Safe Church Policy
It is a holy responsibility to make sure that the children in our care are safe. We take this very seriously. Trinity has had a safe church policy in place for many years. Recently, changes to Pennsylvania law have changed our requirements. Below are the requirements under the new law. One of the most important changes is that it is no longer considered sufficient that a volunteer report suspected abuse to the pastor or lay leader. Each volunteer is responsible for reporting the incident to ChildLine: 1-800-932-0313.
Begin your process for getting clearances at: http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/index.htm
How To Report Suspected Child Abuse
If the child is in immediate danger
If you are a mandated reporter
Call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313 OR
Report online at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis
If you are not a mandated reporter
Call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313
Volunteers without other clearances
If you are a volunteer at Trinity who works with children and youth in any way (and DO NOT have clearances through your job or another organization) you must obtain the following three things:
Since all volunteers are mandated reporters under the law, Trinity is also going to highly suggest mandated reporter training (and we may later decide to require it.) If you want to do this independently, a free course is offered available www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu. Please print out your completed certificate and bring to the church office.
Volunteers with other clearances
If you are a volunteer or staff person at Trinity working with children and youth and ALREADY HAVE appropriate clearances you may
We cannot accept copies. We must see the original and make the copy ourselves. (If your employer won’t release the originals, but will let someone look at and verify the originals, we can work with them.)
Since all volunteers are mandated reporters under the law, Trinity is also going to require mandated reporter training. If you want to do this independently, a free course is offered available www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu.
Because of the nature of ministry, and the changing days and times that children are present, all paid staff will be considered as having direct contact with children and youth.
Requirements for staff include:
Employees who have clearances with other/previous places of employment may also bring in the originals and we can make a copy of them for your records. We must see the original and make the copy ourselves.
Additional training required by Trinity
The new laws will keep children safe from people who have a criminal history. However, much abuse happens before anyone has a criminal record.
Volunteers and staff will also be required to take a training seminar every two years that covers Trinity’s best practices and procedures to minimize the risk that anyone could ever harm a child at a church event.