Introduction to Safeguarding

Introduction to Safeguarding

Introduction to Safeguarding

Introduction to Safeguarding

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Safeguarding and Other Ministries of Wellness and Care

The final promise of our Baptismal Covenant urges us to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.” In the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, we live into that promise by creating environments in our congregations, schools, and institutions that are free of abuse, exploitation, and harassment. Toward that end, the ministry of Safeguarding sets healthy boundaries on our behavior and relationships and provide mechanisms for screening and training and for reporting and investigating misconduct. Additional protections are provided by Title IV of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, the disciplinary canons of the Episcopal Church that apply only to members of the clergy. For more information regarding Safeguarding programs or the ministries of Wellness & Care, please contact our Safeguarding Minister, The Rev. Canon Lisa S. Hines.

Summary of Who Needs Certification or Other Training

The summary below is provided for your convenience.  It is not intended as a substitute for the policies themselves. See policies for details and exceptions.

Safeguarding God's Children (SGC)
Certification through Safeguarding Records System (SRS) required:

  • All members of the clergy who are canonically resident or licensed in EDOT who are active in ministry, whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary.
  • All employees or volunteer staff members of any diocesan organization, whether or not the volunteer or staff member works around youth or children
  • Contracted vendors who routinely work around children or youth
  • Adult volunteers who work with or around children or youth (with limited exception for parents of children or youth in the program)
  • All persons with general key or code access to locked buildings where children or youth may be present without adequate adult supervision
  • SRAs and Safeguarding Coordinators of an organization
  • See SGC Section VII for complete information

Safeguarding Youth Helpers

  • Youth (age 12 through age 17, or older, if still in high school) who assist in programs for children or youth must be screened and trained as provided in SGC VII.C. Such screening and training is not tracked in SRS.

Safeguarding God's People (SGP)
Certification through SRS required:

  • All members of the clergy who are canonically resident or licensed in EDOT who are active in ministry, whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary
  • Program Supervisors (including heads of organizations)
  • Lay people canonically licensed for ministry, including Lay Eucharistic Visitors, Lay Worship Leaders, Lay Preachers, etc.
  • Lay people who provide counseling, spiritual direction, life coaching, etc.
  • Lay people who minister to Vulnerable Adults, as defined in the policies
  • Wardens of a congregation
  • SRAs, Safeguarding Coordinators, and Trainers in an organization
  • See SGP Sections I and VII for complete information

Policy Review for Decision-Makers:

  • All members of decision-making bodies (including Vestries, Bishop’s Committees, School Boards, and other governing boards must receive a review of SGP policies. See Policy Review Videos and instructions for tracking this requirement.

Safeguarding God's People in the Workplace (SGP-H)

  • All employees and volunteers who serve in staff positions in diocesan organizations, including members of the clergy. See Harassment Prevention Training.

Policies and Help Sheets

The SGC Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth, SGP Policies for Safe Ministries with Adults, and SGP Policies Prohibiting Sexual Harassment are essential in the development of ministries that are safe spaces for all.