Mission Statement: As Christian adults, we have a moral and legal responsibility and are entrusted by God with the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of minors and vulnerable adults. As they participate in activities within or sponsored by our Diocese, it is our responsibility and commitment to provide an environment which is safe and nurturing.
Purpose: The Safe Environment Program has been adopted to:
Provide a safe and secure environment for the minors and vulnerable adults in our faith community.
Reduce the possibility of false accusations against clergy, employees and volunteers.
Provide a structure for evaluating a person’s suitability to work with minors or vulnerable adults.
Provide a system to respond to the victim and his/her family as well as the accused.
WHO MUST BE SCREENED?
· All clergy and staff of the Parish and School
· All volunteers who work with MINORS (under 18) or VULNERABLE ADULTS (those who for reasons of mental or physical impairment cannot recognize danger or if they do, cannot extract themselves from a dangerous situation).
REQUIREMENTS FOR SCREENING & CLEARANCE:
INITIAL & ANNUAL TRAINING: Documented attendance at one Safe Environment Program training session offered every month at Holy Trinity and various other times throughout the Diocese. Please watch church bulletin and website for specific dates and times. The Diocesan-wide schedule is available. Online training is available as well, but only for those who have been previously screened and require their annual update—see our website for specific instructions. ONLY the training is required to be updated every year—not your paperwork.
COMPLETION OF REQUIRED FORMS: All are available in English and Spanish in the church and school offices and on our website. Rest assured that all forms and information are kept filed under lock and key to ensure your privacy.
These are the steps required if you are new to the Safe Environment program and have not been trained.
1. Complete the On-Line Screening form (includes permission/release for background check).
2. Complete the Three (3) Reference forms—by a personal reference who has known you 3 years—cannot be a family member/relative.
3. Participate in a live Interview—documented personal interview by head of ministry/Director of Safe Environment/or parish designate. It is the responsibility of applicant to attend special interview sessions typically provided before trainings or to schedule if necessary.
4. Complete the Acknowledgment form—affirms you have read the SEP booklet and that you agree to abide by those instructions and guidelines.
5. Submit to a Background check—this will be conducted and documented by Diocesan approved vendor—currently Accutrak from information you have already provided on the screening form.
6. Have your picture taken for the badge—taken at the interview.
NOTICE: If you have been screened and cleared at another parish in the Diocese of Dallas, please have their Safety Officer fax or send a verification document to our church office to the attention of Carmen Garcia. The church fax number is 214-526-3477.
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE: A person having cause to believe that a minor’s or vulnerable adult’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person must immediately make a report to:
Texas Dept. of Family & Protective Services –Hotline: 1-800-252-5400 by secure website: www.txabusehotline.org
QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS REGARDING THE SAFE ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM AT HOLY TRINITY SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO: Linda Lopez 214-526-8555 ext 228.