Responsible Ministry Policy
Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador

Introduction

Reasons for the Policy

  • Prevention of abuse of children/youth/vulnerable adults. Prevention includes having good processes in place in order to prevent opportunities for abuse, neglect and harm from arising.
  • Protection of all the vulnerable in our midst.  The protection of all children, youth and vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Training and support for our clergy, staff and volunteers.
  • Reporting of all incidents of abuse, neglect and harm.  Such incidents, wherever and whenever they are encountered, will be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities.
  • Protection of clergy, staff and volunteers against false allegations of wrongdoing.

The Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador has a separate policy which sets out the procedure for responding to allegations of sexual misconduct.  The Bishop has named his delegate regarding matters of sexual misconduct and he/she must be contacted immediately upon receiving any allegations of sexual misconduct.  The Bishop’s delegate can be reached at the diocesan phone line that is dedicated strictly for these matters (709) 639-6461.

Communicating the Responsible Ministry Policy

This policy and its procedures must be clearly communicated to all clergy, staff and volunteers.  An effort must also be made to ensure all parishioners of the diocese are made aware of its existence.

Definitions

  • Child: a person who is under 16 years of age.
  • Diocesan Responsible Ministry Committee: A group of persons responsible for ensuring the implementation and on-going supervision of this policy within the diocese.
  • Event: Occasional or one-time events run by a parish community.  Examples: a yearly concert, tea or picnic.
  • General Member: a person who participates regularly in a group which has a defined purpose, but the member does not assume any position of leader/trained volunteer or responsibility for the vulnerable, e.g. a member of the church choir, parish men’s/women’s group. (Does not need to sign a Covenant of Care.)
  • Leader: a person of at least 19 years of age who has completed the screening process and who has gone through a time of orientation and training, in order to hold a leader/trained volunteer position.  Examples include: catechism teacher, youth leader/trained volunteer, pastoral care visitor, leader/trained volunteer of a group for developmentally challenged adults, paid staff, and other professional church staff.

  • Parish Responsible Ministry Committee: Two or more lay parishioners, working collaboratively with the Priest or the Director of Parish Life, to ensure that this policy is implemented and adhered to within the parish.
  • Program (ministry): a structured series of similar activities or events governed and run by the parish which spans a period of weeks or months and in which the level of risk is expected to remain constant.  Example: weekly catechism classes;  pastoral visitation at a hospital or nursing home, home visitation; weekly youth meetings; operation of a nursery or day care.
  • Risk Assessment: the process by which programs are rated according to risk factors.  High risk ministries require special attention.
  • Trained Volunteer: a lay person of at least 19 years of age who has gone through a screening and orientation process and assists a leader/trained volunteer in the delivery of a program.
  • Vulnerable Adult: a person who, because of his/her age, a disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent is in a position of dependence on others or is otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a person or persons in positions of authority or trust relative to him/her.
  • Volunteer Helper: someone who is not a trained volunteer but who offers assistance under the supervision of a leader/trained volunteer. (Like a General Member, does not need to sign a Covenant of Care.)
  • Youth: a person who is 16 years of age, but is under the age of majority which in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is 19 years of age. Note: It is common practice in many organizations to use volunteer helpers who are between the ages of 12 and 19.  Youthful leadership is to be encouraged and supported.  However, it should be noted that when leader/trained volunteers are mentioned in this policy, we are referring to people of at least 19 years of age.

 

Part I:  Preparation

Establish a Responsible Ministry Committee at the Diocesan Level and a Responsible Ministry Committee for each Parish

Our diocese has appointed an advisory team that will have overall responsibility for putting the Responsible Ministry Policy into action and for making sure that all parishes and other entities in the diocese know about the policy and follow the implementation steps with integrity and consistency.  Likewise, each parish will appoint a Responsible Ministry Committee to ensure the policy is properly implemented at the parish level.

Evaluate Risk Factors and Reduce Risk

In many aspects of life, it is necessary to assess risk and work to reduce it.  This also applies in our parishes; it is necessary to review all of the parish’s staff and volunteer positions and evaluate the risk for each.  We have to manage the risk carefully.

The Parish Responsible Ministry Committee will determine how much risk there is in the current programs and reduce the risk where possible.  Likewise each volunteer position requires an assessment using the Risk Assessment Guide. A further Risk Assessment will be required whenever there is a change in the program, structure or location.

Should a leader/trained volunteer decide to introduce a new element into a program, he/she must determine the risk for that specific change and submit the risk assessment in writing to the Committee for review prior to implementing the change.

The same procedure should also be followed for any special event undertaken in the parish.

The completed risk assessments must be dated, signed and filed in a locked metal file cabinet.

Risk Assessment Guide (see Appendix 1)

If any of the categories are checked as “Yes; true” it is imperative that the parish work to reduce this risk where possible.

How to Reduce Risk by Modifying Programs

Sometimes for the sake of the effectiveness of the program, it is not feasible to eliminate risks, but in other cases, risks can be lowered without jeopardizing the effect of the program by:

  • Transferring the Liability- You may choose to have a service or program offered by someone with professional expertise that would have their own insurance in place.
  • Modifying the Program or Event- You may make changes as to how the activity is carried out.

Write or Adapt Position Descriptions

All volunteers and employees are required to have position descriptions.   Samples of most parish volunteer and employee positions are available from the Diocesan Office.  These templates may need to be adapted so they accurately reflect positions within the parish

The positions listed in Appendix 2 have been classified according to degree of risk.  Position descriptions are vitally important.  They communicate to everyone, whether paid or unpaid, what is expected of them, what skills or experience may be needed, how the organization will provide orientation and training for the task, and what support they can expect.

Requirements for Reducing Risk:

  • Always follow a two-person policy for any program involving children/youth and vulnerable adults, having at least two unrelated leader/trained volunteers present.
  • Always require two trained volunteers/staff to transport children/youth/vulnerable adults in a church vehicle or in a volunteer’s vehicle.
  • Always visit frail seniors in a nursing home, hospital or personal residence with a partner.  Both volunteers must have a Police Records Check and a Vulnerable Sector Check.
  • Where the two-person policy cannot be used, require that one-to-one contacts between a trained volunteer/staff and child/youth/vulnerable adult take place in a public area where both people can be seen by others.
  • Have a window in the door of each room or always leave the room door open.
  • All leaders/trained volunteers working with children/youth/vulnerable adults must wear name tags.
  • Parent/guardian/caregiver contact information must be carefully maintained.
  • Appropriate steps must be put in place to ensure children less than ten years of age are picked up by an authorized parent/guardian/caregiver.
  • No child should be dropped off without a leader/trained volunteer present.
  • No parent or adult may enter a program area without permission.
  • No in-home activities (including catechism instruction) are permitted for children/youth/vulnerable adults.
  • Except for Liturgy of the Word for Children, at the beginning of each youth group meeting or catechetical session with children/youth/vulnerable adults, attendance, including the leader/trained volunteers’ names, must be recorded and the attendance book or sheets must be kept and stored.  Those records must be sent to the diocese for permanent storage by the end of June of each year.
  • For the Sunday Liturgy of the Word for Children, a record of the number of children in attendance, along with date and the names of leader/trained volunteers and adults present shall be kept. Those records must be sent to the diocese for permanent storage by the end of June of each year

Community Groups Using Church Facilities

Hosting community groups (like Scouts, AA and so on) is part of the outreach and hospitality plan of many parishes. These groups assume the parish is a safe place to conduct their programs. As the host, your parish must ask the group to provide a Certificate of Insurance from their insurance broker confirming their coverage even for one-time uses.  There are some groups, such as AA, who may not be able to provide a Certificate of Insurance, but such groups may use our facilities as long as they have signed a rental agreement and clearly understand the terms of usage.

All groups must sign a rental agreement. A template for such a document is available from the Diocesan Office.

Covenant of Care Form

All leaders and trained volunteers must sign a Covenant of Care form.  The Covenant of Care makes clear the expectations of behavior (see Appendix 4).

Safety and Prevention Issues – Appendix 5:

  • Facilities

A facilities checklist is provided in Appendix 5 to assist the parish in ensuring they have a safe environment for conducting programs and ministries.

  • Fire Procedures

Consult with your regional fire prevention agents for safety standards and practices.  Post a fire escape map in each room and ensure that fire extinguishers are properly placed and regularly inspected.  Inform every one of escape routes.  An evacuation plan must be clearly defined.  Practice the escape drill once a year or as often as directed by your local fire marshal.  Prepare a list of individuals who may need assistance in the event of an emergency.

  • Transportation

A leader/trained volunteer who drives children/youth/vulnerable adults must have a valid driver’s license and valid insurance and one seatbelt and/or car seat per person in the vehicle.  Regardless of whether using a church or volunteer/staff member’s vehicle, the two-person policy must be followed.

  • Leader/trained volunteer and Participant Ratios

The activity and age of children/youth/vulnerable adults affects the ratio of children/youth/vulnerable adults to leader/trained volunteer.  The management of the program, as well as concern for safety, care and social interaction, are some of the factors to take into account when establishing adequate ratios. If there are not enough leaders/trained volunteers, the program or activity must not be held.  (Volunteer helpers who work under the supervision of a trained volunteer are welcome additions, but are not included in the ratio.)

  • Ratios of Children/Youth/Vulnerable Adults to Leader/Trained Volunteers

Two unrelated leaders/trained volunteers are required to be present for any program involving children/youth/ vulnerable adults.  While the rule of having two trained adults at all times in a group is mandatory, there may be emergency situations when only one leader/trained volunteer is present.  The orientation session held at the beginning of the year must outline steps to be taken when one leader/trained volunteer finds himself/herself alone.

Here are the required ratios of leaders and trained volunteers to children/youth/vulnerable adults in a regular program:

0 – 8 months                             2 adults to 6 children
18 months – 2 years               2 adults to 10 children
Ages 2 –5                                    2 adults to 12 children
Ages 5 – 18                                2 adults to 15 children
Vulnerable adults                   2 adults to 10 vulnerable adults
  • Day Excursions and Overnight Outings

Here are the required ratios of leaders/trained volunteers to children/youth/vulnerable adults on day excursions and overnight outings:

Age

Day excursions

Overnight excursions/activities

 

5 or under

 

2 adults per group of 10

 

Not permitted

Ages 6 –8

2 adults per group of 12

Not permitted

Ages 9 –10

2 adults for every 15 children

2 adults for every 10 children

Ages 10 – 14

2 adults for every 15 children

2 adults for every 10 children

Ages 15 – 18

2 adults for every 15 youth

2 adults for every 10 youth

Vulnerable adults

2 adults per 10 vulnerable adults

2 adults per 10 vulnerable adults

  • Off-site Activities and Overnight Events

Special precautions must be taken for off-site activities and overnight events.  It is a requirement that an Activity Program Waiver and Medical Release form (see Appendix 6) be obtained from each participant.  The following guidelines must also be observed:

  • Daytime Excursions

  • A leader/trained volunteer must assess the risk of the activity and submit that assessment in writing to the Parish Responsible Ministry Committee for approval prior to the activity.
  • Parents/guardians/caregivers must be notified prior to the outing.
  • An Activity Program Waiver and Medical Release Form (Appendix 6) is required for each child/youth/vulnerable adult participating in activities/events.
  • At least one leader/trained volunteer must have a cell phone and the phone numbers of where the parents of the children/youth/vulnerable adults can be contacted during the excursion.  The leader/trained volunteer must have a copy of the completed consent forms with him/her.
  • All day excursions must be supervised by leaders/trained volunteers as per the table on page 5. Additional support workers might be necessary to accompany vulnerable adults.
  • With the exception of a parent or guardian, no adult should be alone with a single child/youth/vulnerable adult.
  • If a day excursion includes a trip to a swimming pool, or lake all municipal/provincial/federal regulations regarding safety and supervision must be observed.
  • When transportation of children/youth/vulnerable adults is needed for an activity, all drivers must have a valid driver’s license, valid automobile insurance and must be trained volunteers or paid staff.  The number of persons per vehicle must never exceed the number of seat belts or car seats.
  • At least one leader/trained volunteer must have First Aid training.

 

  • Overnight Activities/Events

Follow all requirements listed in daytime excursions above plus the following:

  • Each child/youth/vulnerable adult is required to follow pre-established codes of conduct signed by the parent/guardian/caregiver and the child/youth/vulnerable adult.
  • If the group is comprised of children/youth/vulnerable adults of both genders, leader/trained volunteers of both genders must be present.
  • Leaders/trained volunteers shall have an assigned group of children/youth/vulnerable adults for whom they will be responsible during the overnight event.
  • Aside for a parent or guardian, no adult shall be alone with a single child/youth/vulnerable adult.
  • If an overnight excursion includes a trip to a swimming pool or lake, all municipal/provincial/federal regulations regarding safety and supervision must be observed.
  • All facilities in which an overnight function is housed must be equipped with smoke detectors and inside release doors.  All members of the group must be made aware of fire exits and fire procedures as required by provincial/regional standards.
  • At least one leader/trained volunteer must have First Aid training.

  • Billeting Youth in Private Homes

Billeting reduces costs and allows youth to meet new people.  Here are some things to keep in mind when billeting youth:

  • Children under 14 years of age are not to be billeted.
  • Children shall be billeted in pairs.
  • The people offering billeting must be known, trusted parishioners and must have a Police Records Check, including a Vulnerable Sector Check
  • The contact information (telephone number, address) of the individual with whom the youth will be billeted must be obtained by the group leader/trained volunteer.

 

  • Physical Contact

It is essential to be careful regarding behavior, language and physical contact when working with children/youth/vulnerable adults:

  • Do not show favoritism when dealing with children/youth/vulnerable adults.  Show a similar level of affection and kindness to all.
  • Do not engage in or allow the telling of sexual jokes or behave in a way that promotes sexual exploitation of others.
  • Provide clearly stated consequences for inappropriate behavior.  Stop inappropriate behavior early.  Be fair, consistent and reasonable, matching consequences to the age and ability of the child/youth/vulnerable adult.
  • Do not use corporal punishment such as hitting, spanking or strapping.

 

  • Appropriate and Inappropriate Touching

A touch can convey a multitude of positive messages and communicate care, comfort and love; however, it is important to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate touching.  It is also important to be aware of, and sensitive to, differences in interpretation to touching based on sex, culture or personal experience.  Some examples of appropriate touch:

  • Holding or rocking an infant who is crying
  • Affirming a participant with a pat on the hand, shoulder or back
  • Bending down to the child’s eye level and placing a hand gently on the child’s hand or forearm
  • Putting your arm around the shoulder of a person who needs comfort
  • Taking a child’s hand and leading him/her to an activity
  • Holding hands for safety when changing locations
  • Shaking a person’s hand in greeting
  • Holding a child gently by the hand or shoulder to keep his/her attention as you redirect behavior
  • Anointing a person with oil on the head
  • Holding hands in a circle prayer or song
  • Providing comfort with a wet, warm cloth.

Some examples of inappropriate touch:

  • Kissing a child/youth/vulnerable adult or coaxing them into kissing you
  • Extended cuddling
  • Tickling
  • Piggy – back rides
  • Having others sit on your lap
  • Touching anyone in any area covered by a bathing suit (except changing infant’s diapers)
  • Hand holding, except for the examples listed above
  • Stroking a child/youth’s hair
  • Hugging, where an adult knows or ought to have known that hugging is inappropriate.

 

  • Dealing with a Participant’s Inappropriate Behavior

The best approach to dealing with inappropriate behavior is thoughtful prevention. Well-prepared sessions, clear statements of expectations and an engaging program are all means of avoiding and reducing inappropriate behavior. If, however, a child/youth/vulnerable adult’s behavior is unacceptable, these practices must be followed:

  • Tell or remind the child/youth/vulnerable adult what is expected.
  • If it is necessary to speak to a child/youth/vulnerable adult in private, move to a quiet place in view of others.  Seek supervisory help if needed.
  • Keep children/youth/vulnerable adults from harming themselves or others.
  • If necessary, engage another adult to help you remove the child/youth/vulnerable adult from the situation to calm down.
  • Discipline with children and youth must be limited to talking and time out.  Correction of a vulnerable adult must be limited to talking to the person or his/her guardian/caregiver.
  • Provide a ‘time-out’ space for younger children on one side of the room until they are ready to rejoin the group.  The ‘time-out’ should be no longer than one minute for each year of the child’s age.
  • Inform the parents/guardians of the problem and work co-operatively with them.  They may have good ideas of how to deal with particular situations.
Do not use corporal punishment (such as hitting, spanking or strapping)
under any circumstances.

  • Washroom procedures

Every group providing a program/ministry for children/youth/vulnerable adults must determine the washroom procedure that will be followed in that program/ministry at the time of determining the risk.  This is particularly critical with pre-school children and some vulnerable adults who must have help to use the washroom.  Here are guidelines:

  • Ask parents of pre-school children to take their child to the washroom before class.
  • Children fewer than 6 who need to go to the washroom should be accompanied by a leader/trained volunteer who escorts the child to the washroom and checks the bathroom for safety.  Aside from a parent or guardian, no one is ever to be in a closed washroom or cubicle with a child.  The leader/trained volunteer who accompanies the child should be positioned in plain view.
  • If there is an emergency bathroom situation, the parent or supervisor should be notified immediately.
  • Vulnerable adults may need special bathroom aids: assists bars, and so on. 
  • Health

While parishes cannot always avoid having ill children/youth/vulnerable adults in their programs, several measures can be taken to promote good health and reduce infection.

  • Allergies- When a child/youth/vulnerable adult registers for a program, inquire about allergies.  Post this information so that it will not be overlooked.  If your program serves meals or snacks, post the menu so the parent/caretaker can see it.  Avoid foods identified as serious allergens such as peanut butter, chocolate and nuts of any kind.  Popcorn can be dangerous for young children.
  • Injury- If a participant is injured while participating in a program or activity, the leader/trained volunteer must arrange to get medical attention.  If necessary, call 9-1-1 or emergency services.  If the child/youth/vulnerable adult is bleeding, the teacher/leader/trained volunteer should protect himself/herself and all others from the blood.  For all injuries, even if the person does not need medical attention, a leader/trained volunteer must complete a general incident report (see Appendix 7) and report the incident to the injured person’s parent/guardian/caregiver.  General incident reports should be stored in a locked metal cabinet.
  • Infectious diseases- Leader/trained volunteers must ask parents/guardians to not let their children/youth/vulnerable adult attend parish programs if they have symptoms and diseases which are known to be infectious, such as: diarrhea, vomiting, fever, rash, open sores, skin or eye infection, scarlet fever, measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, head lice, etc..

 

Checklist for Part I

Task

Date

Who is responsible

Has a presentation been made to the parish leader/trained volunteer?

 

 

Has a Parish Responsible Ministry Committee been appointed?

 

 

Has the Committee listed all the programs currently offered in the parish?

 

 

Has the Committee written or adapted position descriptions?

 

 

Has risk been assessed for each program?

 

 

Have steps been taken to reduce risk where possible?

 

 

Have facilities been inspected and adapted/changed if necessary?

 

 

Has a Covenant of Care form been signed by all volunteers?

 

 


Part II:  Working with Leader/trained volunteers/Volunteers and Staff

Required Documentation for All Leader/trained volunteers/Volunteers

The documentation required for persons in various ministries is dependent upon the level of risk associated with each ministry.

To determine the level of risk for various ministries consult Appendix 2.

  • Low Risk: ministry that does not involve interaction with children/youth/vulnerable adults or allow access to the physical/monetary assets of the parish.

    Required documentation is:

  • Covenant of Care Appendix 4
  • Application Form Part 1 Appendix 8

  • High Risk: ministry that allows access to the physical/monetary assets of the parish, but does not involve interaction with children/youth/vulnerable adults.

Required documentation is:

  • Covenant of Care Appendix 4
  • Application Form Parts 1 and 2 Appendix 8
  • Reference Checks (2) Appendix 9
  • Police Record Check

 

  • High Risk with Children/Youth/Vulnerable Adults: ministry that involves interaction with children/youth/vulnerable adults

Required documentation is:

  • Covenant of Care Appendix 4
  • Application Form Parts 1 and 2 Appendix 8
  • Reference Checks (2) Appendix 9
  • Police Record Check
  • Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Staff: paid employees of the parish/diocese

Required documentation is:

  • Covenant of Care Appendix 4
  • Police Record Check
  • Vulnerable Sector Check

Volunteer Screening and Police Record Checks (PRC)

Screening is a process performed by a parish to ensure that the right match is made between the work to be done and the person who will do it.  The screening process includes the following: position description, recruitment, completion of the application process including, where required, reference checks and police checks.

  • Reference Checks – For high risk ministries, two reference checks are required (Appendix 9).  These references, like the police checks, help to ensure the suitability of the applicant for the particular ministry. Reference checks for paid staff are part of the normal hiring process and a record should be kept on file in the parish.
  • Police Records Check (PRC) - PRCs have become a standard and accepted part of institutional and organizational procedures for those working with children/youth/vulnerable persons in schools, hospitals, communities, and religious groups.  Each organization generally requires an individual to obtain a PRC when applying to volunteer.  PRCs are not normally transferred from one organization to another.

A PRC is a criminal records check, as well as a search of the records in a national database.  The PRC can reveal if an individual has been investigated for an incident or incidents.  This may or may not be revealed by the police.  For instance, an adult may have been investigated many times but never charged because parents do not want their child to go through a court process.  PRCs do have limitations, and that is why they are only one part of the larger screening process. (See Appendix 10 for information pertaining to PRCs.)

  • Vulnerable Sector Check - A Vulnerable Sector Check allows the police agency, with the applicant’s consent, to search for all pardoned sex offences (see Appendix 10 for further information.)

Prospective volunteers can receive these checks at no charge by obtaining a letter on Diocesan letterhead, signed by the bishop indicating they are applying in a volunteer capacity.

Procedure for obtaining a PRC/Vulnerable Sector Check

  1. Obtain a copy of the letter on Diocesan letterhead, signed by the Bishop, stating that you are applying for a volunteer position in the parish.  (This eliminates the provincial government fee.)
  2. Obtain and complete the Application For Court Check
  3. Send/bring the completed Application For Court Check along with the letter from the Bishop to the appropriate court.
  4. Obtain and complete an application for Police Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Check from your local police detachment.
  5. Once the Court Record Check has been obtained, bring/send it and the completed application for Police Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Check (if necessary) to your local police detachment.

Handling the Information

Here are the procedures for handling the documentation per level of risk:

  • Low Risk
All documentation remains in the parish, filed and stored in a locked metal cabinet

  • High Risk/Staff

All original documentation remains in the parish.

Copy of completed check list (see Appendix 3) and a verified copy of the requested documentation are to be sent to the Diocese.

Any change in ministry may necessitate a change in required documentation. Please consult Appendix 2.

It is important that this information be handled with strict confidentiality.  The individual should retain the original PRC for their own personal records.

PRCs and Vulnerable Sector Checks must be updated every five years.

Orientation and Training for All Leader/ Trained Volunteers

Orientation for all members – whether new or experienced – is very important.  Orientation gives people general information to prepare them for their position and should be timed to coincide with the start of the majority of the parish’s programs.  A list of what would normally be covered in an orientation session can be found below:

  • A review of position descriptions.  Does everyone know what their job entails and whether their position is one of those identified as having a high degree of risk?
  • What to do in case of a sudden illness of either themselves or someone in the program.  If ill, leader/trained volunteers/trained volunteers should be given instruction about whom to inform and how to find a replacement for their program.
  • How to access supplies and equipment.
  • How to access building, cupboards, rooms.
  • That all leader/trained volunteers read, agree to and sign a Covenant of Care form (See Appendix 4).
  • That all leader/trained volunteers have an application form on file (See Appendix 8).
  • A review of safety issues including, but not necessarily limited to, physical contact/appropriate touching, fire procedures, transportation and washroom practices.
  • Attendance sheets for training sessions should be signed by the participants and retained in a locked metal cabinet.

On-going Support

Orientation and training of leaders/trained volunteers need to be followed-up by supervision, support and evaluation. Supervision, support and evaluation help ensure the following:

  • A standard level of practice
  • An opportunity for leader/trained volunteers to reflect on their experiences and further improve their skills
  • Protection for all participants from unsafe practices
  • Protection for leader/trained volunteers against false allegations of wrongdoing

 

Checklist for Part II

Task

Date

Who is responsible

Have new leader/trained volunteers been recruited in a satisfactory way?

 

 

Have all leader/trained volunteers (new and experienced) been part of an orientation session?

 

 

Have all completed an application form?

 

 

Have all signed a Covenant of Care form?

 

 

Have all applicants for high risk ministry provided two references?

 

 

Have the above two references been checked?

 

 

Have all in high risk ministry obtained a Police Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Check, if needed?

 

 

Is someone in authority providing on-going supervision and support for leader/trained volunteers/volunteers?

 

 


Part III:  Evaluation and Reporting

Evaluating the Policy and Reporting to a Supervising Body

Yearly, parish leadership, in collaboration with the Parish Responsible Ministry Committee should meet to evaluate how the Responsible Ministry Policy is functioning in their parish.  These key questions will guide the evaluation:

  • What positive things have we noticed as a result of introducing the Policy?
  • Are there special problems that have emerged that need attention?
  • Are there things that we need to plan for in the future?

It is important, on an annual basis, to do an evaluation of position descriptions and risk assessments.  As programs change and evolve, the position descriptions and risk assessments will also change. It is also very important that the parish report any comments/suggestions emerging from these evaluations to the Diocesan Responsible Ministry Committee on an annual basis.

Collect and Store Necessary Documents

The purpose of collecting personal information is to insure that the policy is properly administered.  Information about the collected data is confidential and must be used only for the purpose for which it was collected, that is, implementing and monitoring this policy.  Information must be safely stored and only accessed by those who need to access it for the purpose of the policy.

How to Manage Confidential Information

The information must be stored in a locked metal cabinet. The information should include a copy of the Check List (Appendix 3) and all the required documentation.

PIPEDA

PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, became effective in Canada in January 2004.  While this Act provides useful and necessary protection for Canadians, most religious organizations are not subject to PIPEDA because the organization does not collect, use or dispose of commercial goods.

 

Checklist for Part III

Task

Date

Details

Conduct yearly meetings between parish leader/trained volunteer and Parish Responsible Ministry Committee

 

 

Collect and store necessary documents

 

 

All Appendices can be found in Responsible Ministry Policy (2013)