The Safeguarding certification of adults in the Diocese of Texas involves a process of screening and training that is tracked electronically in the Safeguarding Records System (SRS). Members of the laity (persons who are not ordained) and members of the clergy have slightly different processes, so choose the appropriate category to find out more. For purposes of Safeguarding, individuals who are preparing for ordination are treated as clergy.
The process of certifying adults in Safeguarding is almost always managed by the person in your congregation, school, or other organization who serves as the Safeguarding Records Administrator (SRA). If you need help identifying the SRA in your organization, ask the head of the organization (rector, vicar, head of school, etc.) or call the Safeguarding Office. (The Safeguarding process is different for youth who need Safeguarding God’s Children training. See Safeguarding for Youth Helpers.)
The steps of the certification process:
- Contact the SRA in your organization, who will help you determine whether you need certification in Safeguarding God’s Children (SGC) or in Safeguarding God’s People (SGP) or both. (Who Needs Safeguarding Certification or Other Training) If you are an employee or a volunteer serving in a staff position, you will also be required to be certified in Safeguarding God’s People in the Workplace. The SRA will initiate the appropriate online Safeguarding process by entering your contact information into the SRS. An email address is required. You then have 90 days to complete the certification process.
- You will then be interviewed by the SRA or by an assigned ministry leader, after which you will be emailed a link to an online Application.
- To complete the Application, you will asked to provide contact information, the names of four references, and information pertaining to relevant volunteer and work experiences. You will also be asked to consent to a criminal background check and provide the confidential information necessary to perform the background check. For more information, see Background Checks. There is no charge to you for the criminal background check.
- Your completed Application will be reviewed by the SRA, who will also review the results of the criminal background check. If there are areas of concern in the background check, the SRA will share the report confidentially with the head of organization.
- After completing the Application, you will be given access to an online training calendar with instructions on how to register for a convenient training. You may register for a live training that is offered in-person or one that is held on a virtual platform. There is no charge to you for the training. At the end of the training that you attend, you will be asked to consent to a Code of Conduct.
- When all screening and training requirements have been met, you will achieve the status of Safeguarding Certification. Certification lasts for five years. At the end of 5 years, you will need to be recertified in order to continue in your ministry or position. Recertification requires a new Background Check and additional training. If the recertification process is begun before your certification expires, then you may have the choice of watching online videos instead of attending an in-person training. You will receive an invitation to complete an application and be provided with a link to the recertification videos. The Safeguarding Office will be automatically notified when you complete the training.
Clergy (and Persons in the Ordination Process)
All members of the clergy who are canonically resident or licensed in the Diocese of Texas must be certified in Safeguarding God’s Children (SGC) and Safeguarding God’s People (SGP) if they are active in ministry, whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary. Students preparing for ordination in the diocese are treated as members of the clergy for purposes of Safeguarding.
The steps of the certification process:
- Danielle Tatro of the EDOT Wellness and Care Team initiates all clergy certifications and recertifications in the Safeguarding Records System. She will send you a reminder when your certifications are expiring and recertification is required. For clergy new to the diocese, Safeguarding God’s Children certification is required within 30 days of the start of your ministry. Safeguarding God’s People certification is required within 90 days of the start of your ministry.
- The diocese runs a Background Check on members of the clergy as part of the ordination process, upon transferring canonical residency, or when becoming licensed if canonically resident elsewhere. They are then repeated every five years. Millie Longoria in the Bishop’s Office manages the Background Checks for members of the clergy. For more information, see Background Checks. There is no charge to you for the Background Check.
- When you respond to a notice that you need training for Safeguarding God’s Children certification, you will be given access to the Safeguarding training calendars and instructions for how to register for a training. In person trainings are offered live or over a virtual platform. Training for SGC certification is not clergy specific. We encourage you to take a training attended by lay members of your community to show your support for the diocesan rules protecting youth and children. If the process for Safeguarding God’s Children recertification begins before your current certification expires, then you may choose to watch online videos instead of attending a live training. You will then be provided with a link to the recertification videos, and the Safeguarding Office will be automatically notified when you complete the training.
- When you respond to a notice that you need training for Safeguarding God’s People certification, you will be given access to a calendar to clergy specific training sessions facilitated by the Rev. Canon Lisa S. Burns, Canon for Wellness and Care and Safeguarding Minister. The training will be offered either in person or on a virtual platform, and it covers the information needed to be certified both in Safeguarding God’s People in the Workplace and Safeguarding God’s People: Safe Ministry for Adults. It also contains a review of the Title IV disciplinary rules and a discussion of the importance of wellness practices in maintaining healthy boundaries.
- All Safeguarding certifications last for five years, at which point, a new Criminal Background check is ordered, and you must take additional training in order to be recertified.