serious emotional or psychological damage. It includes excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that place expectations on a child beyond his or her capacity. Examples include constantly criticizing, teasing, belittling, insulting, rejecting, ignoring or isolating the child.
Field Trip: A local, off-site trip that does not require an overnight stay.
Harassment: This refers to conduct, including written or printed communication or transmission, telephone or cellular or other wireless telephonic communication, facsimile transmission, paper messages or transmissions, answering machine or voice mail messages or transmissions, and electronic mail messages or other computerized or electronic transmissions, directed at a specific person that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies that person, that creates a hostile workplace and/or Jubilee! Community environment and that serves no legitimate purpose.
Improper Touching: This refers to any unwelcome touching such as brushing against, patting, pinching or grabbing another person’s intimate parts (regardless of whether the person is of the same sex or opposite sex). This includes improper physical contact that is offensive, undesirable, and/or unwanted as determined by the victim, for example, a prolonged hug that is not welcomed.
Incident Report: a written report that contains all the information necessary to complete a report of suspected child abuse to the Department of Social Services. The Incident Report must be submitted, within 24 hours of making an oral report to the Response Team, by anyone with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse.
Neglect: This refers to serious disregard for a child’s well being through lack of proper care, supervision, or discipline. It covers lack of provision of the basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, as well as lack of appropriate medical/dental care and/or needed remedial/therapeutic care. Lack of appropriate supervision according to the child’s age is considered an act of neglect, as is living in an environment that is injurious to the child’s welfare. Child abandonment is considered an act of neglect, as well as illegally placing a child for adoption.
Physical Abuse: This refers to actions, which result or have the potential to result in non-accidental physical injury to a child. Abuse also occurs if a parent/legal guardian/caregiver allows another person to put a child at serious risk of injury. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to: harmful restraint, punching, slapping, beating, shaking, burning, biting, use of a weapon or instrument, or throwing a child. It is different from what is considered reasonable discipline.
Physical Assault: This is defined to include not only violence, but also any physical contact with another person without their consent. When assault is defined like this, exceptions are provided to cover normal social behavior, e.g., patting someone on the back.
Sexual Abuse: This refers to any sexual exploitation of a child, whether consensual or not, by an adult or older child. Sexual abuse also occurs if a person allows another person to sexually exploit a child. This involves a range of activities, which include, but are not limited to: fondling the genital area, masturbation, oral sex, or vaginal or anal penetration by a finger, penis or other object. It also includes suggestive behaviors or comments, exhibitionism, allowing a child to view or perform in pornographic photographs/videos, as well as engaging a child in prostitution.
Sexual Assault: This refers to any unwanted sexual contact or attention achieved by force, threats, bribes, manipulation, pressure, tricks or violence. It may be physical or non-physical. Sexual assault is a crime of violence, anger, power and control where sex is used as a weapon against the victim.
Sexual Exploitation: Sexual contact of any kind between a person in a helping profession (doctor, teacher, minister, etc.) and a person under their care or guidance. This is considered exploitation because the helping professional starts from a position of great power over the person, and the professional has a duty of care to protect the interests of that person and not to serve his/her own needs.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: 1) submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; 2) submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals; or 3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment can also occur between peers and includes: sexually-oriented humor or language, questions or comments about sexual behavior or preference, undesired physical contact, inappropriate comments about clothing or physical appearance, or repeated unwelcome requests for social engagements.
Special Activity: An overnight or extended off-site event.
Staff: Any individual hired and compensated by Jubilee! on a part-time, fulltime, temporary, or permanent basis.
Stalking: Stalking occurs when a person willfully on more than one occasion follows or is in the presence of, or otherwise harasses, another person without legal purpose and with the intent to do any of the following: 1) Place that person in reasonable fear either for the person’s safety or the safety of the person’s immediate family or close personal associates; 2) Cause that person to suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment, and that in fact causes that person substantial emotional distress.
Verbal Assault: This occurs when someone criticizes another person strongly or in a hostile manner and includes: name-calling, degrading, screaming, threatening, berating, cursing, humiliating, and using snide remarks and sarcasm to erode the victim’s sense of self worth and self confidence.
V. PERSONNEL AND VOLUNTEER POLICIES
1. Employees: All candidates seeking paid employment at Jubilee! will complete and sign an Application for Employment. Final candidates for employment will complete the following:
a. Applicant Disclosure and Consent for Background Investigation (authorizes a background and driving record check)
b. Statement of Compliance
2. Volunteers: Nurture Program volunteers serving as teachers and aides, nursery aides, chaperones and drivers for overnight events or extended off-site activities, mentors, or any position that requires regular direct contact with youth will complete and sign the following:
a. Volunteer Registration form
b. Applicant Disclosure and Consent for Background Investigation (volunteer version)
c. Statement of Compliance
3. All applications for employment will be reviewed by an appropriate Administrator, Coordinator and/or the Personnel Committee. Before assuming a paid position, the applicant will be interviewed. The Personnel Committee will be available to assist the Administrator or a Coordinator in the employment process as needed.
a. Interviews for prospective employees will be conducted with those applicants who are deemed suitable following the review of the application.
b. Gaps in time, irregular employment patterns, or unexplained absences noted on the Employment Application must be pursued with both former employers and potential employees.
c. Professional references will be contacted for information that may be helpful in determining the applicant’s suitability for the position being sought.
d. Recruitment for paid employment will be conducted through the use of practices consistent with current employment law.
4. All applications for volunteer positions will be reviewed by an appropriate Coordinator. Before assuming a volunteer position, the applicant’s Volunteer Registration will be reviewed and the candidate will be interviewed as necessary.
a. Depending upon the nature of the volunteer activity as defined in section B. 1 below, a Background Check may be obtained and cleared before volunteer assignment is approved. However, a volunteer may begin their activity on a temporary basis if paired with a staff member or other approved volunteer.
b. For candidates for volunteer positions, references may be contacted at the discretion of the Coordinator.
B. Background Checks
1. A Background Check will be obtained from Intellenet, Inc., an Asheville background check company, to ensure that employees and designated volunteers are appropriate for their positions. A background check will be obtained for the following positions: paid staff and all volunteers as defined in section V.A.2.
2. The Personnel Committee, in consultation with the Administrator, shall designate a staff member or other individual to be responsible for obtaining Background Checks.
a. Background Checks will be requested only with the consent of the applicant.
b. Information collected will be held in confidence with access limited to members of the Personnel Committee and their designees.
c. The Personnel Committee will assure that all personnel (staff and volunteer) records are stored in a secure location.
3. The following criteria will be used by the appropriate Administrator, Coordinator and/or the Personnel Committee in evaluating the results of a Background Check, reference check and personal interview:
a. Anyone convicted of, or who admits to, committing child abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual, will not be considered, under any circumstances, for a position involving contact with children or disabled adults.
b. An applicant may be ineligible for any position involving direct contact with children if the background check indicates a violation of any Article of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes and possession or sale of drugs in violation of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, and alcohol-related offenses such as sale to underage persons in violation of G.S. 18B-302. If the background check reveals a State crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, that bears upon an individual’s fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of any persons served by Jubilee!, the following must be considered for each and every crime listed:
i. The level and seriousness of the crime
ii. The date of the crime
iii. The age of the person at the time of the crime
iv. The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known
v. The nexus between the criminal conduct of the person and the job duties of the position to be filled
vi. The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the person since the date the crime was committed
vii. The subsequent commission of a relevant offense by the person
c. Other factors as deemed appropriate that bear on a candidate’s suitability for a paid or volunteer position may be considered.
4. The following criteria will be used by the appropriate Administrator, Coordinator and/or the Personnel Committee in evaluating the results of a Driving Record check:
a. Any driver whose license has been suspended or revoked within the last five years due to reckless driving or driving while intoxicated and/or under the influence of a controlled substance will not be eligible for approval as a volunteer driver.
5. Upon implementation of this policy, all employees of Jubilee! Community will be required to have a Background Check. The Administrator will request Background Checks for any staff at the time of the implementation of this policy for whom a Background Check has not been obtained. However, the Chair of the Personnel Committee will obtain and review the Background Check for the Administrator and the Minister of Ritual and Celebration. Any candidates for a Background Check should complete and sign an authorization for a Background Check and a Statement of Compliance.
6. Background checks will be updated on an as needed basis.
VI. GUIDELINES FOR YOUTH
A. Supervision Guidelines
1. Two Adult Principle: Every effort should be made to ensure that two adults will be present in the room of any Jubilee!-sponsored program or event involving children/youth or vulnerable adults, especially on field trips and overnights. When possible, the two adults should be unrelated. In those cases where the presence of two adults is not feasible, the door to the classroom or other event venue must remain open or have a glass panel. The “Floater Principle” (see #3 below) will also be followed.
2. Five Year Older Principle: Classroom, nursery helpers, and youth group assistants must be five years older than the oldest participant in the class, group, or activity or a minimum of 22 years old. The “Two Adult Principle” still applies. This procedure does not prohibit adults/youth who are less than five years older than the youth or children in an activity from participating as a “helper” for the activity. The minimum age to help in the nursery or Nurture classrooms is thirteen. The minimum age to serve in a supervisory capacity is eighteen.
3. Floater Principle: During Sunday morning Nurture activities where the “Two Adult Principle” cannot realistically be achieved, an additional person must be designated as a “Floater” and should make unscheduled visits to check on all classrooms or areas.
4. Restroom Guideline: No child requiring assistance in the bathroom shall be alone in the restroom with an adult other than a family member or guardian. If one adult must leave the classroom/activity to take a child to the restroom, the adult will inform another adult of their plan and will wait outside the restroom door. In the case of young children who need assistance, the restroom door must be left open.
5. Visibility in Rooms: Every room that is used for activities and teaching of children/youth and vulnerable adults should have a window in the door, or have an open half-door, that gives visibility to all areas of that room. The window must be left uncovered. If there is no window, the door must be left open at all times. Locks on classroom doors will remain unlocked during operational hours.
6. Disciplinary Methods: Corporal punishment is not to be used at any time. If a child/youth is in need of correction during an event, the following methods may be used, attempting to employ logical consequences when feasible: 1) verbal correction which addresses the specific issue, while not berating the child/youth; 2) brief time-out (one minute per year of age): if child/youth must be removed from the room, he or she must be within sight of the adults; 3) calling the parent(s) to come get the child/youth. Calling parents to come get their child should be used immediately in response to serious disciplinary problems. Behavior guidelines (developed with youth as age-appropriate) will be posted and reviewed prior to field trips and overnights. Youth, parents, volunteers and staff will be asked to sign the guidelines.
7. Open Door Counseling: (a) Counseling, including pastoral counseling, is expected to be confidential in nature, but for the protection of both parties, such sessions should take place where other people are nearby even though not within hearing distance. The counseling room should have a window in the door. (b) A Paid Staff Person may counsel one-on-one with a child/youth or a vulnerable adult with the knowledge of at least one other paid staff member. The counseling room should have a window in the door and there must be another adult nearby in the building. (c) Appropriate referral will be made as needed to meet the child/youth’s needs.
8. First Aid and CPR: At least one adult present at every Nurture Program activity involving children/youth should be certified in basic first aid and CPR. Jubilee! will offer training annually. The Nurture Coordinator will be responsible for arranging CPR training.
9. Communication/Advance Notice to Parents/Guardians: Parents/guardians will be kept informed about programs in which their children/youth are involved and will be given advance notice and information about any activity that deviates from the regular programs or schedule the Nurture Program offers.
10. Age and Activity-Appropriate Equipment: Annually, by August 1 of each year, the Nurture Coordinator will be responsible for examining the safety and appropriateness of the equipment used in nursery and classrooms. Equipment will be checked for re-called items and those containing unsafe levels of lead. Defective equipment will be repaired or disposed of. A written record of this inspection will be maintained on file.
11. Use of Pictures: Although photos can often best depict the excitement and energy of Jubilee! activities, Jubilee! must be sensitive to potential adverse impacts of publishing photos of youth/children. Therefore, photos of groups that minimize unique identifying participant characteristics are preferred over close-up photos of youth/children. Photo descriptions will be limited to describing the activity depicted. At no time will youth or children be identified by their full name. All photos of minors used in a publication or posted on the Jubilee! website require written parental permission. Photos of children/youth may be posted on Jubilee bulletin boards without any identifying information other than the activity depicted.
12. Gifts and Deals: Under no circumstances will any staff member or volunteer make arrangements for gifts or special privileges directly with children or create secret deals with children/youth or vulnerable adults. Volunteers or staff will not give gifts to children or youth without the knowledge of the parents, guardians and/or the Nurture Coordinator.
13. Sign-in and Sign-out for Children:
a. Nursery and 4- to 5-year-olds: Parents/guardians of children in the Nursery and the 4- to 5-year-old group will sign their child in when leaving their child in the classroom. One of two safety systems will then be employed. 1) Numbered tags: When a parent/guardian arrives to the classroom, the parent/guardian and the child will receive tags that are identically numbered. The number will be placed next to the child’s name on the sign-in sheet. The child’s tag will then be pinned to the back of his/her clothing (so it cannot be removed). When the parent/guardian picks up the child, he/she will surrender the numbered tag that matches the child’s numbered tag. The parent/guardian will also sign his/her child out. 2) Bracelets: When a parent/guardian arrives to the classroom, the parent/guardian will receive a coil bracelet keychain with a laminated nametag attached. The nametag will have the child’s name clearly typed on it. The child will receive a duplicate bracelet that can be worn on the wrist. When the parent/guardian picks up the child, he/she will surrender the bracelet that matches the child’s. The parent/guardian will also sign his/her child out.
b. First- through fifth-graders: Parents/guardians of children in 1st to 5th grade will sign their child in when leaving their child in the classroom. They will also sign their child out at pick-up. Teachers/supervisors may not release children to anyone except the parent or guardian following an activity.
c. Grades 6-8 and 9-12: Participants in the COA and YAP classes will be expected to remain in the classroom until dismissal. If anyone leaves the class early, his/her parents/guardians will be notified.
14. Entry/Exit Doors: Once the Nurture Program classes begin, at around 9:55, the door on Patton Avenue will be locked by the Nurture Coordinator. A sign will be placed on the door requesting that late arrivals enter the building through the door in the Futon Gallery Park Lot. The Patton Avenue door will be unlocked again at 10:45.
15. Dating: Adult volunteers and staff will not date (or be intimately involved with) any participant regardless of age who is involved in the youth Nurture program.
B. Travel and Special Events
1. Parental Consent: Parents/guardians will be fully informed about programs, activities, leaders, chaperones, dates and times, cost, method of transportation, and purpose of any scheduled trips or activities. The appropriate forms will be completed and returned before any child or youth can participate in the event.
a. Field Trip Consent: A field trip is defined as any trip/activity that involves local travel away from the regularly scheduled meeting place and time and does not involve an overnight stay. The Field Trip Consent form will be completed for all youth whose parent/guardian is not accompanying them on the trip.
b. Medical Release Form: A parent/guardian is required to complete a Medical Release Form for any youth who participates in an event that requires an overnight stay or an extended off-site trip. This form needs to be completed at least once a year.
c. Special Activity Consent Form: For extended off-site or overnight events, both a parent/guardian and the participant must complete a Special Activity Consent Form. This form must be completed for each event.
d. Trip leaders will bring along a completed Medical Release Form and a Special Activity Consent Form for each child participating in all special activities.
a. Drivers for overnight or extended off-site trips will be designated prior to an event requiring transportation.
b. When a child/youth is transported in a vehicle for a field trip, the driver will be the child/youth’s parent/guardian, a regularly-participating Nurture Program parent (as determined by the Nurture Coordinator), or a staff person who is 21 years of age or older. When a child/youth is transported in a vehicle for an overnight or extended off-site trip, the driver will be the child/youth’s parent/guardian, an approved adult driver, or a staff person who is 21 years of age or older.
c. Drivers will require seat belts and/or age appropriate car/booster seats to be used at all times and the number of passengers will not exceed the number of seat belts.
d. No one under the age of 12 will be allowed to ride in the front seat, unless all other vehicle seats are taken.
e. Drivers should agree upon a designated route and should not deviate from it except in cases of emergency or road detours.
f. Youth should not ride in a vehicle driven by another youth to or from a Jubilee!-sponsored activity without parental consent.
g. To become an approved driver, a driving record check will be obtained from the NC Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles. The Nurture Coordinator will review the driving record check before approving the driver to transport youth. Driving record checks will be updated annually. The Nurture Coordinator will also assure that all approved drivers will have a valid driver’s license for the vehicle being operated. A copy of the driver’s license, automobile registration and face sheet of the insurance policy will be made and maintained on file at Jubilee!. Approved drivers will be at least 21 years of age.
h. It is recommended (but not required) that approved drivers maintain an insurance coverage level in the following amount: $100/300/100 and at least $5,000 in medical payments. A personal umbrella liability policy is also suggested.
i. Whenever feasible, drivers should be accompanied by or travel with another vehicle driven by at least one other adult. If it is necessary for a youth to travel alone with an adult staff member or volunteer, parental consent must be provided.
j. If an approved driver whose license has been suspended or revoked within the last five years due to reckless driving or driving while intoxicated and/or under the influence of a controlled substance will have their status as an approved driver revoked. The Nurture Coordinator or the Facilitator of Community Life will be responsible for revoking approved volunteer driver status.
3. Extended Or Overnight Off-Site Travel: Extended or overnight off-site trips require intentional consideration of any additional risks or special concerns associated with such events. The Nurture Coordinator should receive a proposal using the Special Activity Proposal Form at least one month in advance. Those in charge of the event should be aware of and discuss this policy as an integral part of the planning of such events. Those planning events are responsible for implementing and monitoring travel requirements and guidelines.
4. Additional Guidelines:
a. There will be at least two approved adult volunteer supervisors for all trips, retreats, and overnight events for children/youth.
b. There will be at least one approved adult for each gender present at co-ed overnight events. At single-gender overnight events, at least one of the screened adults present shall be of the same gender as children/youth.
c. Any teaching or educational experience that requires travel or overnight travel from Jubilee! must have the written permission and medical insurance information from the parent or guardian of each child/youth, and where necessary, the approval of the Nurture Coordinator.
d. There will always be a minimum of two youth and one adult (all same sex) housed in the same room or in an adjoining room with a door opened if necessary in a hotel type setting. No youth and adult will share a bed. In cases where beds must be shared, the youth will share a bed and the adults will share a bed (exception: parent/child may share a bed). Co-ed rooming is not permitted in a hotel type setting. Visitation between males and females in hotel rooms or residence halls is prohibited unless directly supervised in a group setting by the group’s responsible adults for group discussion time. Whenever feasible, lodging should be selected which is constructed so that lodging rooms do not open to the outside of the building.
e. Male/Female supervision: at least one male approved adult volunteer must accompany male children/youth and at least one female approved adult volunteer must accompany female children/youth. (The Two-Adult Principle still applies).
f. Without parental permission, no youth may leave a Jubilee! activity prior to its conclusion with any person other than a parent. Supervising adults may not leave the event without explicit permission from the group leader (to assure that an adequate supervision ratio is maintained).
g. While on a trip or retreat, youth may not be transported by anyone other than their parents or designated trip leaders.
h. No youth may drive to any youth group activity that is located outside of Buncombe County and adjacent counties.
i. If it is necessary for a youth to travel alone with an adult staff member or volunteer, parental consent must be provided.
j. Parents, teachers, and leaders of anyone under the age of 18 are encouraged to make prior arrangements and/or pairing assignments so that children and youth have a ” buddy” who is close to their age so that no child need be alone while on any activity, trip, or overnight as appropriate. This is particularly useful if a child must leave the eyesight of the group.
k. All youth participating in retreats and overnight events away from Jubilee! must be covered by health insurance. Scholarships for short-term health insurance are available.
l. As much as possible the group should stay together as a group and remain within eyesight of each other.
m. Ideally males and females will be housed in separate rooms; however, if this is not possible (for example, if participants are all together in a large room), all participants may be housed together with appropriate measures taken for privacy and supervision. Sensitive consideration will be made for youth regarding gender identity and sexual orientation issues.
n. The recommended supervision ratio of adults to youth is 1:2; the minimum ratio will be 1:4.
o. No alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs will be consumed by any participant, adult or youth on any Jubilee! youth-oriented event. Children/youth requiring prescription medication will have permission for its use provided by their parents. Violation of this rule by a youth will result in a youth being sent home immediately at the parent’s expense. A youth arriving at a Jubilee! function who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be encouraged to stay with the group for their safety. A parent/guardian will be contacted to come and transport the youth home. Violations of this rule by adult leadership on Jubilee! youth-oriented events will be reviewed by the Nurture Coordinator and/or the Personnel Committee.
p. Overnight events at Jubilee! will be supervised by adults of both sexes, if possible, when the group is co-ed. The Two-Adult Principle and suggested staffing ratios will be observed.
q. Rules and behavioral guidelines in addition those stated in this policy will be developed prior to a trip/activity and all participants including leadership are expected to follow them. Leaders will be empowered to enforce the rules, develop new ones as circumstances warrant and to develop consequences as needed, including sending a youth home (at the expense of the parent/guardian) if their behavior is not compliant. A copy of the rules and behavioral guidelines will be provided to youth, staff, volunteer leaders and parents. Everyone will be asked to sign the guidelines before the trip indicating their agreement and intended compliance.
C. Healthy Relationships with Children/Youth
1. Appropriate Contact: Human warmth expressed through appropriate touch can foster a sense of acceptance, belonging and significance. Inappropriate or unwelcome touch can create feelings of violation, confusion and isolation, which leave lasting scars. It is the responsibility of adults to maintain appropriate boundaries; this is not the responsibility of children or youth. The following are examples of ways in which adults can show warmth to children while protecting their own integrity.
a. Make a point of showing affection in open places where others can see and share in the warmth. In determining whether the touching is of a sexual or inappropriate nature, ask yourself the question, “How would a reasonable observer interpret this touch?”
b. Classrooms and meeting places should be managed to create a feeling of public space, yet be conducive to good teaching. Leave the windows in the room uncovered and the door (or the top half of split doors) standing open whenever possible.
c. If you and a child need to talk to each other in confidence, avoid isolating yourselves. Have another adult present or stay within view of the group. If you and a child must be in a room by yourselves, leave the door open.
d. If a child is hurting physically or feeling ill and needs to be examined, ensure that another person of the same gender as the child is present in the room with you. Do not force the child to remove clothing for an examination. Only in an emergency may a child’s clothing be removed for examination.
e. Appropriate physical touch is an important part of showing love and support to children. Nothing in this policy should be construed as stopping an adult from hugging a child, with the child’s permission, to show affection or approval or to comfort a child who has experienced a disappointment or injury.
f. Be cautious about any conversations that involve sex. Children may ask honest questions about sexuality and teenagers might seek advice. Listening, with respect for the child, is appropriate. When responding, be sensitive to the values and standards that are taught in the child’s home and to a discussion that may cause conflict or confusion with those standards.
g. Within the context of our mentoring program, there are often situations where it is appropriate for an adult to be alone with a child. By allowing the child to participate in the mentoring program, the parent has already given written consent. Even so, in such cases, be absolutely sure that the child’s parents are well aware of your plans for your time together.
h. When supervising overnight and travel oriented group activities, observe extra safeguards as defined above.
i. Assure that reasonable privacy can be provided in situations in which you or a child may have to change clothing, such as swimsuits or sports clothes, in the other’s presence.
j. Always respect the integrity of the child. Allow the child to back away from your well-intentioned affection if s/he so wishes. Some children may feel fearful or distrustful of any physical contact. Use your common sense and good judgment to guide you in protecting the personal space and well being of the children in your care.
2. Inappropriate Touch: The following forms of affection are considered inappropriate with children and youth in ministry settings because many of them are the behaviors that child molesters use to “groom” children or youth for later molestation or can be, in and of themselves, sexual abuse. The intent of this section is to raise awareness of inappropriate behaviors and boundaries. Volunteer leaders and staff are encouraged to monitor their behavior and to foster an atmosphere of trust and open dialog regarding the interpretation of any of these issues.
a. Full body hugs or embracing a child or youth for an inordinate amount of time.
b. Kisses on the mouth.
c. Holding children over six years old on the lap.
d. Touching bottoms, chests or genital areas other than for appropriate diapering, toileting or dressing of infants and toddlers.
e. Showing affection in isolated areas or locked areas such as bedrooms, closets, staff only areas or other private rooms.
f. Occupying a bed with a child or youth.
g. Caressing knees or legs of children or youth.
h. Wrestling with children or youth.
i. Tickling children or youth.
j. Piggyback rides.
k. Any type of massage given by a child or youth to an adult.
l. Any type of massage given by an adult to a child or youth.
m. Any form of unwanted affection.
n. Comments or compliments (spoken, written, or electronic such as texting or email) that relate to physique or body development and could be interpreted as sexual innuendo. Examples include, “You sure are developing,” or “You look really hot in those jeans.”
o. Snapping bras or giving “wedgies” or similar touch of underwear whether or not it is covered by other clothing.
p. Privately giving gifts or money to individual children or youth.
q. Private meals in non-public venues with individual children or youth.
r. Frequent association with individual children or youth outside of Jubilee!- related activities without parental consent.
VII. RESPONDING TO AND REPORTING SUSPECTED ADULT ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE, HARASSMENT OF ANY TYPE AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
A. Response Team
A Response Team shall be established for the purpose of responding to incidents of suspected abuse, harassment, or sexual misconduct. It is preferred, but not required, that any Jubilant who believes they may have information about or require assistance with a matter involving abuse, sexual misconduct and/or harassment of a Jubilant of any age would contact the Response Team for assistance. The Response Team members provide such services as consultation, incident management and oversight, crisis intervention, support, triage, and risk management. When necessary, the Response Team will also recommend remedial actions to the Chair of the Jubilee! Board.
Response Team and Safe Sanctuary Committee
The Response Team will be composed of at least three Jubilee! members, including at least one female and one male, appointed by the Chair of the Board and approved by the Board for indefinite terms. The Response Team will be a part of a committee of the Board, the Safe Sanctuary Committee. The Safe Sanctuary Committee shall be responsible for updating the Safe Sanctuary Policy and providing training and education for the Jubilee! Community regarding the issues addressed by the policy. The Response Team at its discretion may add qualified individuals on an ad hoc basis to assist in the resolution of an incident. Response Team members will be identified on documents related to this policy, posted in prominent locations within the Jubilee! facility and on the Jubilee! website.
B. Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Adult Abuse
1. Reporting Child Abuse: North Carolina Law requires any person who suspects child abuse, neglect or dependency to report the case to the Buncombe County Department of Social Services. All citizens are obligated to report reasonable suspicions of child abuse and to be guided by the procedures identified below.
Buncombe County Department of Social Services 828-250-5500
Reports Made Via Cell Phone 828-252-HELP (4357)
After Hours, Weekends, Holidays 211
2. Reporting Adult Abuse: North Carolina law requires that anyone having reason to believe that a disabled adult is in need of protective service shall report such information to the Department of Social Services. To accept a referral for protective services the disabled adult must be physically or mentally incapacitated, is being abused (if abused, the abuse must be by a caretaker), neglected or exploited, and the adult is in need of protection. A referral to Adult Social Services: Protective Services in Buncombe County may be made over the telephone or in writing.
Buncombe County Department of Social Services 828-250-5500
After Hours, Weekends, Holidays 211
C. Responding to Harmful Behavior
1. Jubilants and Jubilee! Community staff are required by North Carolina law to report suspected child and adult abuse to the Department of Social Services (DSS). It is the responsibility of the DSS to determine whether to investigate further. No one is prohibited from making a report directly to the DSS, and may do so if they wish; however, immediate coordination with the Response Team is requested. Coordination of reporting through the Response Team will help reduce duplicate reporting and assure that proper procedure is followed and that documentation of all steps is accomplished. Also, the Response Team would be available to provide further support as indicated.
2. Adults may report an experience of harmful behavior occuring at Jubilee! or at a Jubilee! sponsored activity to the Response Team if they want assistance from the Response Team.
3. The initial contact with the Response Team could be verbal or in writing. However, a signed and dated written statement using the Incident Report Form should be submitted providing as much detail as possible. The form is available from Jubilee! Staff and on the Jubilee website as a pdf document. Contact a member of the Response Team for assistance. If a member of the Response Team is the accused, contact a Jubilee! staff member or the Chair of the Jubilee! Board of Directors.
4. The Response Team will consider any report seriously, and will respond to any information it receives with appropriate respect for privacy and confidentiality and compliance with legal standards.
5. The care, safety and support of alleged victims and their families are the first priority. At their discretion the Response Team will engage or refer to reasonable and appropriate resources. The Response Team also will be alert for the support needs of the observer/reporter, the wider Jubilee! Community and the alleged abuser.
6. The first person to learn of the incident should not undertake an inquiry alone and should not question the accused or the accuser. The person should assure the immediate safety of the child/youth and promptly report the incident to the Response Team.
7. Should it become necessary, full cooperation will be given to civil authorities pursuant to the guidance of the Jubilee! Community attorney. If permitted, the attorney may be present while any person involved in the incident is answering any investigative questions from the police or a social service agency.
8. When questionable or inappropriate behavior related to possible sexual misconduct or harassment of any type is observed, it should be reported to the Response Team. The Response Team will be available to any Jubilant for consultation or support on how to respond to any of the issues falling within the scope of this policy.
9. The Response Team will treat the accused with dignity and respect. If the accused is a volunteer or member of the Jubilee! Community staff, he/she may be relieved temporarily of his/her duties until the incident has been assessed and resolved. If the accused is an employee, the incident will be referred to the Personnel Committee for resolution, which may include but is not limited to maintaining or suspending pay or attendance at work until the allegations are cleared or substantiated.
10. The Response Team, as it deems necessary and prudent, will issue a public statement to inform the Jubilee! Community as well as to respond to press inquiries. The statement should communicate that the Community regards these incidents seriously and offers responsible action, concern and support for all involved. No details of the incident will be released. The Response Team will not deny that the incident occurred, assign blame or minimize the situation (e.g. “It wasn’t all that serious.”) No statement will be issued until the Response Team, the Chair of the Board and the Jubilee! Community attorney have approved it.
11. The Response Team is NOT intended to advocate for any party, conduct a full-scale legal investigation, act as legal counsel, act in the role of a licensed psychologist, social worker, marital and family therapist or counselor, determine guilt or innocence, or replace the functions of the Board of Directors.
12. The Response Team will document all of its activities involved in handling an incident noting the date, time, location of all activities and meetings, persons involved and present in meetings, actions taken and planned, decisions made as well as an evaluation and summary of the matter. All documentation will be held securely and treated confidentially.
VIII. GUIDELINES FOR ADULTS
A. Complaints of Harmful Behavior: Jubilants and Jubilee! Community staff may contact the Response Team if assistance is needed in addressing incidents of harmful behavior involving adults. Initial verbal contacts with the Response Team will be documented in writing using the Incident Report form providing as much detail as possible about the incident. Incidents involving staff will be referred by the Response Team to the Personnel Committee with the Response Team providing assistance as necessary. If an incident involves a member of the Response Team, the Chair of the Board of Directors will be informed. All other incidents will be managed by the Response Team. Jubilants, the Personnel Committee and the Response Team will be informed by the following guidelines in the pursuit of incident resolution.
1. Initial Measures for Resolution: The complainant(s) has the option to resolve complaints using informal measures. This is the preferred method for resolution of complaints.
a. The complainant can attempt to resolve the matter directly with the individual(s) accused of harmful behavior.
b. The complainant may consult with the Response Team for support and to develop and evaluate ideas for actions to take.
c. If a staff member is a complainant, he/she can report an incident to their immediate supervisor or the Jubilee! Administrator in an effort to resolve the matter informally. If the Administrator is the accused, the Response Team should be contacted.
2. Secondary Measures for Resolution: If an informal resolution of a complaint does not seem wise, appropriate, possible, or does not succeed, secondary measures may be instituted. When the Response Team becomes aware that informal steps for resolution of a complaint have not been successful and the complainant is seeking additional assistance in the resolution of the incident, the Response Team and/or the Personnel Committee may follow a more formal process, which could include:
a. Gather statements from individuals involved and anyone else with pertinent information.
b. Consider all information and make a determination of findings.
c. Finding that the complaint is verified may result in recommendations to the Board of Directors for a disciplinary action plan which could include interventions such as:
i. Referral to a professional mediation service to seek resolution;
ii. Formal reprimand with defined expectations for changed behavior, including possible public notification;
iii. Recommending or requiring a program of growth that may include education and/or counseling;
iv. Probation, with the terms of the probation clearly identified;
v. Dismissal from employment or volunteer leadership position, and, in extreme cases, affiliation with, or membership in, the Jubilee! Community.
vi. Other actions deemed appropriate by the Response Team or the Personnel Committee.
3. A finding that no harmful behavior has occurred should be expressed to both the accused and the complainant.
4. Report these findings to the employee’s or volunteer’s supervisor as applicable.
5. The Response Team, the Personnel Committee, and/or the Chair of the Board of Directors may consult with other individuals with relevant expertise and wisdom to determine the appropriate course of action in the resolution of an incident.
6. The person(s) toward whom the inappropriate behavior is directed need not be the complainant. Moreover, neither consent nor acquiescence will excuse or exonerate inappropriate behavior.
7. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes harmful behavior, consideration shall be given to the record of the alleged incident(s) as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred.
8. Any person bringing a complaint of harmful behavior or assisting in assessing such a complaint will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment or Jubilee! membership or affiliation, or otherwise discriminated against or discharged.
9. If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the disposition of the matter by the Personnel Committee or the Response Team, he or she has the right to appeal to the Chair of the Board of Directors, or to the Vice Chair of the Board if the Chair of the Board of Directors is the subject of the complaint, who shall refer the matter to the Board of Directors. The subject of any such appeal to the Board of Directors shall be limited solely to whether the procedures of this policy were followed. The matter will not be reconsidered on the merits and the decision of the Board of Directors will be the final resolution of the matter. If Board of Directors determines that the procedures of this policy were not followed, it will refer the matter back to the Response Team or the Personnel Committee as indicated.
IX. ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES
A. First Aid Kits: First aid kits will be maintained in or readily accessible in areas where the need is most likely to arise. These areas include the upstairs hallway and the Nurture Program office.
B. Evacuation: A building evacuation plan will be developed with evacuation maps posted in visible locations. Staff and volunteers will be trained and will be familiar with the evacuation plan. Parents will be notified as to how they can locate their children in the event of an evacuation.
C. Internal Emergency Management: In the event of an emergency downstairs during Nurture Program activities, the Nurture Staff will call 911 as necessary. A cell phone will be provided to a designated individual who remains upstairs during Sunday morning Celebrations. This phone will be used only in emergency situations by the downstairs staff to make immediate contact with upstairs personnel. A select group of staff and other Jubilants will receive training in disaster management from the Asheville Fire/Police Department and the Safe Sanctuary Committee. The goal of this training will be to develop skills in the effective management of crowds in an emergency situation, for example, efficient building evacuation.
D. Parental Notification Plan for Emergencies: If the building must be evacuated, children/youth will be taken to the Futon Gallery Parking lot or to the Wick & Greene Jewelers parking lot depending on which is the safest response to the emergency.
E. Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers are installed at convenient locations throughout the building. Fire extinguisher locations will be indicated on the evacuation route diagrams. Fire extinguishers and smoke alarms will be checked and maintained periodically and after each use.
F. Emergency Numbers: Emergency telephone numbers will be posted at each telephone. These numbers will include 911 for emergencies, Asheville Police non-emergency number, Poison Control and Department of Social Services (DSS). Also included will be the Jubilee! address and phone number and the location within the building of the phone.
1. Jubilee! will offer its web content by way of the Jubilee! website as approved by the Board. No other separate websites for specific groups within Jubilee! (i.e. music, youth, children’s, etc.) will be established by Jubilee!. As a starting point, our website will observe the rules established by the Federal Trade Commission’s 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA).
2. Only approved staff or adult volunteers may have Jubilee! website responsibilities including updating web content and utilizing the website for email correspondence. As such, they will observe the communications policies established to protect our children and youth. Youth/children will not have any unsupervised Jubilee! website responsibilities.
3. The Jubilee! website will not disclose contact or personal identification information for any youth/child including phone number, home address, email information, etc. The only publicly available contact information at the website will be the Jubilee! address, phone, fax and “alias” email addresses unless an individual gives permission otherwise. At no time should the full names of children/youth be disclosed without written permission of a parent or guardian.
H. Guns: Guns will not be allowed within the building at any time for any purpose. North Carolina law prohibits the use of guns in any activity for which an admission is charged.
I. Locked Doors: The facility shall remain locked at all times except during Sunday Celebrations or other special events such as performances attended by a large group of people. Doors to the classrooms in the Nurture Program will remain locked when not in use.
J. Unsupervised Children: Parents are expected to supervise the activities of children and youth at all times while in the Jubilee! facility. This is especially important during evening hours or at times other than Sunday Celebrations when small numbers of people are in the building.
X. EDUCATION, POLICY REVIEW AND RECORD KEEPING
Introduction of the Safe Sanctuary Policy requires planning and preparation. The success of this policy requires the establishment of an effective educational strategy to inform the community and train staff and volunteers. The educational strategy will be systematic and sustainable. Education about the contents and issues of this policy will be available to the entire Jubilee! Community with a focus being placed on staff and volunteers. Awareness of the policy and its relevant issues will be maintained through annual training and orientation programs, as staff and leadership change over time. A summary version of the policy will be available for staff and Jubilants.
A. Board of Directors
1. The Board will receive orientation and annual updates regarding the Safe Sanctuary Policy at the annual Board retreat or at the August meeting in the event a retreat is not scheduled. This will be provided by the Safe Sanctuary Committee, which will be responsible for reviewing and updating the policy on an annual and an as needed basis. The Board will review and approve any amendments to this policy.
2. Orientation will include education about the underlying considerations, especially the risks of child physical and sexual abuse and the church’s role in minimizing the risks of abuse, our policies, and the legal basis for policy decisions.
3. The Board will acknowledge, support and participate in promoting the Safe Sanctuary Policy.
4. The Board will be responsible for directing the Safe Sanctuary Committee to meet annually to review the Safe Sanctuary Policy with staff and key volunteer leadership and to recommend appropriate policy changes. This annual meeting should be scheduled so that any changes can be made before fall programming begins.
1. The first Parent Gathering of the Nurture Program in the fall of each year will include an overview of the Safe Sanctuary Policy and a time for feedback. This feedback will be used to assist the Nurture Coordinator and the Response Team in reviewing and recommending periodic improvements to the policy. To prepare for these sessions, the Nurture Coordinator will make these documents available as pdf e-mail attachments and in hard copy downstairs at least two weeks prior to the meeting date.
2. The most recent version of the Safe Sanctuary Policy and its Summary version will be made available (as a pdf attachment and in hard copy downstairs) whenever a new family enrolls a child in the Nurture Program.
3. The Safe Sanctuary Committee and the Nurture Coordinator will determine if any future revisions to the document are significant enough to warrant updated versions being made available to families prior to the first Parent Gathering of the Nurture Program in the fall.
4. The Nurture Coordinator will be responsible for providing the orientation, soliciting feedback, suggesting revisions, and providing the documents to families.
1. Staff will annually review the Safe Sanctuary Policy and sign a Statement of Compliance indicating their awareness of and compliance with the policy at the time of their annual evaluation.
2. New staff members will receive training on the Safe Sanctuary Policy as a part of their employee orientation and they will sign a Statement of Compliance.
3. Nurture Program staff will receive training on the Safe Sanctuary Policy at the annual teacher training prior to the start of the Nurture Program year.
1. All volunteers working with children or youth will annually review the Safe Sanctuary Policy and sign a Statement of Compliance indicating their awareness of and compliance with the policy.
2. The feedback of volunteers on the Safe Sanctuary Policy will be solicited annually to assist staff and the Response Team in reviewing and recommending periodic improvements to the policy.
E. Jubilee! Community
1. Orientation to the Safe Sanctuary Policy will be included on the agenda of Pathways events.
2. Copies of the Safe Sanctuary Policy will be available in the Jubilee! office.
3. Information about the Safe Sanctuary Policy and the issues it addresses will be disseminated to the Community through Visions newsletter articles, bulletin inserts, parent meetings and educational programs.
4. The Safe Sanctuary Policy and its summary version will be available on the Jubilee! website.