The Rio Texas Annual Conference is committed to the well-being of every person entrusted to its care as well as those persons entrusted to the care of the districts and local United Methodist Churches throughout our conference borders.   Therefore, we will strive to create safe places for all of God's children. Our safety policy and procedures helps us to do this holy and hard work. This page is dedicated to helping local churches, districts, and conference ministries know what steps to take when creating, adopting and implementing a child, youth, and vulnerable adults safety policy in your context. 

Join us on November 14th @ 11:00am via zoom for our next Informational Webinar to learn more about the new Trusted con Confianza Safety Certification. 

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Safety Certification

Steps towards certification

 

1. Register with Safe Gatherings:

Individuals will fill out an application and Safe Gatherings will go to work processing the background check and reaching out to the applicant's designated references. Make sure to alert your references that they will receive an e-mail from Safe Gatherings. The reference will take 2-3 minutes of their time and is an essential part of the certification process.

Resources:

Instructions for working with Safe Gatherings

Safe Gatherings Administrator Tutorial (For Church/Ministry wanting to set up your organization's account)

Safe Gatherings Individual Tutorial (For all individuals seeking Rio Texas Trusted con Confianza Certification)

2. Complete Safe Gatherings online training: This is approximately an hour long presentation of information on safety guidelines and best practices. Persons will take a test at the end of this training.

3. Attend a Trusted con Confianza training: This is a 2-3 hour interactive training that can be taken online via a webinar or in person via a scheduled workshop. This training can be taken as 3 modules (1 hour each) or can be taken together (2 hours each). For training dates and times, check out: riotexas.org/safetrainings.


New Resources and Tools

Beginning Aug. 2017 we will update this website with a blog, podcast, and pdfs to help you and your faith community take the steps needed to create, adopt, and live into a child, youth, and vulnerable adults safety policy for your ministry. 

Step 1: Working with Safe Gatherings

Step 2: Adopting or updating your safety policy

Step 3: Implementing your safety policy

Step 4: Screening your staff and volunteers

Step 5: Training your staff and volunteers

Step 6: Accountability-Living into the covenant together

If you have questions regarding the Rio Texas Conference Policy or how to implement a policy in your context please contact Rev. Dr. Tanya Campen at tcampen@riotexas.org. 


Reporting Abuse

Texas law says anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS. Every church should have a process for reporting abuse. Here are some steps to consider when your plan:

  • Create a clear plan for documenting the abuse
  • Report the abuse through the Texas Abuse Hotline.
    • Use the Texas Abuse Hotline Website to report abuse that does not need an immediate response (less than 24 hours)
    • Call the Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400) if your situation is urgent and needs to be investigated within 24 hours.
    • Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency if you have an emergency or life-threatening situation that must be dealt with immediately. 
  • Discern how to provide supportive and pastoral care for all persons involved in incident
  • If a statement needs to be made to the media please contact Will Rice (Conference Coordinator of Communications), wrice@riotexas.org.