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Safe Church

Jesus Christ calls us to loving relationships that are healthy and helpful to each other, not taking advantage of those who are weaker or putting people in situations that are inappropriate for their age or maturity.  All persons involved in ministry, whether receiving or giving care, deserve to be treated as Jesus Christ would treat them, with love, respect, kindness.

We are to seek God’s purposes for one another and not our own selfish purposes. All participants in ministry (all men and women, children, youth, adults, helpers, Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, adult supervisors, the poor, those of diverse cultural backgrounds, etc.) deserve to be in a safe environment; which includes, but is not limited to, an environment that is free from harassment, abuse, and misconduct.

The Bishop and  The Episcopal Church in Colorado are committed to creating such environments and have designed policies to reflect that commitment. Our Safe Church program comprises Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People workshops, as well as model policies for ministries with children and youth, which can be adapted by each congregation. Click on the links at the bottom of this page to view information about each area within our Safe Church policies.

Registration for both Online and In-Person Workshops

Registration is for certification either through the online modules offered by the Church Pension Group through Praesidium or for one of the Face-to-Face Workshops offered below.

Online Workshops

Safeguarding Online is a program introduced by Church Pension Group and Praesidium. Those taking Safeguarding God’s Children for the first time are strongly encouraged to do so through the workshop format rather than online. But if a face-to-face workshop is NOT an option for you, you may get your certification online, but you will also be required to complete a brief evaluation in discussion with your priest or ministry supervisor. This additional step provides an opportunity for the online participant to discuss the material, and particularly any pastoral issues or concerns it may have raised for you.

Safeguarding God’s Children Online includes  several course modules that depend on a user’s ministry. Please allow between 30-40 minutes for each module.  Modules may be taken independently of each other at any time, but a module cannot be stopped and re-started later. If users log out in the middle of a  module, they will have to start over at the beginning when they log-in again.

Registration for Online Workshops
Participation in Safeguarding Online requires a user login and password, provided by the Safeguarding administrator. To obtain this information, please register using the link below and indicate which area of ministry you are serving at your church. You will receive a follow-up email within a week with your user information and additional documents to help you navigate the online system. The online system will notify the Safeguarding administrator when a participant completes the course, and the administrator will email a certificate of completion to the participant.  Register Now >

To print out a copy of the evaluation form required for those new to Safeguarding God’s Children, please click here.

Face-to-Face Workshops

The Office for Faith Formation helps to coordinate and publicize workshops in Safeguarding God’s Children around The Episcopal Church in Colorado.  All Safeguarding God’s Children workshops are open to all the people of the diocese and are free of charge.  The workshop takes approximately 3 ½ hours to complete and is typically hosted by a congregation.  Workshops are facilitated by two certified workshop leaders, who walk participants through two DVD presentations, and promote face to face interaction and discussion of the material.  It is highly recommended that those taking Safeguarding God’s Children for the first time do so in a workshop format.

Upcoming Workshops
Safeguarding God’s Children, July 8, 9:00am-12:00pm, at St. Brigit Episcopal Church, 110 Johnson Street, Frederick, CO. Register Now >
Required for Workshop Participation:   Safeguarding God’s Children Workshop Participant Materials

Workshop Curriculum

Safeguarding God’s Children
Safeguarding God’s Children is a training resource for those who minister to, for, and with children and youth, in recognizing and responding to child sexual abuse, and in creating safe space in the prevention of child sexual abuse.  Certification in this training is required every four years for all clergy, paid staff, and regular church workers (those who work with children and/or youth five or more times per year).  This training is accessible in two formats – a face-to-face workshop and online.

Safeguarding God’s People
Safeguarding God’s People is composed of two sections – Preventing Sexual Exploitation,  required for licensed lay leaders and appropriate for all those who minister with adults; and Preventing Sexual Harassment, which is most applicable and required for clergy, employers, and employees. Recertification of this course is required every four years for those who continue in their ministry.  Safeguarding God’s People is only offered through Safeguarding Online training.

Resources

Background Checks

Parish Policies for Ministries with Children and Youth

More information is also available on the Diocesan Policies for Ministry page of the web site.

Workshop Materials & Highly Recommended Reading
Participation in a Safeguarding God’s Children workshop is greatly facilitated by utilizing participant materials.  Below you will find links to these materials, as well as additional resources for workshop participants.  These materials are for reference.

–          10 Things you can do now to Prevent Child Abuse

–          Reading materials and Resources for Parents

–          Guidelines for Appropriate Affection in Ministry with Children or Youth (Appendix A of Diocesan Policies)

–          Colorado State Statues regarding Child Abuse

–          Children’s Charter of the Episcopal Church

–          Contact Information for the Division of Child Welfare Services

–          Using Trak-1 (background check information)

–          Using Secure Search (background check information)

Policy and Procedure Material

–          Policies for Parish Ministries with Children and Youth

–          Policies for Parish Ministries with Children and Youth – Spanish

–          Supplemental Material and Forms – Policies for Parish Ministries with Children and Youth