Implementing Screening Standards

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All screening standards must be applied equitably and consistently. Do not lower the standards and do not skip steps. It is the nature of the position not the nature of the person holding the position which determines the standard. It is the responsibility of the organizational leadership (Bishop, Churchwardens, Director, Incumbent, Priest-in-Charge) to ensure that screening standards are implemented in the parish or organization.  The screening standards listed below are also summarized in the Implementing Screening Standards Chart.

Carefully fill out the Screening Checklist, Appendix E, for each person being screened.

Your parish may also want to develop an electronic means of tracking the steps of the screening process.  To assist with this, the Diocese has created a Screening Steps Worksheet.


Low Risk MinistriesIt is recommended that all people in these ministries:

  1. Fill out an Application Form which does not require a list of references. (Appendix F, Application Form)
  2. Receive a Ministry Description of the position. (Appendix B, Ministry Description Template, Appendix C, Sample Ministry Descriptions)
  3. Be trained for the ministry.
  4. Meet regularly with a supervisor who will provide support, feedback, mentoring and information about the nature and duties of the ministry.

Medium Risk MinistriesIt is required that all people in these ministries:

  1. Be known to the organization or a regular church attender for at least 12 months or have a good reference from another parish before they are assigned to the ministry. (This may not be an appropriate requirement for paid employees.)
  2. Fill out an Application Form which does not require a list of references (Appendix F, Application Form)
  3. Receive a Ministry Description for the position. (Appendix B, Ministry Description Template, Appendix C, Sample Ministry Descriptions)
  4. Be interviewed by the senior person responsible for the ministry to discern suitability. The discussion should include a review of the ministry description, the norms of the faith community and expected behaviour and attitudes required for the position. (Appendix G, Interview Questions)
  5. Be trained for the ministry.
  6. Attend a Sexual Misconduct Policy training session at the beginning of the ministry and every three years thereafter. The person responsible for the ministry will ensure the person’s attendance is recorded and kept on file for an indefinite period of time. (Appendix H, Training Attendance Form)
  7. Receive a copy of the Guidelines appropriate for their type of ministry. (Appendix I, Ministry Guidelines)
  8. Meet regularly with a supervisor who will provide support, feedback and mentoring.

High Risk MinistriesIt is required that all people in these ministries:

  1. Be known to the organization and a regular attender for at least 12 months or have a good reference from another parish before they are assigned to the ministry. (This may not be appropriate for paid employees.)
  2. Fill out an Application Form and provide a list of three references. (Appendix F, Application Form)
  3. Sign a release on the Application Form allowing for reference checks. The senior person responsible for the ministry will ensure the reference checks are completed. (Appendix J, Reference Check Questions)
  4. Receive a Ministry Description of the position. (Appendix B, Ministry Description Template, Appendix C, Sample Ministry Descriptions)
  5. Be interviewed by the senior person responsible for the ministry to discern suitability. The discussion should include a review of the ministry description, the norms of the faith community and expected behaviour and attitudes required for the position. (Appendix G, Interview Questions)
  6. Be trained for the ministry.
  7. Attend a Sexual Misconduct Policy training session at the beginning of the ministry and every three years thereafter. The person responsible for the ministry will ensure the person’s attendance is recorded and keep on file for an indefinite period of time. (Appendix H, Training Attendance Form)
  8. Receive a copy of the Guidelines appropriate for their type of ministry. (Appendix I, Ministry Guidelines)
  9. Document all one-on-one visits or meetings that occur with children or vulnerable adults. (Appendix K, One-on-One Record Form) All off-site activities involving children under the age of 16 shall require a parental consent form signed by parents or legal guardians. (Appendix L, Parental Consent Form)
  10. Meet regularly with a supervisor who will provide support, feedback and mentoring.
  11. Complete a current police record check through the approved background checking service at the beginning of the ministry and every three (3) years thereafter. (Appendix M, Police Records Check Process)

Establish Training and Supervision

Clear lines of supervision must be established for all ministry positions. All individuals ministering in positions of authority should have regularly scheduled meetings with a supervisor in order to discuss the ministry, ensure that their actions remain appropriate, and that participants are benefiting from the ministry. When an individual is in doubt about appropriate or inappropriate courses of action, or is in doubt about the vulnerability of a particular group or individual, or when he or she believes a boundary may have been crossed in the course of ministry, he or she must report the situation to the supervisor and seek advice on how to proceed. If the supervisory person is unable, unwilling or unavailable to assist, advice should be sought from another qualified individual. It is important that the supervisory or advisory person be identified in advance so that there is no question about whom to contact should it become necessary.

All individuals ministering in medium and high risk positions, because of their responsibilities for children or vulnerable adults, shall attend a Sexual Misconduct Policy training workshop at the beginning of their ministry and every three years, thereafter. The Diocese shall supply training resources to assist the parishes with this responsibility.

 

For the full list of resources available to help with the implementation of the Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith program, please see Forms and Resources.

© 2003 The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Toronto. The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Toronto willingly shares these resources with anyone who may find them helpful. However, no responsibility will be taken for how these resources are used, interpreted or applied.