The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has been a leader in creating both resources and recommended processes to help make congregations safe and welcoming places to all.
Although no policy or knowledge of the issues can absolutely guarantee safety in your congregation under all circumstances, congregations can take pro-active steps to create environments that are safe and prepared. Developing a Comprehensive Safe Congregations Policy is a significant and meaningful process to educate the congregation and build safer communities.
Professional Misconduct Complaints
- Complaints of Professional Misconduct
What process is followed if a behavioral breach by a credentialed religious professional is suspected or known? The UUA's system for responding to complaints of professional misconduct is grounded in principles of restorative justice and reconciliation.
Creating Safer Congregations
- Creating Sexually Healthy Congregations
In partnership with the Religious Institute, here are resources for assessing and creating a safe congregation policy. More information on specific topics are available below.
- The Safe Congregations Handbook
An excellent resource for nurturing healthy boundaries in faith communities, with clear guidelines, principles, policies, tools and workshops to help congregations create an environment that is safer and more secure for both children and adults.
- Building Security
Sexually Healthy Faith Communities
- Balancing Acts: Keeping Children Safe in Congregations This ground-breaking, free, online course offers information, policies, and procedural suggestions to create a congregation where children and youth will be safe from sexual abuse. This course provides the essential tools needed for a comprehensive approach to safety and prevention.
- Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Learn why the Oakland Tribune calls OWL “more than sex education.” This award winning lifespan sexuality curriculum from kindergarten through adulthood equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information to help them make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior.
- Church Mutual Insurance Company
Church Mutual offers an array of safety resources aimed at the unique settings and communities of religious organizations; including resources on fire prevention, workplace safety, and abuse prevention with an opportunity for reduced rates on Background Screening.
- Responsible Staffing
Guidelines for calling ministers, hiring professional religious leaders and staff, and recruiting volunteers whose work will put them in close contact with children and vulnerable adults. The recommendations include links to codes for professional conduct for ministers, religious educators, and musicians.
- Trauma Response Ministry
People respond differently in, during and after a crisis or a dangerous situation. But everyone is changed in ways they may not initially realize. The Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry (UUTRM) provides culturally sensitive spiritual care to survivors of mass disasters and other significant trauma.
More Information and Resources
- Reproductive Justice and the UUA
- UU Ministers Association Guidelines for the Conduct of Ministry
- Ministerial Fellowship Committee Rules and Policies
- Mandatory Reporting Guidelines: State by State Guide
- Towards a Sexually Healthy and Responsible Unitarian Universalist Association
- Religious Institute Resources on creating Safer Congregations
- The FaithTrust Institute: Working together to end sexual & domestic violence
- Resources on Gun Violence