Safe Church Policy

Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ

SAFE CHURCH POLICY

In compliance with the United Church of Christ requirement for a Safe Church Policy, Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ (Peoples Church) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment in which young people can learn about and experience God’s love through participation in a variety of children and youth activities.

In order to promote the Safe Church Policy, we have established the following guidelines in addition to the general requirements for ministry to the Church.

  • We expect that those who volunteer to work with minors will have been members of Peoples Church for at least six months or, if not members, regularly and frequently associated with Peoples Church for at least a year.         
  • Before beginning their duties, all prospective employees and volunteers will undergo a background check, including but not necessarily limited to inquiries of references and a criminal history verification by a third party vendor (Employment Background Investigations, Inc.).
  • All volunteers and employees who regularly work with children and youth will receive orientation regarding Safe Church Policy and procedures.
  • It is the policy of Peoples Church to provide adequate supervision and safeguards for children and youth activities. In situations where participants are not readily visible to each other, there will be no fewer than two unrelated adults present with children and youth. 
  • Youth over the age of 16 may assist an unrelated adult in supervising children and youth activities; however, such assistance does not alter the requirement that at least two unrelated adults be present.
  • Written consent of one parent or guardian of a minor will be required for all activities off the Church property and any overnight activities, which includes both local and non-local events.

Procedures for Processing Background Clearance Forms

Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ (Peoples Church) takes the upmost precaution to preserve the personal information submitted for background clearances from Church Staff and Volunteers who interact with children and youth at Peoples Church.

Peoples Church was approved as an Agent to conduct background screenings after vetting by and a site visit from Employment Background Investigations, Inc. (EBI). The Board of Trustees Office was approved as having sufficient confidential filing space for background reports, use of a secured computer that is password protected and an available office shredder for destroying applications after background data have been submitted to EBI.   (See EBI Security Policy and Procedure – page 3)

In order to process Background Clearances, the following procedures are followed by designated Financial Officers of Peoples Church, who are insured and bonded, to conduct the fiduciary responsibilities of Peoples Church; and who have completed training from EBI for processing background data.  A Financial Officer receives the original copy of the background clearance form either by hard copy or electronically from Peoples Church Staff and Adult Volunteers (Adult Volunteers include: Church School Director(s), Church School Teachers, Youth Ministry Director(s), Nursery Director(s), Vacation Bible School Volunteers, Girl Scout Leaders, Boy Scout Leaders and Tutors/Mentors. The original background clearance forms are not copied.

  • Upon receipt of background clearance forms, the designated Financial Officer submits the data electronically to the Employment Background Investigations, Inc. (EBI) for processing. After data have been submitted, all background clearance forms are shredded.
  • When EBI completes processing the background clearances, the results of the background clearance investigations are returned to Peoples Church electronically.

Only the last 4 digits of social security numbers are identified on the reports for verification purposes only.

  • The background clearance data are stored on CDs and kept in a locked, fireproof file cabinet in the Board of Trustees office. 
  • The Financial Officer deletes electronic background clearance reports from the secured computer after data have been saved on the CD. Only designated Financial Officers have access to the file cabinet designated for background clearance results.
  • Background Clearances are valid for 12 months. Background Clearances will be conducted after September 1st annually in accordance with the Program Calendar for Peoples Church.  Additional Background Clearances will be conducted on an as needed basis when new staff and/or volunteers/mentors/tutors are identified during the Program Year.

Employment Background Investigations, Inc. (EBI)

Security Policy and Procedure Statement

  • The policies and processes that cover the security, availability, processing, integrity and confidentiality of personal and customer data are as follows: 
  • Employment Background Investigations, Inc. (EBI) has established an information security policy which is designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and information assets that contain EBI information by preventing and reducing the potential impact of security incidents.  EBI manages assets and the risks to those assets and maintains an Information Security Management System (ISMS) in accordance with the ISO27001:2013 Standard.  EBI’s Information Security Policy aligns with EBI’s strategic risk management context in which the establishment and maintenance of the ISMS will take place, and provides for a separate document that establishes criteria against which risk will be evaluated.  EBI is currently ISO27001:2013 certified and registered through SRI Quality System Registrars. 
  • In addition, EBI maintains a Risk Assessment and Treatment Plan in accordance with ISO27001:2013 Standards which identifies any potential risks to the confidentiality, integrity or availability of EBI’s information assets or facilities.  Each risk is assessed by a risk score.  EBI’s Management Review Board identifies and evaluates options for treatment of identified risks, including knowingly and objectively accepting the risk, avoiding the risk, transferring the risk to another party, or applying appropriate controls to eliminate or mitigate the risk locally. The Risk Assessment is reviewed annually or as new risks are realized.
  • Additional information regarding EBI’s Information Security policies and procedures can be shared via screen-sharing session as copies are not provided to outside parties due to confidentiality.