Heads of Organizations: Information and Resources

Safeguarding in the Diocese of Texas requires a partnership between the Head of Organization (whether a congregation, schools, or other organization in the diocese) and the EDOT Wellness and Care Safeguarding Team. The Safeguarding Office provides a process and ongoing support for screening and training staff, volunteers, and vendors, but the Head is responsible for carrying out Safeguarding requirements in each organization, aided by persons appointed by the Head to assist with the tasks involved. Below is information to help Heads of Organizations understand the process and carry out these responsibilities.  

Introduction to Safeguarding
There are three sets of diocesan Safeguarding policies: Safeguarding God’s Children: Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth (SGC), Safeguarding God’s People: Policies for Safe Ministry with Adults (SGP), and Safeguarding God’s People in the Workplace: Policies Prohibiting Sexual Harassment (SGP-H)See Policies and Help Sheets. The policies change periodically in response to changing circumstances and to the actions of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The purpose of the policies is to create safe environments that protect the vulnerable and allow all members to experience a community of love and respect.

In the past, individuals had to go through distinct processes to be “certified” in SGC and/or SGP, based on the role that they played in the organization. For example, someone who had been certified in SGC would need to go through a separate screening and training process in order to be certified in SGP. Beginning in the fall of 2023, individuals are screened only once every five years, even if they play multiple roles in an organization. All employees and most volunteers are required to take an online Universal Training that includes a recorded policy review of both SGC and SGP policies. Some, but not all, of those individuals also require a single Live Engagement training, either in person or on a virtual platform. 

In addition, all employees and some volunteers are required to take one or more Specialized Trainings (online video courses) that particularly apply to their role or roles in the organization. For example, all employees must take a course on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, and volunteer youth ministers must take a course on abuse and neglect. For a more detailed introduction to Safeguarding requirements, see the Overview of Safeguarding Screening and Training.

Responsibilities of Head of Organization

  • Be familiar with the three sets of Safeguarding Policies
  • Set an example by being current in screening and training and by modeling appropriate behavior.
  • Create culture of safety and mutual respect by enforcing Safeguarding rules throughout the organization 
  • Promptly address all Safeguarding violations and report them to the Safeguarding Minister. 
  • Create a Safeguarding Team to help implement the screening and training requirements for the organization and inform the Safeguarding Office of any changes of personnel on the Safeguarding Team.
  • Communicate Safeguarding requirements to individuals before inviting them into employee or volunteer positions.
  • Review and consult with Safeguarding Office on problematic Background Checks.
  • File Safeguarding Annual Status Report (see below for links).
  • Display the Report Misconduct Poster and otherwise communicate a commitment to providing ministry spaces that are free from all types of abuse, neglect, and harassment.
  • Contact the Safeguarding Minister when engaging with people with poor boundaries or disruptive personalities or with Registered Sex Offenders in the community. Participation of Registered Sex Offenders.

The EDOT Wellness and Care Safeguarding Team, headed by the Rev. Canon Lisa S. Burns, Canon for Wellness and Care/Safeguarding Minister, is always ready to provide support, training, and guidance. Additional resources can be found under Trainer ResourcesSRA and Coordinator Resources, and Other Information and Resources

Annual Reports (Not required in 2023)
Status Report for Congregations
Status Report for Schools
Status Report for Organizations

Building a Safeguarding Team
Forming a Safeguarding Team
Safeguarding Appointment Form

Policies, Help Sheets
Safeguarding Policies and Help Sheets
Overview of Safeguarding Screening and Training 
Safeguarding Requirements by Position
Safeguarding Training by Position
Guidelines for Participation by Registered Sex Offenders 
Background Checks in Safeguarding (information on process and interpretation)

Reporting Misconduct
Report Misconduct Poster
When to Contact the Safeguarding Minister

Training Materials for Young People (no qualified Safeguarding trainer required)
Safeguarding Youth Helpers
“I KNOW!” (free curriculum to teach children and youth how to keep safe)

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