Evaluate and Enforce the Screening Standards
The screening process does not stop when the individual is accepted for a ministry. Ongoing training, supervision and evaluation will be required. This policy is designed to assist parishes and organizations to implement a screening program appropriate to their context.
Compliance With Policy
In accordance with a resolution adopted by the January 16, 2003 meeting of the Diocesan Council, compliance with this policy is mandatory. Minor changes may be made to the guidelines and policies as they develop.
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 Incumbent or senior person of the organization shall ensure the Screening Checklists are sent into the Diocesan Centre.
In order to monitor and support parish compliance the Diocesan Secretary of Synod will receive the annual returns from each of the Churchwardens and the Incumbent, which confirms that the parish has met the following compliance indicators:
- All ministry activities of the congregation are listed and assessed for risk (high, medium, or low).
- All individuals in medium and high risk positions have attended Sexual Misconduct Policy training at the beginning of the ministry and every three (3) years thereafter.
- All individuals in a high risk position have completed a Police Record Check, using the Diocesan approved process, at the beginning of the ministry and every three (3) years thereafter.
- The congregation, to the best of your knowledge, is fully compliant with the standards and procedures of the Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith policy.
If a parish fails to carry out its ministry in compliance with the Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith policy, the College of Bishops and Diocesan Council will take all necessary steps to ensure compliance, which may include, but is not limited to, enforcement of the Canons and Diocesan policies such as Canons 10, 22, and 24.
It is strongly recommended that each parish or organization create the position of Parish Volunteer Manager to oversee the implementation of this policy and the consistent application of the screening standards. (Appendix C, Sample Ministry Descriptions) 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.
Parishes and organizations are encouraged to communicate with their members and visitors their screening program. There is a sample communication brochure available for this purpose. (10 Safe Steps)
From time to time, relationships between parishioners and their families may move from ministry to friendship. In many cases this is to be celebrated, since an important role of the church is building communities of friendship that reveal Christ’s love. Unfortunately, sexual offenders also attempt to form relationships that serve their own purposes and harm the most vulnerable. It is important to inform the Incumbent and to be sensitive to responsible boundaries in any relationship of trust.
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.