Lafayette Urban Ministry — Policy On Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
Adopted by the LUM Board of Directors on July 20, 2005
Safe Children Policy
The primary purpose of this policy is to prevent sexual misconduct involving any child while participating in any Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM) sponsored activity. Because Lafayette Urban Ministry believes in safeguarding all of God’s children, sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited and will not be condoned by this organization. This policy is also a means for establishing and maintaining the community’s trust that LUM does not condone and will not tolerate sexual misconduct. This policy is designed to provide guidance on how LUM will work to prevent and respond to allegations of such abuse.
Definition of Terms & Specific Policies for Safe Children
As used in this manual:
- “Sexual misconduct” is any sexual activity which is unlawful and/or contrary to the policies of Lafayette Urban Ministry, and which is engaged in by any adult employee or volunteer of LUM with any child.
- “Child” for purposes of this policy is defined as anyone less than eighteen (18) years of age.
- “Staff” refers to personnel paid by Lafayette Urban Ministry, whether full or part time.
- “Regular Volunteer” is defined as a non-paid individual who has supervisory responsibilities with children, or assists in supervising children, or volunteers on a regular basis (those averaging more than 1x per week for the After School Program [ASP], 1x per month for 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, and all LUM Camp volunteers who supervise children).
- “Occasional volunteer” is defined as a non-paid individual who has only infrequent interaction with children, and is not given supervisory responsibilities (i.e. program presenters, infrequent ASP or 5th Quarter volunteers).
Specific Policies of Lafayette Urban Ministry:
- Lafayette Urban Ministry will take every possible reasonable precaution to prevent contact with children and youth by anyone with a civil or criminal record of sexual misconduct or sexual molestation.
- Staff and regular volunteers who interact with children and or youth must complete an application form and be approved by the appropriate program director. A signature of the volunteer on the application form will constitute permission for LUM to conduct a criminal background check.
- Staff and regular volunteers will receive a copy of this policy and acknowledge receipt of the policy.
- Occasional volunteers working with children will never be left alone with children.
- LUM’s policy is to have at least two adults present during any youth activity (except in cases of emergency). All conduct shall be open to observation and supervision.
- The Executive Director shall educate the LUM staff on this policy and on the prevention of sexual misconduct. Program directors shall disseminate this information to regular volunteers.
- Additional resources will be made available to staff members on a regular basis.
If Sexual Abuse or Misconduct is Suspected
DUTY TO REPORT
- Indiana law requires that ‘an individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect shall make a report.’ Child abuse includes sexual misconduct as defined above. Therefore, any known or suspected cases of sexual misconduct involving a child must be immediately reported to the Executive Director or Board President. The initial report may be in oral form, but shall be put in writing as soon as possible. The Executive Director or Board President shall:
- Immediately report such known or suspected cases of sexual misconduct involving a child to Child Protective Services and local law enforcement
- Immediately inform our legal representative as to the report made.
- Inform the individual making the report as to the actions of the Executive Director or Board President so that he/she may make an independent report to CPS and/or local law enforcement.
- When possible, the following information should be included in any report of sexual misconduct to the Executive Director or Board President:
- Name, address & age of the child;
- Name, address of the child’s parent(s) or guardian;
- Nature and extent of the alleged sexual misconduct;
- Name and address of the accused, if known; and
- Any other relevant information
PROMPT INVESTIGATION & RESPONSE
- The Executive Director, Board President and a designated board representative shall meet promptly after receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, to consider further action. A record of such meeting shall be kept in confidence by the Executive Director and reported back to the person making the original report.
- The Executive Director or Board President shall communicate with the parents of the victim as soon as possible and maintain communication as appropriate throughout the response process.
- The Executive Director and/or Board President shall monitor any investigation being conducted by Child Protective Services and/or local law enforcement. If the Executive Director or Board President deems it appropriate, the accused shall immediately be removed from any position within Lafayette Urban Ministry where contact with a child or children is likely.
- In investigating any report of sexual misconduct, the Executive Director, Board President or Board of Directors may seek assistance from appropriate individuals including mental health professionals, legal counsel, etc.
- In the event of an accusation of sexual misconduct, all communications with the media will be conducted only by the Executive Director or the Board President
All employees and volunteers with Lafayette Urban Ministry, must acknowledge the receipt of the Lafayette Urban Ministry Sexual Misconduct policy and read, understand, and agree to abide by it.
For PDF copy, click HERE.