Safe Church

The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa requires that all clergy, staff, and volunteers who come in contact with vulnerable people be screened in a manner appropriate to the ministry or job undertaken. This Safe Church Policy applies to all parishes and ministries of the Diocese of Ottawa.

Our aim is a completely safe environment for children, seniors and others who are physically, emotionally or spiritually vulnerable. We must ensure that the people we place in positions of power and trust are carefully selected, then trained and supported in their ministry, so that both may flourish.

We also seek safety for all those who are ministering in our Church. Clergy, staff and volunteers serve in situations where misconduct, harassment or other abuse may occur. To protect them, we recommend measures that help make our churches safe places.

We desire that our Church be a clear symbol of the Kingdom of God; a safe and holy place for all.

What is screening?

Screening involves assessing the risks involved in a particular position or ministry; finding an appropriate match between task and volunteer, or candidate for a job; providing sensitization and training, and sometimes altering the setting and arrangement of ministry delivery to minimize risks and maximize the ministry’s success.

Screening is not only the right thing to do but it is required under the legal “duty of care” concept, which guides judges and lawyers as they assess negligence. The duty of care is most obvious where a relationship of dependence exists, either through age or authority difference.

Resources

The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa has information pamphlets, worksheets and other Screening in Faith guidance documents.

The following resources are created to assist parish leaders, Diocesan ministries, and working groups in their effort to ensure staff and volunteers are properly screened and their buildings are safe.