What is Safe Church?

Read the complete Safe Church policy document, adopted by Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church Session, updated October 16, 2023 here.

 

The Safe Church Program is a set of policies and procedures for preventing child abuse in or related to the ministries and programs of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church. The policies also apply to protecting vulnerable adults.

 

As a community of Christian faith, Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church (SVPC) is committed to creating and maintaining programs, facilities and a community in which members, friends, clergy, employees, and volunteers can worship, learn and work together in an atmosphere free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, exploitation or intimidation. SVPC strongly opposes and prohibits “sexual exploitation,” “sexual harassment” or any form of exploitation or abuse of others regardless of age, sex or gender identity, sexual orientation or identification, or mental capacity.

 

The Safe Church Program is a set of policies and procedures for preventing child abuse in or related to the ministries and programs of SVPC. Policies pertain to screening and training for all SVPC staff and leaders, as well as volunteers working with children and youth; supervision and monitoring of all activities involving minors; reporting and responding to actual or potential abuse; and program oversight.

 

We take any kind of abuse of minors or any form of violence very seriously. If you become aware of anything of this nature at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, report to Child Protective Services (833-722-5437) and to safechurch@sunnyvalepres.com

From our Pastor, Rev. Hardy H. Kim

Our congregation is committed to providing a safe environment where children, youth, and adults can grow in their relationship with God. To this end, The Safe Church Program was introduced at SVPC in 2009.

 

The purpose of the Safe Church Program is to create a safe sanctuary where all of God’s children can experience the love of Jesus Christ through relationships with others.  We believe that effective ministry for everyone, but especially children and youth, requires relationships with caring, loving, and mature people who can demonstrate God’s love to them. The Safe Church policies and procedures are intended to keep these relationships and all aspects of ministries with children and youth safe. They are also designed to support the staff and volunteers who work with children and youth, providing appropriate guidelines, boundaries, and support that they need to be effective in their roles. 

 

Creating a safe environment is not just the responsibility of those directly involved in ministry activities; it is the responsibility of the entire congregation. By fostering awareness of appropriate behaviors in the presence of our children and youth, we will witness and practice Christian love and respect for one another. Over 650 adult and teen volunteers and staff members have been Safe Church trained and certified. This number continues to grow. I’m very proud of the way in which our congregation has embraced and supported this program.

 

I am thankful that our church is so committed to helping children and youth discover God’s enduring and amazing love. Thank you for your continued support in making our church a safe and nurturing place for all of God’s children. 

 

Grace and peace,
Hardy


A Theology of Transparency: Congregational Awareness

We are dedicated to a policy of open communication and education for the benefit of the children, youth, vulnerable adults, and guardians we serve. Our community is entitled to know what to expect of our programs and the staff and volunteers who work in them and to know the related policies and procedures created to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults. To increase awareness and understanding, information about the policies and how to prevent abuse will be shared with the SVPC community through newsletters and other communications and posted on the SVPC website.

 

Safe Church Training

The general training process involves reviewing a video titled, “Safeguarding God’s Children” during a one-hour class, which is offered on a regular basis at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church.  To register for a class send an e-mail to safechurch@sunnyvalepres.com. 

 

Some of the content shown in this course may be emotionally distressing for viewers, as it contains details concerning child abuse. If this is something that may be too upsetting for you, please contact Marsha Dyslin at safechurch@sunnyvalepres.com to talk about alternatives

Upcoming Safe Church Training dates: 

2024 dates

All Safe Church classes meet on Sundays, in the Fireside Room from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

• February 25  

• May 19 

• August 4 

• November 10 

 

For Child Care, please contact childcare@sunnyvalepres.comFor all other questions, contact Marsha Dyslin: marsha@sunnyvalepres.com


What do prospective staff and volunteers need to do to be Safe Church Cleared?

Prospective staff and volunteers must complete the following within 30 days:

 

1.   Fill out the Safe Church Application, including provision of four references (at least three references need to come back endorsing the applicant.)

Volunteer Application 

Elder/Deacon Application 

Staff Application  

 

2.   Get fingerprinted through the Department of Justice (DOJ) (for those age 18 and older.) Fingerprinting that has been done in another state or for another organization cannot be used.

• Print and complete the “applicant information” part of the appropriate Department of Justice Form found here and bring it to a Live Scan location where you will get fingerprinted. This costs around $25--send a picture of the receipt to safechurch@sunnyvalepres.com for reimbursement. Proof of fingerprinting will be sent to the church office and confirmed for you by the Safe Church Coordinator.

• If this process is causing challenges around accessibility or affordability, please contact your program director or supervisor for support.

 

3.   Attend SVPC General Safe Church Training (must be done within 60 days).

 

4.   Complete the online California Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Course

California state requires training of staff and volunteers on the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law. Go to mandatedreporterca.com to complete training.

•      Staff members, elders, and deacons are mandated reporters and required to take the “General Training” course.

•      Volunteers are required to take the “Volunteer” training.

•      If you have recently completed a California state-approved course on mandated reporting for another organization, you do not need to do the training again—send a copy of the training certificate to safechurch@sunnyvalepres.com.

 

Some of the content shown in this course may be emotionally distressing for viewers, as it contains details concerning child abuse. If this is something that may be too upsetting for you, please contact Marsha Dyslin at  safechurch@sunnyvalepres.com to talk about alternatives.

 

You will be notified by the Safe Church Team when all of the above steps have been completed, references have been checked, and DOJ clearance has been received.

 

Volunteers who drive students on church-sponsored events are required to provide license and insurance information by completing the SVPC Driver’s Guidelines and Form (below).