Interim Diocesan Safe Church Policy

 

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Safe Church Requirements
 
To be in compliance with Safe Church policy mandated by the Child Protective Services Law and General Convention[1], please follow these requirements:

All prospective and current adults working in a paid or unpaid capacity “who have direct contact with children or who are responsible for the welfare of a child” (under 18 years of age) must obtain both criminal background checks and child abuse clearances once every 5 years.[2] “Direct contact with Children” is defined in the Child Protective Services Law as “the care, supervision, guidance or control of children AND routine interaction with children”. [3]

All clergy, church employees and church volunteers are required to be cleared.[4]

The required clearances are


All adults requiring clearance must be trained in the Safe Church Policy.[5] 

The Safe Church Training program is online, and is accessible through a Safe Church Training Administrator. Please send your name, the name of your parish and an email address to Mr. Jeremiah Mustered at the Offices of the Diocese to schedule Training for Safe Church.


The Child Protective Services Law, also, defines a Mandated Reporter[6] of suspected child abuse as:

  • Clergyperson, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer or spiritual leader of any regularly established church or other religious organization;
  • An individual paid or unpaid; who, on the basis of the individual’s role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, accepts responsibility for a child

Online training is available for Mandate Reporters at http://www.pa-fsa.org/Mandated-Reporters/Mandated-Reporters-Training/On-Demand-Online-Training. A $30 fee is required. Individuals may apply for reimbursement from Continuing Education. (See diopa.org > Parishes > Grants).

Also, please find here current Social Media Guidelines issued by Province III.

(The Diocesan Safe Church Manual and the Diocesan Safe Church Training Program are being revamped, and will be re-introduced in late 2018.)

 

[1] https://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=2003-B008.

[2] 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.4(1)(i)

[3] 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303.

[4] https://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=2003-B008.

[5] Ibid.

[6] See http://www.pa-fsa.org/Mandated-Reporters/Understanding-Mandated-Reporting/Who-are-Mandated-Reporters.