Safe Sanctuaries is a policy Wesley Freedom follows to reduce the risk of abuse or injury to children and youth while attending church activities. All of our Sunday School teachers, nursery volunteers, youth workers, and staff are Safe Sanctuaries trained, so that we can provide the safest environment for our children and youth.Although we want to think child abuse could never happen in our church, the sad reality is that it could. False allegations of abuse can also cause great damage. While there is no absolute guarantee that the most effective policy can ensure the safety of children and youth, the policy and accompanying procedures are designed to protect our children and youth, our volunteers, and our church as much as reasonably can be done in a volunteer environment.If I want to work with children or youth, what do I have to do?Step One: Background Check

  • Complete this form–Permission for Background Check –to authorize Wesley freedom to conduct a Background Check through independent company, “Protect My Ministry.” The expense will be covered by the church. We will also accept a Background Check done by the Maryland State Police, at your own expense.
  • You will receive an email from Protect My Ministry asking for your information. Respond to the email and submit the information promptly.
  • The background check will not include your credit information. It may include any or all of the following:verification of your identity and personal information (including address(es), telephone number, and social security number); information obtained from a criminal record check; information obtained from a State and/or National Sex Offender Registry;
  • You will need to provide the background check authorization every five years

Step Two: Get Three References

  • Give a copy of this form to three people who can serve as references for you. Reference Form.

Step Three: Fill out the Laity Questionnaire

Step Four: Learn the Safe Sanctuaries Policies and Procedures.

Step Five: Prove your Knowledge – Take the Quiz!

Step Six: Sign the Covenant 

Step Seven: RETURN ALL FORMS in HARD COPY to Sherry Perrine in the church office. This includes five documents (Permission for Background Check, 3 Reference Forms, Laity Questionnaire, Quiz, and Covenant.)

Who will see my information? The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) of the church is charged with reviewing information obtained during the screening process and with deciding who may and may not work with children and youth. A limited number of staff and/or volunteers may assist the SPRC with these activities. While every effort is made to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive personal information, complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Decisions of the SPRC regarding whether persons may work with children or youth should not be construed as making any value judgment concerning the character, reputation or credibility of the individual who has applied. Decisions of the SPRC can be appealed to the senior pastor, whose decision is final.

Additional Information 

Baltimore Washington Conference of the UMC Policy on Safe Sanctuaries     


Department of Social Services Carroll County