A safe congregation is one that covenants to intentionally create and maintain an environment that fosters the physical, emotional and spiritual safety of its members whenever gathered in community. As a result of covenanting as a Safe Congregation, UUFHC asks all Religious Education Volunteers to complete a background check, take a training workshop and sign a Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics is as follows:
Adults and older youth who are in leadership roles are in a position of stewardship and play a key role in fostering the spiritual development of both individuals and the community. It is, therefore, especially important that those in leadership positions be well qualified to provide the special nurture, care, and support that will enable children and youth to develop a positive sense of self and a spirit of independence and responsibility. The relationship between young people and their leaders must be one of mutual respect if the positive potential of their relationship is to be realized.
There are no more important areas of growth than those of self worth and the development of a healthy identity as a sexual being. Adults play a key role in assisting children and youth in these areas of growth. Wisdom dictates that children, youth and adults suffer damaging effects when leaders become sexually involved with young persons in their care; therefore, leaders will refrain from engaging in sexual, seductive or erotic behavior with children and youth. Neither shall they sexually harass or engage in behavior with children or youth which constitutes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
Leaders shall be informed of the code of ethics and agree to it in writing and sign a form before assuming their role. In cases of violation of this code, appropriate action will be taken.
As adults, we are responsible for helping children and youth learn how to choose positive behaviors and suggesting possible strategies for being involved in positive ways. If we are welcoming, set clear boundaries, value the health of the group, and encourage good personal leadership and behavior, the whole system will work together to create the environment we strive for in our program.