Getting Started: Best Practices for creating a safety culture
Getting Started: Recommended Practices for Creating a Safety Culture
Safe Congregations, Conflict Management in Congregations

A safer and healthy congregation depends on effective leadership to ensure that hazards are identified and that effective physical and administrative protections are established and maintained. The active engagement of leadership and staff is essential to the establishment and implementation of an effective safety program.

As congregants, we trust that our leadership will:

  • Recognize that although common safety programs have been geared towards religious education programs, all areas of safety should be incorporated into the process.

  • Be accountable for the safety of the congregation

  • Strengthen systems

  • Guide their safety team and staff to set safety goals and objectives

  • Identify unsafe conditions

  • Establish and communicate policies

  • Provide needed resources including money, materials, methods, staffing, and time; and they must motivate the congregation through active participation in and support of the ministry of safety    

  • Assess and continuously improve the safety culture

We trust that our staff will:

  • Share responsibility for the safety and security of the congregation

  • Participate in ongoing professional development

  • Promote all safety policies

  • Implement safety procedures without prejudice

  • Provide adequate education and training to their constituents

  • Assess and continuously improve the safety culture.

We trust that our volunteers will:

  • Share responsibility for the safety and security of the congregation

  • Understand they serve as a representative of the church

  • Be willing and able to fulfill their safety responsibilities

  • Participate in the required safety training for their role

  • Abide by all safety policies

  • Follow safety procedures without prejudice

  • Communicate any and all safety concerns or incidents to their supervisor

We trust that the parents and guardians of minors will:

  • Share responsibility for the safety and security of the congregation

  • Be familiar with the congregation’s safety policies, and support the children’s and youth ministry leaders as they implement them

  • Bring any concerns about the safety of children or young people in ministry activities to the person responsible for children’s or youth ministry in the congregation

  • Communicate to appropriate staff members any particular physical needs, allergies, mental health needs, or safety regarding their child

  • Indicate consent regarding toileting, transportation, electronic communication, attendance, photography, medication, etc., both annually and situationally for specific events

We trust that the whole congregation, including our children and youth, will:

  • Share responsibility for the safety and security of the congregation

  • Be familiar with the congregation’s safety policies and support the staff and leadership as they implement them

  • Bring any concerns about safety to the person responsible for that area of ministry in the congregation

  • Live a covenant of right relations

  • Be involved in ongoing education and practice

Next: How Do We Get Buy-In for Becoming Safer?

For more information contact safecongregations@uua.org.

Like, Share, Print, or Bookmark