Safe Sanctuaries

**Scroll down this page for Safe Sanctuaries policies and forms.**

What Is Safe Sanctuaries?

At Severna Park UMC, we consider it a sacred privilege to be entrusted with the spiritual nurture of children and youth. Following the direction and guidance of the United Methodist Church and the Baltimore-Washington Conference, we have developed a comprehensive program to reduce the risk of abuse and sexual harassment to the children and youth in our care and to protect our staff and volunteers from false accusations. The program appropriately is called “Safe Sanctuaries.”

Under our  Safe Sanctuaries policy, all church staff members and all volunteers who work with children and youth in any capacity (whether it is through a church program like Sunday School or an outside group like Boy Scouts) are asked to undergo a background check and to submit three references. This screening process is intended to ensure that all of the people who work with children and youth are trustworthy.  The background check includes a multi-state criminal records check, a 50 state sex offender search, and a Social Security Number trace. These checks are very similar to those required of anyone who teaches in a local school system.

If you are a volunteer with children and youth and are asked to complete Safe Sanctuaries forms, we encourage you to do so as quickly as you can. We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible by creating fillable PDFs of all of the forms for you to download and save. You can also help us out by following up with your references to make sure that they complete and return the forms in a prompt manner, too. This will allow us to complete Safe Sanctuaries screening quickly, which in turn will enable us to protect all of our children and youth.

Instructions for Forms

The first form is our policy and is for informational purposes only.  Then there are 3 forms that you need to fill out and you can do that on the form itself; no need to print. Just click on each question and a box will appear.  Once you’ve completed a form, save it to your computer with your name as part of the file name (for example, jsmithsafesanctuary app). After all the forms are completed,  email them to  Please attach all 3 saved & completed forms to that email and we’ll process them when they arrive.

Download the Safe Sanctuaries Summary of Rights, A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

New Volunteers download these forms:
Safe Sanctuaries Policy
Background Check Authorization (ages 18+ only)

Returning Volunteers download this form:

For more information about Safe Sanctuaries, please email