UUSGU – Safe Congregation & Code of Conduct

A Safe Congregation

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has been a leader in creating both resources and recommended processes to help make congregations safe and welcoming places to all.

Although no policy or knowledge of the issues can absolutely guarantee safety in your congregation under all circumstances, congregations can take pro-active steps to create environments that are safe and prepared. Developing a Comprehensive Safe Congregations Policy is a significant and meaningful process to educate the congregation and build safer communities. In addition to the information here, you can find more information on the Code of Conduct web pages.

Code of Conduct Regarding Children and Youth

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 potential of their relationship is to be realized.

All compensated personnel and volunteers are expected to adhere to the following standards:

  • Religious education workers, teachers, helpers, and mentors shall not engage in behavior with children or youth that constitutes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. This includes behavior that is personally threatening or demeaning.
  • Religious education workers, teachers, helpers, and mentors shall neither indulge in sexually harassing behavior nor engage in sexual, seductive, or erotic behavior with children or youth.
  • Religious education workers, teachers, helpers, and mentors shall not allow the use of tobacco, drugs, or alcohol or any illegal activities among children or youth.

In cases of violation of this code, the person or people responsible will be immediately removed from their role, and appropriate action will be taken, including legal action if warranted.

For more information and questions please contact Jeanette Ruyle, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, at re@uusgu.org.