Safe Congregations

At First Parish in Needham, we participate in the UUA’s “Safe Congregations” program. This program emphasizes safety and right practices between all people in our community, with a significant emphasis on interactions between adults and children or youth.

What this means is…

  • All RE classes and youth programs are taught/led by adults who have undergone a CORI check with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and who have signed (each year) the church’s statement of Code of Ethics form;
  • No RE class or program will operate without at least two adults present. Senior youth (high school) may serve as one of the two in certain circumstances;
  • The church maintains an up-to-date Policies and Procedures to Safeguard Children and Youth and annually reviews procedures for dealing with related issues;
  • The Director of Religious Exploration and the Minister serve as trained, mandatory reporters of abuse within the state system;
  • First Parish maintains its Welcoming Congregation practices and provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth and adults, and;
  • Regular review of other safety issues and procedures takes place throughout the church as well, including fire safety and evacuation procedures.

For more information about our Safe Congregations practices, or to get help with an issue or concern, please contact the Minister or the Director of Religious Explorations.