EPARCHIAL SAFEGUARDING POLICY: COVENANT OF CARE, ELECTRONIC COMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY & ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT POLICY

by | Sep 30, 2020

EPARCHIAL SAFEGUARDING POLICY:

 COVENANT OF CARE,

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY &

ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT POLICY

Declared October 1, 2020
FEAST OF THE PROTECTION OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS
Ratified NOVEMBER 1, 2020 and Promulgated DECEMBER 9, 2020
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

by Most Reverend Bryan Bayda, CSsR
Eparchial Bishop,  Eparchy of Saskatoon


covenant-of-care-iconThis Eparchial Safeguarding Policy: Covenant of Care, Electronic Communication and Technology & Abuse and Misconduct Policy is a code of conduct which is designed to create safe and respectful church communities and healthy ministerial relationships, and to protect people from abuse and the harm that results.

In the Pastoral Letter of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC on “Safeguarding from Various Incidents of Violence towards Children, Handicapped, and Vulnerable People” (Oct 14, 2019), Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk writes:
 “With this synodal message, we affirm the desire of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church throughout the world to progress to the next stage of understanding, healing, and preventing all forms of violence against human dignity in the church environment and in the community at large, ‘working not for the sake of appearances, to please men, but as Christ’s servants, who fulfil the will of God from the heart.’ (Eph. 6:6) […] Let us make our parishes, monasteries, and seminaries places of shared responsibility and brotherhood, where bishops, priests, monastics, and lay people all grow together in faith, love, mercy, and service to one another. Let us follow the model of Jesus Christ, who ‘did not come to be served but to serve and give his life for the redemption for many.’ (Matthew 20:28) […] Dear brothers and sisters! Remember that any form of violence directed against human dignity disrespects the image of God and His likeness that are present in every person (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8). But worse in the eyes of God is the sin of His servants, who violate their oaths and scandalize the hearts of those who trusted them. These evil deeds require lasting and patient healing that is not possible without God’s grace, effective love, and mercy. Safeguarding from violence against children, minors and vulnerable persons, is the responsibility of every member of the Church – bishop, priest, consecrated person, layman and laywoman […] Let our church communities be places where everyone, especially the most vulnerable, can fully feel their human dignity and feel protected.

In an effort to build and maintain church communities where every person feels safe and knows their full human dignity, we affirm the need for the people of God at every level of the Church to make it their responsibility to build these communities.

Part I: The Covenant of Care is a code of conduct which is designed to create safe and respectful church communities and responsible, healthy ministerial relationships, and to protect people from abuse and the trauma that results.  In implementing this Covenant of Care the Eparchy strives to provide proactive protection for: 

  • minors and vulnerable adults, and
  • those who minister, including clergy, employees and church volunteers.

Part II: The Electronic Communication and Technology Policy is a guide to the safer utilization of technology and the communication opportunities it affords to bring the message of the gospel.  Technology does not replace the need for person to person interaction but assists us in our ability to communicate.  It is not without challenges.  It is hoped that this Policy will help to mitigate those challenges to make our online environment safer.  In this regard the Policy and Code of Conduct contained therein, must be adhered to by all who utilize this form of communication in ministry in positions of trust as defined in the Eparchial Safeguarding Policy Implementation Procedure.

Part III: The Abuse and Misconduct Policy is designed to ensure that allegations of physical and sexual abuse and other misconduct are handled responsibly, transparently and with all due care and attention. 

Together these three parts form the Eparchial Safeguarding Policy, the present version of which is dated October 1, 2020, provides authoritative directives for all who minister within and on behalf of the Eparchy. This current document revokes and supersedes any previous policies and procedures regarding these matters.

To speak to someone about a concern related to the Eparchial Safeguarding Policy: Covenant of Care, Electronic Communication and Technology & Abuse and Misconduct Policy, please contact:
Deborah Larmour, Eparchial Coordinator of Care
Tel.: 306-653-0138 ext. 228; Cell: 306-222-1475;
E-mail: covenantofcare@skeparchy.org.

Covenant of Care/Safeguarding 2020 Training Information  

Covenant of Care Training Registration Forms

Covenant of Care/Safeguarding 2020 Training Announcement & FAQ

ANNOUNCING:

Covenant of Care/Safeguarding 2020 Training Update

Send your completed training Registration Form

 to Deborah Larmour at: covenantofcare@skeparchy.org

 

See FAQ (below) if you are unsure about whether you need to be trained, what type of training it is and how it can be accomplished.

Who needs to complete safeguarding training?

All persons including clergy, religious, staff or volunteers who work in Eparchial ministries organizations, or affiliated organizations or parishes/parish organizations, who are in positions of trust.  The Safeguarding policy p. 8-9 (https://www.skeparchy.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Eparchial-Safeguarding-Policy-Final-Version-06-October-01-2020.pdf) defines positions of trust as follows:

A ‘trust’ position will include those:

  • working in an unsupervised setting where ministry, food, transportation or other necessities could be provided to minors and/or vulnerable adults,
  • having access to confidential information, and/or
  • being entrusted with control of keys, church property and money.

Trust positions also include, but are not limited to, Children’s or Youth Ministry (including all camps, volunteer driving, Altar Server or Children of Mary Programs, Children’s/Youth Choirs, Catechism and Sacramental Prep), and Eucharistic/Pastoral Care Ministry to the sick and shut ins.

What if I have already completed Covenant of Care Training previously?

If you are still involved in the same work or same type of work, in a position of ‘trust’ then you will need to complete this updated Covenant of Care training to retain your Covenant of Care certification status.  This new training reflects changes to our Covenant of Care and provides valuable information on Child Sexual Abuse and the new Electronic Communication and Technology Policy. 

How do I know if I need to have training in anything beyond the basic Covenant of Care?

You will need to take the Electronic Communication and Technology Policy Training if you use any type of electronic communication such as text, emails or other forms of social media in the course of your work or volunteer activity for the parish, eparchy or affiliate organization. 

If you are a pastor, administrator, staff, Parish/District Coordinator of Care or supervisor of staff or volunteers you should also register for training in Safeguarding Policy Implementation and Receiving Reports.

What is the process for training?

Once you have sent in your registration form, you will receive links to take the required training online.  Those links will be available to you for 30 days before they expire.  Once they expire you may email Deborah Larmour for new links, as necessary, up to two times. When the training has been completed you will be required to complete quizzes for each of the training videos which have been taken.  Completed quizzes are to be sent back Deborah Larmour at covenantofcare@skeparchy.org for correction and feedback.  The quizzes are not difficult and can be retaken if necessary to achieve an 85-90% grade.  It is meant to be part of the educational process rather than to assess one’s ability to retain information.  Thus, videos may be re-watched, or the policy may be consulted in answering questions.

It is recommended that persons doing the training have a copy of the policy to follow along with during the training:

https://www.skeparchy.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Eparchial-Safeguarding-Policy-Final-Version-06-October-01-2020.pdf

Once quizzes are successfully complete a certification of training will be sent to the applicant and will be placed in either their Eparchial file or sent to their supervisor or Parish. 

What if I decline to be trained?

What if I decline to be trained?

Those who are or want to serve in a trust position, must sign a Covenant of Care Form, Appendix C.  For that to be valid the person must take all required training updates.  If one is not Covenant of Care Certified, then they are definitively prohibited from serving in a trust capacity. 

When must training be complete?

All persons in trust positions must update their Safeguarding Policy/Covenant of Care Training 2020 by November 30, 2021.

Why is safeguarding training important?

Compliance with safeguarding measures undertaken by most businesses and organizations who serve the vulnerable.  Our policy requires very standard compliance with safety measures to protect the vulnerable in our midst as well as those who serve the vulnerable.  This initiative is also required by the Church from the Vatican, the Patriarch, the CCCB and other Bishop Conferences worldwide. 

In order to comply with these standards of care we need to know what they are and why they are important—thus we need training. 

What if I do not have the ability to complete this new online training?

Not a problem, arrangements can be made for group or in person training.  Feel free to contact your Parish Priest or supervisor/leader of your organization for more information.  Or contact Deborah Larmour at covenantofcare@skeparchy.org

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