Policies for Safe Church, Safe Communities
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These new policies replace outdated policies from the early 2000's. These newer policies call for a higher level of accountability in our ministries, parishes, and in the diocese.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 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.
All available Safe Church, Safe Communities Training Modules are in Praesidium Academy. Please reference the chart found HERE regarding which course requirements for particular staff and volunteer positions. Letter templates will be available soon.
March 31, 2022 Resolution from Executive Council Regarding Changes to Appendix A (Chart for Course Requirements)
Video from the Safe Church Office of The Episcopal Church
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of training and background checks do volunteers need?
A. Using the Charts provided included in the updated Policies for Safe Church, Safe Communities
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 Policies, Background Checks or Safe Church, Safe Communities that I cannot find the answer in the information provided on this page.
A: Please email Jimi Paderick, Ministry Coordinator for questions regarding: Background Checks or Praesidium Administrators. Please email Emily Gowdy Canady, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation for questions regarding: Praesidium Academy Course Requirement both content and who is required to take which modules.
Jimi Paderick, Ministry Coordinator, is happy to provide support for those in parishes and organizations who are responsible for managing those in their parishes who need to take Safe Church, Safe Communities Trainings.
Emily Gowdy Canady, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation, is glad to answer questions regarding module content and which roles are required to take which m…Read More »
Please use the following information to assist you and your parish in ensuring all clergy, staff, and volunteers have completed the appropriate background check.
Per the Policies adopted by the Executive Council of the Diocese of East Carolina on November 20, 2020, background checks must be renewed every 5 years.
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All members of our parishes and organizations are strongly encouraged to take the four modules of Safe Church, Safe Communities called Universal Training. Universal Training modules plus any combination of four other modules are required to be in certain roles or positions on parish staffs, as volunteers, or in parish or diocesan lay or clergy leadership.
Please understand the …Read More »