Safeguarding in the Diocese of Texas requires a partnership between the EDOT Wellness and Care Team in the Safeguarding Office and the head of each organization in the diocese. The Safeguarding Office provides a process and ongoing support for screening and training staff, volunteers, and vendors, but the responsibilities for carrying out Safeguarding requirements in each ministry setting rests with the head of the organization. Below is information to help heads of organizations understand the process and carry out these responsibilities.
Overview of Safeguarding Certification Process at Local Level
There are three sets of diocesan Safeguarding policies: Safeguarding God’s Children: Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth, Safeguarding God’s People: Safe Ministry with Adults, and Safeguarding God’s People in the Workplace: Preventing Sexual Harassment. The policies change periodically in response to particular diocesan concerns and to the actions of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Each set of policies contains its own parameters for who needs to be screened and trained (Summary of Who Needs Certification or Other Training). At present, certification lasts for five years.
Responsibilities of Head of Organization
- Be familiar with the three sets of Safeguarding policies
- Set an example by being current in certifications and following the Safeguarding rules of conduct
- Create a Safeguarding Team to implement policies and see that appropriate personnel are screened and trained under the Safeguarding policies
- Communicate Safeguarding requirements before inviting individuals into staff or volunteer positions
- File Safeguarding Certification Annual Status Report
- Promptly address all Safeguarding violations and report them to the Safeguarding Minister
- Create culture of safety and mutual respect
- Enforce Safeguarding rules of conduct throughout the organization
- 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
Safeguarding Certification Annual Status Report
Criminal Background Checks (form coming soon) provides information about when criminal background checks are required, how they are conducted, and how to interpret the results.
Policy Review Videos for Vestries, Bishop’s Committees, School Boards, etc.
Safeguarding in the Workplace - Harassment Prevention Training
Safeguarding Youth Helpers
EDOT offers I KNOW! as a free curriculum to help children and youth keep safe by teaching them about their personal boundaries and how to respond when those boundaries are violated. The curriculum is offered in two levels, K through 4th, and 5th through Middle School, and includes videos, worksheets, scriptural references, and facilitator guides.