(Taken from virtusonline.org)
Examples of appropriate contact with minors for Church programs include, but are not limited to:
- Verbal praise
- Brief side hugs or arm around the shoulder
- Brief pat on the shoulder or upper back
- Handshakes, “high-fives”, knuckle bumps or hand slaps
- Brief touching of hand, face, head, shoulder, or arm of minor
- Holding hands while walking with small children.
- Sitting beside small children
- Kneeling or bending down for a brief hug with small children
- Holding hands during prayer
Examples of contact with minors that are not to be used include, but are not limited to:
- Long and/or inappropriate frontal embraces
- Kisses on the mouth
- Holding minors over four years old on the lap or in one’s arms; holding younger minors should only be “as needed” (e.g., for comfort) or at the invitation of the parent
- Touching knees, legs, buttocks, chests or genital areas
- Being alone in isolated areas such as closets, staff-only areas or other private rooms
- Playing with hair of a minor
- Being on a bed with a minor (unless a bed becomes designated “seating space” during daytime hours)
- Wrestling with minors, tickling minors or piggyback rides
- Any type of massage, whether given by minor to adult or adult to minor
- Any form of unwanted affection
- Oral or written comments that relate to physique, body development, expression of overt physical affection and/or involve other boundary violations
- Providing alcohol, drugs, tobacco or illegal materials to a minor
- Giving of gifts or money to a minor without the parent’s knowledge
- Undressing or being nude
- Taking a shower with a minor
- Sleeping in the same bed, sleeping bag or tent with a minor, unless the adult is an immediate family member of the minor
Guidelines for conduct between adults and minors in their virtual contacts include:
- Adults must have written permission from a minor’s parent or guardian before contacting the minor through any virtual contact or before posting pictures, video, and other information that may identify that minor.
- All communications between adult leaders and minors should be transparent and for legitimate ministry related purposes.
- “Friending” requests should be initiated by the minor and not the adult.
- Minors should never be invited or accepted as a “friend” at a private social media page or account of an adult in a supervisory position of that minor.
- Employees and volunteers should set personal profile pages to a “private” setting so that youth do not have access to personal information.