What is Safe Church?
Safe Church policies seek to establish and maintain standards in order to keep all God’s people safe.
These policies call the church to respond in new and intentional ways to care for, be responsible to, and create safe space for children and adults.
This policy work began at General Convention in 1991, and in 2006, General Convention resolutions about sexual exploitation. As a result, every diocese is now required to adopt policies to protect adults from sexual exploitation and church workers from sexual harassment. The resolution also requires dioceses to assist congregations in developing such policies.
Each faith community should adopt its own set of Safe Church policies and practices that meet the canonical requirements. The sample policies included in this guide can act as a starting point for your faith community.
The basic tenets of the Safe Church policy are:
- The appropriate individuals in your organization have been trained by a certified Safe Church trainer
- Those trained have been entered into the national Safe Church database to verify their training (this will be done by a Safe Church Trainer)
- Each individual working with children and youth has received a background check which is on file
- Safe church policies should be renewed each year by the vestry
- Those trained should renew their training every 5 years
Education and Training Requirements
(Section II.B of the Safe Church Policy)
- Three hours of certified child abuse prevention education and training is required for all Church Personnel within six months of the person’s start date.
- Three hours of certified adult sexual harassment prevention education is required for all clergy, lay employees and lay volunteers who provide Pastoral Services.
Church Personnel are required to renew their training certification every five (5) years.
Check out the Episcopal Exchange to find the latest dates and locations for trainings.
Safe Church Resources
Safe Church Policy "Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse and Protection of Adults from Sexual Misconduct" — adopted by Council September 2008 and revised October 13, 2012.
Contact your Missioner for Children, Youth and Camp, Sarah Barnett for general Safe Church information