South Tampa Fellowship is committed to providing children and their families with a safe, secure environment.

All volunteers working with children and students are known individuals within the church who have completed a criminal background check, child abuse awareness training, and a personal safety screening. South Tampa Fellowship  holds zero tolerance for abuse in ministry programs and activities. Every staff member and volunteer is responsible for acting in the best interest of all children in every program. Suppose a staff member or volunteer observes inappropriate behaviors (i.e., policy violations, neglectful supervision, poor role-modeling, etc.) or suspected abuse or neglect (physical, emotional, or sexual). In that case, it is that individual’s responsibility to report their observations immediately.

Report suspicious or inappropriate behavior.

South Tampa Fellowship believes that, as Christians, we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report alleged or potential abuse of children.

All staff and volunteers are asked to report ‘grooming’ behavior, policy violations, and other suspicious behavior. Upon receiving a report, a designated team will convene to review the claims, evaluate any immediate needs for medical services or law enforcement action, and consult proper legal counsel to ensure the proper next steps are taken. The team will work with all appropriate parties to develop a safety and support plan for any child or children involved and their families.

The Florida Department of Children & Families

Florida is a mandatory reporting state for suspected child abuse. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it is your responsibility to make a report within 48 hours. You can choose to call the Florida Department of Children & Families directly at 1-800-962-2873 on your own or have a staff member assist you with the phone call.

You can also submit a report online. A benefit of the online report is that documentation is immediately available. It is highly encouraged that you document all concerns with date, time, location, witnesses, names of parties involved, names of DCF parties, and all other relevant details.