Safe Sanctuaries


IGRC Abuse Prevention Policy for Conference/District Events (Note: This policy was approved by the 2015 session of Annual Conference and most recently revised by the 2020 session of Annual Conference. It is posted here for ease of reference.)

Abuse Prevention Policy Development Guide (Note: This sample is provided by Discipleship Ministries and is for general guideline use only; some sections may or may not apply to your local church setting. Your church policy should be written to address your local church and community safety issues.)

IGRC Policy Statement on Sexual Misconduct (Note: Safe Sanctuaries policies and sexual misconduct policies are NOT the same thing - and local churches need both. This conference policy was approved by the 2014 session of Annual Conference.)

Safe Gatherings (online training and background checks)

Electronic Communication Recommendations - This list of recommendations for communication via such means as social media and text messaging was compiled by members of the IGRC Connectional Ministries staff team and is based in part on similar recommendations from other Annual Conferences in the United States. 

Online DCFS Training on Recognizing and Reporting Abuse - As of January 1, 2020, ALL workers directly responsible for caring for children under the age of 18 years in churches, both paid and volunteer, along with all other mandated reporters (which includes all clergy), are required by Illinois law to be trained by DCFS. This free online training meets that requirement. It does not, however, eliminate the need for training in Safe Sanctuaries in person or through Safe Gatherings.

Downloadable brochures: Reporting Elder Abuse    Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program     Reporting Child Abuse             Para Informar Acerca del Abuso de Niños      Reporte el Abuso de Ancianos       Defensor del Cuidado a Largo Plazo        CDC Brochure on Policies and Procedures    Handout on Elder Abuse

Downloadable resources from Discipleship Ministries: Responsible Social Media for Churches and Youth Groups              Special Events and Traveling with Youth: Abuse Prevention Strategies

Sample policies and documents at the Discipleship Ministries website

DCFS Regional and Field Office Directory          

Area Agencies on Aging (look for your county)

HIPAA Privacy Rule and Local Churches (a 2004 statement from GCFA)

Sex Offender Information (from IGRC Standing Rules)

Helping to Make a Safe Church (a three-session study to help congregations reflect on the reality of gun violence and begin the process of developing an emergency operations plan)

Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship

Safe Sanctuaries books (Each book cover below is a link to Cokesbury or the Upper Room's website, where the books may be purchased.) Most of the books are available as ebooks and for Kindle as well as in print.

  • Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth includes a sample policy, information on recommended procedures, and many other helpful resources

   Safe Sanctuaries Older Adults   Safe Sanctuaries Virtual World   Santuarios Seguros   Safe Sanctuaries for Ministers

Safe Sanctuaries materials, including a training DVD, may also be borrowed from the United Media Resource Center.

For further information or to schedule training for your congregation, please contact Rev. Beth Fender via email or at 217-529-2611.

(Page revised 2/17/2020)