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 individuals and faith communities know what steps to take as they seek to complete the required TRUSTed con Confianza certification.
Are you TRUSTed con Confianza?
- Go to safegatherings.com
- Click on the red Get Started button at the top of the page.
- Fill out the online application
- Safe Gatherings will go to work processing the background check and reaching out to the applicant's designated references.
Need help? Check out this Tutorial
Tips for filling out your application:
When filling out the Safe Gathering application- laity should choose their church and clergy should choose their district as their organization
Alert your references and encourage them to watch for an e-mail from Safe Gatherings. The reference will only take 2-3 minutes of their time.
Cost: The conference is subsidizing the application fee and a portion of the background fee. Therefore individuals or their church are asked to pay $10 towards the background check fee. If an individual will be driving vulnerable persons, individuals or their church are asked to pay an additional $10.50 for the driver record check. The total cost to an individual and/or their church is either $10 or $20.50.
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.
This is a 2 hour interactive experience that can be taken online via a webinar or in person via a scheduled workshop. For training dates and times, check out: riotexas.org/safetrainings.
3. Attend a TRUSTed con Confianza certification facilitated session
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)
Tips for moving through the certification process quickly:
- Take the Safe Gatherings training as soon as possible upon application submission
- Inform their references so they will be responsive to calls and/or emails from Safe Gatherings.
- Verify the references contact information as up to date and current.
- Monitor progress by logging into their Safe Gatherings account
Church leadership should:
- Make sure staff and volunteers understand the 3 step certification process
- Check their church's Safe Gatherings account regularly to monitor progress of their ministry leaders
- Respond to any reference requests from Safe Gatherings as soon as possible (references take an average of 2-3 minutes to complete)
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), firstname.lastname@example.org.