top of page

Presbyterian Association of Musicians

Juvenile Protection and Sexual Harassment Policy

Adopted January 30, 2020

Revised March 2012, February 2013 & October 2019


I.       Statement of Purpose


The Executive Board of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians believes that we are called by God to create a safe haven for all of the children and youth in our care, protecting those who are powerless and empowering them through faith and trust. During the baptism of an infant, child or adult into the covenant community of faith, the church pledges to uphold that person in Jesus Christ, and to teach, strengthen and support the individual’s relationship with the household of God.


Therefore, the Executive Board of PAM, as a covenant partner with the PC(USA), is committed to the safety, welfare, and protection of all juveniles participating in the activities and programs it sponsors. For purposes of this statement a juvenile is defined as a person under the age of 18 years of age who is not married, emancipated, or a member of the armed forces.  No juvenile shall be subjected to the preventable risk of any form of abuse or harassment by PAM conference faculty, staff, or volunteers while involved in PAM activities.


Therefore, all PAM activities and programs involving juveniles operate under the following general guidelines:


  • In all events, classes, or care involving juveniles, there will be at least 2 adults assigned and present in the room at all times.

  • PAM will not tolerate or accept any act or omission as specifically described in Prohibited Acts noted below.


II.     Prohibited Acts:


  • Any display or demonstration of sexual activity, abuse, insinuation of abuse, or evidence of abusive conduct towards a juvenile;

  • Sexual advances or sexual activity of any kind between any adult and a juvenile;

  • Infliction of physically abusive behavior or bodily injury to a juvenile;

  • Causing mental or emotional injury to a juvenile or juveniles;

  • Possessing or being under the influence of any illegal drugs

  • Consuming or being under the influence of alcohol while leading or participating in a children’s or youth function at a PAM Sponsored Conference.


III.    Background Checks:


All PAM conference faculty and staff will be subject to a criminal background check.  Cost of the background check will be borne by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians.  Results are strictly confidential and available only to the PAM Executive Director, PAM Conference Director, and the President of the Conference Center where the particular PAM events is being held.  Background checks are required of all conference faculty and staff, regardless of whether previous checks may have been performed by an employer, volunteer agency, or church-related organization.  A criminal conviction related to any of the following will automatically disqualify an individual from service at a PAM Sponsored Conference:


  • Pedophilic behavior

  • Incest

  • Rape

  • Assault

  • Child pornography

  • Abuse of a minor 


Any potential faculty member, staff member, or volunteer who has a past criminal conviction of or pending civil or criminal allegation related to sexual or physical abuse, assault, harassment, or assault of any kind will not be engaged without the express written approval of the PAM Executive Director and concurrence from the President of the PAM Sponsored Conference site.


IV. Reporting


A. In all situations of possible sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct, no matter how unlikely it seems, the PAM “Juvenile Protection Policy” shall be observed.


B. According to the laws of most states where PAM conferences are held, any person or institution who has cause to suspect that a juvenile is abused, neglected, has been left dependent or has died as a result of maltreatment is required to report such suspected abuse or neglect to the Director of the Department of Social Services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found. The report may be made orally, by telephone or in writing. Brief definitions of these terms are found below:


         1.      A “juvenile” is defined as a person who is less than eighteen (18) years of

                   age, is not married, emancipated or a member of the armed services.

         2.      An “abused juvenile” is a juvenile whose parent, custodian or caretaker:                            

                   - Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the juvenile serious physical injury or a substantial risk of such;

                   - Uses or allows to be used upon the juvenile cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or cruel or grossly inappropriate                               devices to modify behavior;

                   - Commits, permits or encourages the commission of a rape, various sexual offenses, dissemination of obscene material to                          a juvenile, exploitation, prostitution and taking indecent liberties with the juvenile;

                   - Creates or allows to be created serious emotional damage to the juvenile;

                   - Or encourages, directs or approves of delinquent acts involving moral turpitude committed by the juvenile.

         3.      A “neglected juvenile” is one who does not receive proper care, supervision or discipline from his parent, guardian,                                  custodian or caretaker; one who has been abandoned; one who is not provided necessary medical care; one who is                   not provided necessary remedial care; or one who lives in an environment injurious to his welfare.

         4.      A “dependent juvenile” is defined as: “A juvenile in need of assistance or placement because the juvenile has no parent,                          guardian, or custodian responsible for the juvenile’s care or supervision or whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to                    provide for the care or supervision and lacks an appropriate alternative child care arrangement.”

         5.      There is no confidential privilege, even for clergy, that relieves one of responsibility of reporting if one has cause to suspect                       that a juvenile is abused, neglected or has been left dependent.

         6.      The report shall be made to the Social Services Department or Child Protection Division of the county in which the alleged                      incident takes place.

         7.      The person reporting shall notify the Executive Director of PAM and the President of the Conference Center site of their                            report within twenty-four (24) hours of making the report.


C.      Reporting other concerns.


         1.      Concern regarding possible sexual abuse, physical abuse, or emotional abuse not covered by the reporting requirement                          found above in “B” should be reported to the PAM Executive Director.

         2.      It is the policy of PAM that its conferences be free of any form of harassment, including sexual harassment, or sexual                                  intimidation from any employee, volunteer, or participant. Any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise, is unacceptable                            behavior within its ministry.


V.      Sexual Harassment


A.      Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, unwelcome and unsolicited

         sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, tormenting based on gender and other

         undesired verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. In particular, sexual harassment occurs if:


         1.      Submission to any kind of sexual request is an explicit or implicit term or condition of participation in an activity.

         2.      Submission to, or rejection of, sexual behavior is used as the basis of participation or recruitment affecting the victim of the                      behavior;

         3.      Sexual harassment has the purpose or the effect of unreasonably interfering with the victim’s participation or creating an                          intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.



B.      Concern regarding possible harassment should be reported to the PAM Executive      Director or the Conference Director who shall immediately report that concern to the Executive Director and to the President of the Conference Center.


   1.      PAM will not take adverse action against any employee or volunteer for complaining in good faith of sexual or other harassment or in good faith making any other report pursuant to this policy and will protect such employees or volunteers against reprisal from other employees or volunteers to the extent possible. Disciplinary action, including dismissal, may occur when PAM, in its sole discretion, determines that a violation of this policy occurred or where a volunteer or employee has failed promptly to report                 either violations of this policy or employee, parent, conferee or volunteer complaints made pursuant to this policy to the Executive Director.


VI. Responding


In the event of an allegation of abuse, the following procedures are to be followed by all faculty members, staff members and volunteers of PAM and all such procedures shall be undertaken within three days following the allegation of abuse.


A.      Take every allegation seriously. Adequate care, respect, and confidentiality must be offered to alleged victims and perpetrators                until the allegations can be substantiated or cleared.

B.      Observe the procedures listed in the previous section on Reporting.

C.      Maintain written records relating to the matter in confidential files.

D.      Carefully document in writing all efforts in handling the situation.


         1. The Executive Director may complete an internal investigation in addition to that

             which will be carried out by the authorities following the required referrals. An   accused individual may be placed on leave or                   prohibited from being present at PAM events at the discretion of the Executive Director. The accused individual will       be                       prohibited from access to the alleged victim to protect the child or youth from possible further abuse or harassment. The office               of the Executive Director will maintain a list of persons that the organization is aware have unresolved allegations    against                       them. This list shall be shared only with Conference Directors considering engaging the professional services of said individual.

         2. The Executive Director, in his/her sole discretion, will make a determination as

              to whether the individual will be allowed to return to work as a faculty member, staff member, or volunteer for PAM.


E.      The Executive Director or designee will notify the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the alleged victim unless they have already been notified.

F.      PAM employees and volunteers are encouraged to cooperate fully with the  investigation authorities, such as the Child Protective Services Unit of the     Department of Social Services, or local police authorities. PAM employees, independent contractors, and volunteers who receive a request from an investigative authority to participate in an investigation should immediately,      or as soon as practicable given the circumstances, notify the PAM Executive Director who will, in turn, notify the president of the appropriate conference center.

G.      All employees and volunteers will refer any and all inquiries regarding the situation to the Executive Director. The Executive Director is the only staff person authorized to release any information regarding an allegation except where the law requires others to release information, such as to a protective services investigator or to a police officer.


VII.    Pre-Conference Orientation


All PAM staff, faculty, and volunteers participating in conferences where juveniles will be present will participate in an orientation prior to the commencement of the conference.  During this orientation, the PAM Juvenile Protection Policy and the juvenile protection policy of the specific conference center will be reviewed.  Faculty, staff, and volunteers will receive a copy of the policies.  Faculty, staff, and volunteers will sign an acknowledgement of their receipt of, knowledge of, and expectation of compliance with the policies.

bottom of page