A069 Create DFMS Staff Position to Manage Safe Church Website and Respond to Inquiries
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
That the 80th General Convention direct the Executive Council to create and fill a staff position, to serve as a point of contact for dioceses and individuals to obtain information about complying with the Model Policies for the Protection of Children, Youth, and Vulnerable Adults and the requirement to complete the updated Praesidium Safe Church Training managed by the Church Pension Group; and reinforce the importance of creating a welcoming, safe environment for all of the people of God participating in The Episcopal Church sponsored or affiliated ministries, congregations, programs and other activities. This staff person shall report directly to the Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry within The Episcopal Church; and be it further
Resolved, That the Church Pension Group be asked to collaborate and coordinate with this staff person and designate a member to liaise with the staff person, to assure that all necessary information is provided to those who contact the DFMS office with questions and concerns, subject to any applicable confidentiality and/or privacy restrictions, and in the collection and dissemination of information regarding the use and adaptation of diocesan and ministry-specific policies, as well as of use and adaptation of anti-harassment policies based on the Best Practices Guide; and be it further
Resolved, That $105,000, to include salary and benefits, be budgeted to fund this vital position.
The establishment of the Safe Church website provides a point of contact for the gathering and dissemination of information and in that sense can serve the Church well in its efforts to redress the comprehensive and long-standing problems of harassment, sexual abuse and exploitation. However, it is only the beginning of an on-going systemic response. The various listening sessions conducted by the Task Force to Develop Model Sexual Harassment Policies and Safe Church Training have confirmed that despite the long history of work in various dioceses and at various levels of the Church, the inconsistent implementation of training and response to allegations of misconduct by both clergy and laity in the Church leave many wondering where to turn and how to pursue redress for problems, especially, but not exclusively, when laity are the perpetrators of harm. A contact person is needed to help members of the Church, including lay and ordained leaders, identify resources to assist them in responding to complaints and creating cultures in which all members and participants feel safe and welcome.