What is Safe Church?
Safe Church policies seek to establish and maintain standards in order to keep all God’s people safe. The purpose of these policies is to create safe and welcoming space for the minors, elders, and people with disabilities and those engaged in ministry with them, in all of the congregations, institutions, organizations, schools and agencies of each diocese.
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 worked on resolutions about sexual exploitation. As a result, every diocese and congregation 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.
The leadership of St. Paul's has adopted its own set of Safe Church policies and practices that meet the canonical requirements.
The basic tenants 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 3 years