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The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is committed to welcoming and protecting all people who participate in activities in our congregations and at events sponsored by the diocese. 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.

 

Required Training

Safe Church, Safe Communities (formerly called Keeping God’s People Safe)

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.

Updated policies and training requirements are currently being reviewed. When adopted, a formal training matrix will be provided. For now, the requirements below are strong suggestions:

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 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.

Universal Training

  • Introduction & Theological Background
  • Organizational Rules & Policies
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Inclusion

Specialty Training

  • Abuse & Neglect
  • Power & Relationships
  • Pastoral Relationships
  • Bullying

For further guidance determining what level of training and/or background investigation is required of yourself or someone ministering at your congregation, please contact Rebecca Elfring-Roberts.

 

Praesidium Academy Training Platform

In 2021, the Safe Church Training platform used by The Episcopal Church moved to Praesidium Academy. Please use the links below to access the new platform and contact Rebecca Elfring-Roberts with any questions.

For new users:

    1. Churches now have their own self-enroll registration codes. Please contact Rebecca Elfring-Roberts to receive your church’s code and a Quick Start Guide.
    2. Use this link to access Praesidium Academy: https://www.praesidiumacademy.com/learn

For existing users: 

    1. Visit Praesidium Academy: https://www.praesidiumacademy.com/learn
    2. Click on Forgot your password?
    3. Enter the email address associated with your previous Armatus/Praesidium Academy account.
    4. Click the blue Reset Password button.
    5. Check your email.
    6. Click the link inside of your email to set a new password for your Academy account

Reporting Abuse

If you see something, say something.

If you witness or suspect abuse occurring in your parish, report it to your rector or to the Diocesan Director of Ministries. If you are a mandated reporter, you must 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. Please refer to the state’s Manual for Mandated Reporters (revised August 2019) for those specific guidelines. Note: Clergy are required to complete the attached form and return it to the Bishop’s Office for their personnel file.

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/vicar, 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.

The Diocese of Chicago, including all churches/agencies, schools, and other institutions within this diocese, will cooperate, to the fullest extent appropriate, with any investigation of sexual misconduct by state or federal authorities. Authorities will also be informed by the Office of the Bishop that the Diocese of Chicago will 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)

Background Checks

In addition to completing Keeping God’s People Safe, 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. To conduct a background check, please contact Anna Stefaniak, Associate for Human Resources, via email with the name and email of the person who requires the background check. Please inform Anna as to whether they need a basic background check and/or a motor vehicle record check and/or a credit check.  To see if your ministry position requires a background check, please consult this table.

View the background check information and consent form in Word or PDF format. If you do not provide the email to Anna Stefaniak, you may have your applicant fill out this form and send directly to Anna Stefaniak.

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.

Employers must either develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), or they may use the model training provided by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). Please contact Anna Stefaniak with any questions.