Sexual Misconduct Policy


Purpose: We uphold what Scripture says “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mt 18:6). Thus, we uphold this policy to establish proper preventative measure to protect individuals against sexual misconduct as well as to specify courses of action in the case of allegations or an actual incident regarding sexual misconduct.



Standard of Conduct: All workers, volunteers, paid, full-time and part-time of Covenant Presbyterian Church are expected to comply with the established policy on Sexual Misconduct. Any actions contrary to the church policy will be dealt with swiftly and may include disciplinary measures up to and including termination, as well as legal ramifications when applicable.




Stalking-ongoing conduct that could cause a reasonable person to fear for the safety of themselves or others, or suffer emotional distress

Sexting-actual or simulated sexual activity for the purpose of producing visual depiction to be distributed electronically

Sexual harassment-unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual violence. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature

Sexual violence-physical acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion

Vulnerable Populations-Children 12 years old and younger, elderly, and those with mental/physical disabilities are particularly at risk for sexual harassment/violence. Any abuse against one of these populations will be reported to authorities immediately.



Pre-screening of Workers

  1. All workers, volunteer, paid, full-time and part-time will be approved by the session
  2. All workers, volunteer, paid, full-time and part-time will be able to provide a valid form of ID
  3. All workers, volunteer, paid, full-time and part-time serving persons under 18 years old must provide the Church Office with a copy of the PA Criminal Background Clearance, the PA Child Abuse Clearance and the FBI Fingerprint Clearance. According to law, refusal to obtain clearances disqualifies a person from serving in a ministry capacity and results in them committing a misdemeanor of the 3rd degree
  4. No applicant or volunteer ever convicted of a sexual-related crime is eligible for service in position with direct relation to children

Common Supervisory Policies and Procedures

  1. Two volunteers must be in the classroom with our children.
  2. A child must never be left in a classroom or anywhere unattended.
  3. Youth volunteers should never be alone one-on-one with a youth unless in public areas. Youth volunteers should never meet one-on-one with a youth of the opposite gender. Assistant Pastor of Youth and Families may meet one-on-one with a youth of the opposite gender only in a public setting or when others are in the building.
  4. Any supervisor is responsible to address suspicious behavior or any behavior that may be contrary to church policy and to document and report such occurrences to the proper authorities.
  5. Ministry volunteers should never take photographs of children/teens and post them online. Photos of children will be posted only by the church staff with parental consent.


Check-in/out Procedures

  1. Nursery check-in will always include reception of parent/guardian name and contact information.
  2. Children in children’s church must be dropped off/picked up in the back of the sanctuary by a parent/guardian.
  3. No adults will be allowed in the family wing during family ministry activities unless accompanied by a child.


Restroom/Diaper Policy

  1. Volunteers must never go into the bathroom with children unless they are in preschool or younger. If older kids need assistance, a parent/guardian will be paged.
  2. To protect children and adults, male volunteers will not change diapers or provide toilet assistance to a child.
  3. Children’s ministry does not change the diaper of children over age 3. In this circumstance, a parent/guardian of the child must be paged.


Reporting Procedures

  1. All allegations must be taken seriously.
  2. If a child discloses or if you suspect any sexual harassment or violence at home, you will immediately consult Pastor Rick/Pastor Matthew regarding further steps to take.
  3. Allegations made against a volunteer or staff member for sexual harassment, sexting, stalking, grooming, or other such inappropriate behaviors must be immediately reported to personnel.
  4. Personnel will notify the parents or legal guardian immediately.
  5. If victim is under 18, Childline will also be called immediately. In all cases, full cooperation will be given to civil authorities when applicable.
  6. All situations will be handled forthrightly with due respect for people’s privacy and confidentiality.
  7. No accused will be addressed by anyone other than the established authorities and/or personnel until the safety of the child/victim is secured.
  8. No victim involved in an allegation or anyone responsible for reporting an allegation will be retaliated against.
  9. Any accused worker will be relieved temporarily of duty until the investigation is completed.
  10. All details, interviews, and information will remain confidential to those legitimately involved in the investigation.