The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

Safe Church Policies

We are committed to ensuring that our church continues to be a safe place for children, youth, and the adults who work with them—on staff and as volunteers.

On May 21, 2008, Church Council approved and adopted a set of Safe Church practices and policies aimed at ensuring that our church continues to be a safe place for children, youth, and the adults who work with them—on staff and as volunteers.

No event or incident led to us beginning this work. Instead, we were prompted by our desire to be proactive and by insurance companies soon requiring that such policies be in place in all churches.

The policy is the result of over eight months of work by a dedicated team of FCC staff and members of the congregation. It has was approved by counsel of the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. The full version of the Safe Church Practices and Policy document is currently available in the Church office and can also be accessed online here.

FCC of Darien Safe Church Policy and Applications Revised Sept 2013

In brief, the document consists of three main components. First, it sets forth a number of requirements and guidelines for the various adult staff and volunteers—Church School teachers, Youth Ministry volunteers (mentors to confirmands and youth group volunteers), Junior Choir volunteers, and CareNet ministers. Second, the Safe Church Policy and Practices document defines sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, physical and verbal abuse—the key behaviors that are prohibited by church policy. Finally, the document describes the steps for how complaints for these situations will be handled.

Highlights of some of the requirements include:

  • All volunteers involved in direct ministry with our children, youth, and one-on-one with adults will be required to complete a Volunteer Application and Disclosure Form. These forms will only be viewed by our clergy and will be kept confidential.
  • Church School teachers, mentors of confirmands, and CareNet ministers will need to be members of the church who have regularly attended for six or more months.
  • Volunteers attending youth group functions or mission trips, or helping with junior choir may be a member or friend of the church.
  • Volunteers attending overnight youth mission trips will be subject to a criminal background check (paid for by the church). Results of background checks will be kept confidential and seen only by our clergy.
  • The FCC staff will receive CPR and First Aid training.

We encourage everyone to take the opportunity to read the document in its entirety and to ask questions of any of the committee or FCC staff. We hope that you will join us in supporting this important work of creating and maintaining a safe church for all of us to love.