The programs formerly known as “Safeguarding God’s People” and “Safeguarding God’s Children;” have undergone massive updates and changes at the request of General Convention. The newly titled, “Safe Church, Safe Communities” program contains a modernization of content and course offerings reflective of our needs today.
The new and improved training modules focus broadly on safe and healthy ways of being in a ministerial relationship. Content centers on subjects like healthy boundaries and power dynamics. In the past, clergy, staff, and people ministering with children and youth were primarily encouraged to complete training. Now, we encourage anyone in a leadership role to complete some of the modules. A list of diocesan required modules can be accessed on the Safe Church page of the EDOW website. Completion of all required training modules should be done within 3 months of beginning a ministry role.
The Safe Church, Safe Communities training modules are offered online through Praesidium Academy. This platform is easy to use and designed so that each parish oversees usage. A Manager is designated by parish leadership to add Learners (parish staff and volunteers) and monitor completion of required training. Learners may take courses when it is convenient without leaving home. All training is done online. In-person training is no longer offered in the diocese.
When we take the Safe Church, Safe Communities training, we commit to caring for one another. We commit to loving our neighbor as ourselves. We commit to following Jesus. Safe Church, Safe Communities seeks to promote right relationship. By committing to the training, we commit to one another. To learn more visit the Safe Church page on the EDOW website or contact Kathleen Hall or the Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell.
The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell
Missioner for Faith Formation and Development
Director of Human Resources and Administration
Kids at camp working together to form a circle of connection
In our Baptismal covenant, we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being. Safeguarding God’s Children, Safeguarding God’s People and Safeguarding Online were used for nearly two decades to train staff and volunteers how to create safe spaces and programs while recognizing signs of inappropriate behavior and abuse and responding appropriately. Following the 2017 General Convention, the Task Force to Develop Model Sexual Harrassment Policies and Safe Church Training worked diligently to lead a modernization of content and course offerings reflective of our needs today.
The updated resources are part of The Episcopal Church’s Safe Church, Safe Communities online learning program offered through Praesidium Academy. This platform is easy to use and designed so that each parish oversees usage. A Manager is designated by parish leadership to add Learners (parish staff and volunteers) and monitor completion of required training. Another benefit is that Learners may take courses when it is convenient without leaving home. For now, all training is done online.
If your parish hasn’t identified someone to be a Manager, please do so. Kathleen Hall will work with her/him/they to get started. The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell, Missioner for Faith Formation and Development, assumes leadership of Diocesan Safe Church training and resources for those working with children and youth this summer. Kathleen will work with those serving adults.
Parishes, Dioceses and The Episcopal Church are working together to keep this Baptismal promise. Bronwyn Skov, recently hired Safe Church Manager, will lead Safe Church, Safe Communities efforts nationally as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. An important next step is the release of new train-the-trainer materials and accompanying training. We anticipate this will happen in 2022 and will keep you posted on progress towards the resumption of in-person training. Check the Safe Church page on the EDOW website for updates.
Have questions? Contact Kathleen Hall, Director of Human Resources and Administration