Safety Management Team
A safety management team at the Apostolic Faith headquarters in Portland, Oregon, is responsible for developing and implementing policies related to the safety and security of the organization’s churches and staff, volunteers, and attendees. The team is comprised of the senior pastor, the youth pastor, the Sunday school superintendent, the safety team manager, and other designated staff members.
The headquarters safety team serves as the liaison with the church’s insurance provider for the organization as a whole. Based on the insurance company’s recommendations, the team oversees the production and distribution of safety materials and required trainings. They also supervise the collection and retention of necessary documentation from Apostolic Faith branch churches in the United States.
Each Apostolic Faith Church pastor is expected to establish a local safety team which will be responsible for implementing safety policies and procedures within that church. The local safety team will do the following:
Members of each local safety team should meet on a regular basis to discuss safety issues, risk management practices, and other concerns that could impact the safety or security of those who attend the local church or any of its activities.
Worker Screening and Selection
Those who serve as representatives of the Apostolic Faith work enter into special relationships of trust with the individuals they serve. Therefore, those who participate in any capacity in this organization undergo a careful screening and selection process. This process helps to ensure that candidates are both spiritually qualified and otherwise suited for roles within the church.
Prospective workers are invited to participate by the appropriate department supervisor or appointed representative of the organization on a case-by-case basis, after approval by the pastor. All prospective workers are required to:
In addition, we recommend that all church workers who interact with minors in a ministry role read the document “What You Can Do About Child Abuse,” published by the Oregon Department of Human Services, publication #DHS 9061. It is available at https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/de9061.pdf.
Anyone who has been convicted of child abuse will not be allowed to work with children. Allegations of abuse or other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual from serving in the Apostolic Faith organization.
Prospective workers will be informed when they are invited to participate and/or submit their Worker Application (or Youth Worker Application) form that their certification as a church worker is limited in duration and includes an expiration date. At that time they will be required to complete any additional training and re-evaluation procedures designated by the Apostolic Faith organization in order to be recertified and continue serving in the designated capacity.
The Apostolic Faith organization reserves the right to immediately dismiss any volunteer or employee who is accused of violating the Apostolic Faith Church policies.
In some areas of ministry, new workers may be asked to undergo specified training; these requirements will be explained when the individual is invited to participate. In most cases, training will consist of reading this handbook and the Procedure Guidelines related to the role in which he or she will serve. Prospective workers who will be participating in ministries involving children or youth are required to take the online child safety training recommended by the church’s insurance company.
Based upon the recommendation of our insurance provider, the Apostolic Faith organization keeps records regarding its staff and volunteers. Those records are considered confidential information, stored securely, and made available only to those having a legitimate need to know. Of course, workers may request to view their own records at any time.
Worker files typically contain the following types of personal information.
All workers over the age of eighteen who take part in the Apostolic Faith work are required to submit a Worker Application form. Authorization to do a background check is included as part of this form. While we cannot eliminate risks, this step is recommended by insurance and legal professionals in every situation where staff or volunteers have access to vulnerable individuals such as children, youth, and the elderly. Incorporating this procedure is one indicator of our organization’s purpose to provide a safe environment for those who attend. Consent by the applicant is evidence of his/her willingness to comply with the policy of the church.
The primary type of background check includes a Criminal Record Indicator database check, and a Social Security number search. A Criminal Record Indicator database check reviews electronic databases of government agencies, including sexual offenders’ registries. A Social Security number search verifies an individual’s name, state, and last three addresses. This type of background check does not include disclosure of personal financial information.
Other screening procedures by the church might include a motor vehicle report and/or a local police record check.
Any screening may be repeated as frequently as needed, at the recommendation of our insurance company, or at the discretion of the organization.
Media Opt Out
Church photographers and writers frequently take pictures and produce articles or written descriptions of worship services, Sunday school, youth group activities, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, etc. These pictures and articles record, promote, and celebrate our church ministries through many different venues including the church website, printed publications, and media presentations. Individuals who prefer not to have their photos and/or names published may express that preference by submitting a Media Opt-Out Form to the pastor or head usher. That form is available on the safety page of the church website, or from the pastor.
Facility Usage Guidelines
The Apostolic Faith Church is committed to maintaining our church facilities in a manner that promotes safety and minimizes risk. With that goal in mind, we attempt to provide convenient access to our church buildings while still maintaining the security of individuals and church property. Workers are expected to assist by following these general guidelines related to the church facilities: