Safe Church, Safe Communities
Safe Church, Safe Communities
Our Safe Church, Safe Communities policies below demonstrate our commitment to creating a safe environment and outline the theology, terminology, expectations, and implementation steps for compliance. All clergy, employees, and volunteer leaders are required to receive these policies and complete the Policy & Code of Conduct Acknowledgment found at the end.
Church of Our Saviour and the Diocese of Chicago is committed to doing everything in its power to maintain a safe and supportive atmosphere for the children and adults who are members of its congregations, attend its programs or participate in its ministries. We require all who serve in our church to complete Safe Church, Safe Communities training, created by the Episcopal Church Task Force to Develop Model Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies and Safe Church Training.
Clergy, paid church staff, elected leaders, lay pastoral leaders, adults who work with children and youth, and others in lay leadership roles are required to take both the Universal Training and the Specialty Training modules. Key holders, youth who work with children, and youth who have leadership roles in the church are required to take the Universal Training. All training is through the Praesidium Academy Platform and renewed every three years. Training for Safe Church, Safe Communities, as well as any other diocesan and state required trainings at Church of Our Saviour are maintained by the Director of Operations in connection with the Vestry.
Introduction & Theological Background
Organizational Rules & Policies
Abuse & Neglect
Power & Relationships
If you see something, say something.
If you witness or suspect abuse occurring in your parish, report it to the rector or to the Diocesan Director of Ministries. Mandated reporters within Church of Our Saviour are required to report suspected or known abuse. The State of Illinois considers clergy and other professionals who work with children in the course of their duties to be mandated reporters.
In addition to reporting to the appropriate state authorities, church personnel are required to report any suspected or known abuse of children or youth directly to the rector, the program supervisor, the church wardens, or the Office of the Bishop. Phone calls, meetings, faxes, or notes –signed or unsigned-should be investigated in a manner and extent consistent with the spirit of these policies.
Church of Our Saviour will cooperate, to the fullest extent appropriate, with any investigation of sexual misconduct by state or federal authorities. The Diocese of Chicago will also direct a concurrent internal investigation.
Illinois Department of Children & Family Services’ anonymous abuse reporting hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)
In addition to completing Safe Church, Safe Communities Training, all clergy, paid employees, child and youth program volunteers, pastoral and eucharistic visitors, and participants in a handful of other ministries without exception undergo screening interviews and background checks. Church of Our Saviour's Director of Operations manages background checks for Church of Our Saviour in partnership with Sterling Volunteers, following diocesan policies.
State of Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Under Public Act 101-0221, Illinois employers are required to train employees on sexual harassment prevention on an annual basis. This requirement applies to all employers with employees working in this State. Church of Our Saviour staff utilizes the model training provided by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) to fulfill this requirement.
Church of Our Saviour and the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is committed to welcoming and protecting all people who participate in activities in our congregations and at events. Sexual misconduct on the part of any clergy person, employee or volunteer of any congregation, school, or diocesan-affiliated organization violates the mission of the church, is prohibited, and will not be tolerated.