The safety of children is one of our synod’s highest priorities. The church should be a safe place where people can worship, learn, work, love and receive care in a manner that is free from sexual misconduct. Our children’s safety is every member’s responsibility; there is no substitute for care and vigilance.
A written policy statement is an important first step toward preventing sexual misconduct or harassment. We encourage congregations to adopt a Child Protection Policy. The adoption of a Child Protection Policy does not automatically make a congregation a safer place for children; however, it is a positive first step. On November 14, 2015, we adopted this sample Child Protection Policy. In addition, we recommend that congregations organize a Child Protection Policy Committee or utilize another existing committee and charge that committee with the responsibility of implementing and monitoring compliance with the Child Protection Policy.
Both the ELCA and our synod have numerous resources available to assist congregations in preparing their own policies, identifying and preventing sexual misconduct, and screening staff and volunteer leaders. One example includes the ELCA’s Safe Connections: What Parishioners Can Do to Understand and Prevent Clergy Sexual Abuse resource and other congregational material found on our website.
For assistance with your congregation’s child protection policies or protocols, please contact Pastor Beth Martini, assistant to the bishop.
ALL Mandated Reporters are required to obtain and update background clearances every 60 months (5 years).
- Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY-113) – Obtained from the Department of Human Services. Click here for online access. (Listed above as well)
- Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Check Form (SP4-164). Click here for online access. (Listed above as well)
- FBI Fingerprint Record Checks are additionally required for all employees (including rostered leaders) and for any volunteers who have not lived in PA for 10 years. This is done through IdentoGo. When you seek an appointment for the fingerprinting and to submit your background information, you will need a “Service Code” in order to complete the information.
- Volunteer should use the DHS Volunteer Code – 1KG6ZJ [that last letter is a cap J…it is hard to tell next to the Z]
- Employees over 14 years of age use Code – 1KG756.
- For more information on any of this, click here to find a full listing of the codes and pdf files that will let you know what information you will need when seeking a fingerprint appointment.