Background check

Churches respond to safety concerns

I’m still amazed,” declared Mary Alice Gran, the soft-spoken national director of children’s ministries for the United Methodist Church, based in Nashville. “Not all our [regional] conferences require background checks for volunteer workers, and there are congregations who are still doing nothing.”

Gran said this omission is surprising since a Methodist-published how-to book, Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church, came out in 1998 and has been followed by a flow of educational materials from the UMC board of discipleship.


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