Evaluate & enforce the screening standards
The screening process doesn’t stop when the individual is accepted for a ministry. Ongoing training, supervision and evaluation will be required. This policy is designed to help parishes and organizations implement a screening program appropriate to their context.
Compliance with policy
In accordance with a resolution adopted by Diocesan Council in 2003, compliance with this policy is mandatory. Minor changes may be made to the guidelines and policies as they develop.
The organizational leadership (bishop, churchwardens, director, incumbent, priest-in-charge) is responsible for making sure screening standards are implemented in the parish or organization. The incumbent or senior person of the organization must make sure the Screening Checklists are sent to the Diocesan Centre.
To monitor and support parish compliance, the Secretary of Synod will receive the annual returns from each of the churchwardens and the incumbent, which confirm 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 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 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. This may include but isn’t limited to enforcement of the Canons and diocesan policies, such as Canons 10, 22 and 24.
It’s 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 using a Screening Steps Worksheet.
Parishes and organizations are encouraged to communicate their screening program with their members and visitors. Check out the sample communication brochure: 10 Safe Steps.
From time to time, relationships between parishioners and their families may move from ministry to friendship. In many cases this should be celebrated, since an important role of the church is building communities of friendship that reveal Christ’s love. Unfortunately, sexual offenders also try to form relationships that serve their own purposes and harm the most vulnerable. It’s important to tell the incumbent and to be sensitive to responsible boundaries in any relationship of trust.