St. John’s Episcopal Church takes the safety of God’s children very seriously and we are proud to offer child abuse awareness and prevention education through the Safeguarding God's Children training program.
Safeguarding God’s Children provides participants with the information they need to protect the children they know and care for in their personal lives and the ministries in which they serve. The program is based on the philosophy that if every adult can protect just one child, the will forever change one life. If we can all change one life, together we will make a difference in this generation of children.
WHO NEEDS TO ATTEND?
- All paid parish staff members who have not completed the Safeguarding God's Children program.
- Any volunteers working with children and youth (including Christian education leaders) who have not completed the Safeguarding God's Children program.
- Anyone assigned keys to buildings belonging to St. John’s Parish.
- Anyone who wishes to learn more about how their parish can protect children and youth.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE WHO HAVE KEYS TO THE BUILDING BE TRAINED?
Child molesters need access to children and privacy. Anyone with a key to the building has access to it 24/7 and therefore has access to children whenever they are in the building. Similarly, anyone with a key has privacy. A person can enter the building with a child when no one else is in the building or even if other people are present, they may be able to enter the building without being seen. And, a person with a key may have access to locked portions of the building.
WHY SHOULD MEMBERS OF THE VESTRY BE TRAINED?
The Vestry is responsible for setting or overseeing the policies and procedures that are used to prevent child sexual abuse. These may include background screening requirements, key holder requirements, the supervision plan for children’s activities, and more. Vestry members are trained, to ensure the policies and procedures are adequate.
WHO DECIDES WHO MUST BE TRAINED OR HAVE A BACKGROUND CHECK?
Your diocese may have a policy that specifies who is required to be trained or have background checks for diocesan personnel and activities and also for congregations. If the diocesan policy doesn’t apply to congregations, then the congregation through its Vestry decides.