Sacred Safety: Background checks and resources

SafetyCaring for the Safety of Our Children

Sacred safety helps create an environment where young people can explore their spiritual identity and potential without threat of harm. It includes the resources, practices, policies and procedures that reduce the possibility of dangerous situations, injury or loss. Having consistent, well thought-out guidelines for which staff and volunteers are trained and held accountable reduces the church's liability.

Unity Worldwide Ministries considers all of our leaders—ministers, licensed teachers and certified spiritual educators—to be mandated reporters of child abuse. Churches are strongly encouraged to conduct background screening [below] on all adults—either paid staff or volunteers—working with minors.

Resources for Sacred Safety

Background Checks


At Unity Worldwide Ministries, we strongly suggest and encourage individual Unity ministries to conduct background screening on all adults—either paid staff or volunteers—working with minors.

Youth and family ministry provides high-risk opportunities for adults to be alone with a child or teen during church hours and off-site activities. Background screening provides the church with information that may safeguard our children, our adult volunteers, and the church. Screening will not eliminate risk altogether, but does show that the church has acted in good faith to place appropriate adults in responsible positions. 

  • an application on file
  • documentation that personal references given on the application have been checked
  • a face-to-face interview with the applicant
  • a criminal background screen

We suggest churches use a professional background screening company or the local police department. Background screenings would include a national criminal search, and a motor vehicle check would be mandatory for those individuals transporting minors.

All reports are to be considered confidential and stored in a locked area with limited access. Only the minister/and or another staff member (perhaps youth ministry director) should have access.

Due to the structure of Unity Worldwide Ministries, each church is responsible for creating and implementing sacred safety/risk management procedures such as the above. This not only safeguards your children but also those of other Unity ministries with which you interact.

First Advantage/Volunteer Advantage offers non-profit organization the services to protect their ministry. This is probably better for larger ministries or those that need a global footprint.

Protect My Ministry provides cost-effective background checks with free re-verification of criminal records and has no minimum requirements.

Shepherd’s Watch Background Checks is part of the Group Publishing family and provides affordable, reliable background checks.

Additional Resources

Children & Teen Social Media Policy Guidelines and Template

Sponsor Group Agreements 

YOU Group Agreements

Certified Spiritual Educator Code of Ethics is now a part of the general Code of Ethics