The physical and emotional safety, as well as the spiritual growth of all God’s children is a priority of the Susquehanna Conference and Trinity UMC whereby we embrace a commitment to the holistic well-being of each child, youth and adult entrusted to us in ministry through our Conference organization and individual congregations. As recognized in the 1996 General Conference resolution: Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church:
"Tragically, churches have not always been safe places for children. Child sexual abuse and exploitation, and ritual abuse occur in churches, both large and small, urban and rural. The problem cuts across all economic, cultural, and racial lines. It is real, and it appears to be increasing. Most annual conferences can cite specific incidents of child sexual abuse and exploitation within churches. Virtually every congregation has among its members adult survivors of early sexual trauma. Such incidents are devastating to all who are involved: the child, the family, the local church, and its leaders. Increasingly, churches are torn apart by the legal, emotional, and monetary consequences of litigation following allegations of abuse."
Through our implimentation and practice of our Safe Sanctuary Policy, we make every effort to ensure the saftey of children and vulnurable adults entrusted to our care.
In 2014, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted sweeping changes to the Child Protective Services Law (“CPSL”), including but not limited to expansion of mandated reporters, expansion of individuals subject to required background clearances from the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Human Services and the FBI, expansion of the frequency of the required background clearances and imposition of significant criminal penalties for noncompliance with CPSL requirements. The CPSL was further amended on July 1, 2015 with the enactment of Act 15.