05 May 2011

Sexual Misconduct Prevention

As the church prepares to come to the Episcopal Youth Event in Minnesota next month, there is heightened awareness about the Model Policies for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct, related procedures, training materials, and background checks.
The shorthand explanation for what is frequently referred to as "Safe Church" is well stated by the following from the Church Pension Group Website:
  • At its 2003 General Convention, the Episcopal Church resolved to recommit itself to nurturing and protecting children from sexual abuse. Resolution B008, Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse, calls the church to develop and follow clear standards and policies church-wide. It urges dioceses to develop and use policies to:
    • Screen and select all clergy, lay employees and volunteers who regularly work with children or youth.
    • Articulate behavioral standards for clergy, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or youth.
    • Monitor programs and interaction with children and youth.
    • Educate and train clergy, lay employees and volunteers who regularly work with children or youth in child abuse prevention or hire those who do.
    • Provide guidelines for responding to concerns, such as inappropriate behavior with children, violation of policies to protect them and suspected abuse.
At the Episcopal Youth Event we are implementing policy as stated in the model policy requiring that all adults staying on campus must be trained in prevention of sexual abuse of children and youth, and that they be back-ground checked by their diocesan offices to determine that they have not been convicted of a sex abuse crime and are not on a sex offender registry.

Linked here is the notice intended to help dioceses participating in EYE with understanding the background check procedures. At the top right corner of the blog are links to Church Publishing's Website that should be helpful as refreshers or a great place to get started with implementation of your own diocesan policies and procedures for training.

EYE participants may use the on-line Safeguarding training but must make arrangements to do so through their own diocesan or congregational offices. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, bskov@episcopalchurch.org or 1-800-334-7626 ext. 3074.

Thank you for your commitment and cooperation in safeguarding our youth!

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