Child Safety Policy for Children and Youth

It is our goal to provide a safe environment for all children and youth when they are within the church buildings or on church property, and on occasions when their church related activities take them off-site. To assure this safe environment we have adopted the Child Safety Policy. This policy applies to all organizations using church property. The church requires any such organization to provide written assurance of compliance.

In particular our policy addresses:
 

Child Abuse:
any treatment of a child that threatens the child's safety emotionally or physically.

 

 

Child Sexual Abuse: sexual touch (physical) or non-touch (verbal) with a child.

 

 

Child Neglect:

when a child is deprived of minimal care physically, mentally, and emotionally; including food, clothing, shelter, education,or health care when financially able.

Policy for Church Programs
 

The Session, through the Christian Education Committee, ensures that teachers, leaders, assistant leaders, of children and youth are qualified in their roles.

 

Teachers and leaders must have been participating members of PCMK for at least six months, or been an active part of the congregation for at least one year.

 

Every Teacher and Parent Helper completes an application, signs a Sexual Misconduct Information Form and has a basic background check.

 

Any person who has been convicted of, pled guilty or no contest to, or is presently under indictment for a crime against children or youth will not be placed in a position involving access to children or youth.

 

All leaders of children or youth will receive training in the Child Safety Policy and the Darkness to Light "Stewards of Children" abuse prevention program prior to working with children, and at least once every three years. (Untrained individuals attending intergenerational activities with children and youth may not be designated as leaders).

 

Untrained parents may assist a trained leader in the classroom for up to one calendar year prior to being trained, provided they complete a Sexual Misconduct Information Form.

Requirements of Parents and Children in Church Activities
 

Parents/guardians complete a Registration Form for any children and youth who is attending Childcare, the Sunday School, or the Youth Program regardless of the amount of time a child intends to spend there.

 

Children through the third grade are released to the child's parents or legal guardian,or a person authorized on the child's registration form.

 

Parents shall advise the teacher or leader if it is necessary for a child to leave before the scheduled end of an event.

 

Any time a child or youth leaves the building for any kind of field trip, either in an auto or by other means, the parents are required to sign a permission slip, including a Medical Release Form, which will be provided by the Church.

 

Any time a child or youth participates in an overnight event at the church or elsewhere, parents are required to sign a permission slip.

 

Parents are responsible for all transportation of children and youth to church events off site, unless otherwise arranged by the church (such as a mission trip).

 

Parents shall supervise their children at church when they are not participating in a church related activity.

Receiving and Reporting Information About child Abuse
 

Information about child abuse, whether observed, reported by others, or directly or indirectly
disclosed by a child or youth, that comes to employees, teachers or other volunteers will be
taken seriously and reported to both civil and ecclesiastical authorities.

 

Reporting Child Abuse

In any situation where there is reasonable cause to suggest that a child may have been abused
in any form or there is a perceived risk for abuse to occur, Church employees, volunteers, visitors,
and tenants are required to immediately report the incident to the Clerk of Session and the civil
authorities within 24 hours. Public Hotline: 800-841-5690.

 

Consequences

The accused person, whether staff or volunteer, may not participate in any activities involving children and youth, until the charges are cleared.

 

For a more detailed explanation of Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco's Child Safety Policy, please contact the church office at 914-666-7001.