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Safe Church
altar, St Lukes
gmcdavid

Last Wednesday I spend the evening at church, being trained in Safe Church practises. Safe Church is a program developed by the Episcopal Church to protect children from sexual predators, including but not limited to clergy and other staff. The training videos included interviews with both victims and abusers. This was difficult to watch and gave me some nightmares. However, it seems like an excellent program. The children in a church or other organization that consistently follows these policies will be a much more difficult target for a predator. One person in the class had been the victim of such abuse and said that the training was very accurate.

The rules are spelled out at length in Safe Guarding God's Children/Safe Guarding Gold's People. Some of the key points:

  • Screening for anyone who deals with children or youth, including:

    1. Criminal records check
    2. Sex offender registry check
    3. Interview
    4. Reference checks
    5. Check Drivers License, insurance, and motor vehicle records for anybody who will be transporting children or youth by car

  • Guidelines for Appropriate Affection with Children and Youth

  • "Church Personnel are discouraged from being alone with a child or youth or multiple children or youth where other adults cannot easily observe them."

  • "All of our [St. Mary's] classrooms, choir spaces, and offices have doors with glass windows."

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