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.
The Safeguarding certification process in an organization involves numerous steps that are briefly summarized below. Heads of organization are encouraged to appoint staff and/or volunteers to serve with them on a Safeguarding Team that is . . (read more)
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)
The EDOT Wellness and Care Team, headed by the Rev. Canon Lisa S. Hines, the Safeguarding Minister, is always ready to provide support, training, and guidance. Click on the link for contact information and guidance on who to contact.
Forming a Safeguarding Team describes the positions that must be filled in the organization to comply with Safeguarding requirements.
Use this Safeguarding Administrative Appointment Form to keep the Safeguarding Office current in the individuals on your local Safeguarding Team for purposes of required training and for notices and other communications.
Summary of Who Needs Certification or Other Training
Criminal Background Checks provides information about when criminal background check are required, how they are conducted, and how to interpret the results.
When to Contact the Safeguarding Minister
EDOT offers this 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 Grade, and 5th Grade through Middle School, and includes videos, worksheets, scriptural references, and facilitator guides.