Model Policies for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults
The Episcopal Church has always strived to be a safe place for all to gather, to learn, and to worship. To that end, for decades we have had programs in place to set standards and provide education for protecting the vulnerable among us. As with all things, these programs must be reviewed and improved periodically. General Convention in 2015 called for this review, the result of which is a set of Model Policies to be enacted church wide.
These new policies call for a higher level of accountability in our ministries, parishes, and in the diocese. With them, we will be protecting a greater range of people including both children and adults to keep those who are most vulnerable safe from harm.
Guarding them is work and requires attention to detail. An increase in accountability, by necessity brings additional responsibility to maintain accurate and timely records as well as to implement and follow the policies and procedures. We should remember that we are not being penalized for what has been done in the past, we simply seek improvement.
While implementation may at first feel complicated and onerous, by our Baptismal Covenant we are called to strive for justice and peace. In this case that means to strive to improve our protection of the vulnerable from “good” to better – even to best practices. Please bear in mind, no one is alone in this, support can be found at Diocesan house as we navigate these new and updated policies.
On this page you will find the Model Policies that were reviewed, adapted for use in our diocese, and approved by Executive Council. Information about how to implement these in your parish and the new policies and procedures on background checks were mailed and emailed to parishes and diocesan organizations in late October 2021. Information about the changes to Safeguarding God's Children training will be announced in 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should volunteers and staff still take the online training?
A: Until all of the new modules are up and running, only BRAND NEW volunteers or employees in your parish or organization who have NEVER taken Safeguarding Training should take the training. If they have taken this training in another diocese and have a certificate or letter, they do not to take it.
Do you have someone how meets this criteria? Click on the button below to submit a request to set up training for this person.
Q: What kind of training and background checks do volunteers need?
A. Using Appendix A from the Model Policies as a quick reference you can see most regular roles in parishes and organizations listed and the requirements.
Q: I am an administrator for Safeguarding in my parish or organization. How do I access the new Praesidium Academy?
A: In early January when all of the modules are up and running, some orientation session will be offered to help administrators learn to use the new system. Please use the link below to register.
Q: I have a question about the Model Policies, Background Checks or Safeguarding God's Children that I cannot find the answer in the information provided on this page.
A: Please use the form highlighted below to submit your question. Either Jimi Paderick, Ministry Coordinator or Emily Gowdy Canady, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation will respond to you.