Our diocese has begun implementing a volunteer screening program called Strengthening the Caring Community Parish Volunteer Screening Program. Its purpose is:
To safeguard in all respects all of those, but most especially the vulnerable, to whom we minister.
We have an obligation to protect everyone whom we serve. However, when vulnerable people participate in our programs, we have a much higher obligation to ensure their protection than if they were able-bodied adults who could take care of themselves. This means screening, very thoroughly, people who are going to work with them.
To ensure the integrity, safety and reputation of our volunteers.
Our volunteer management program ensures that:
- volunteers are working in an organized, structured environment
- policies and procedures outline the volunteers’ rights as well as responsibilities, and how they will be supported when an incident occurs
- position descriptions, interviews and supervision of the volunteer is placed in a position that is best suited to her/his abilities and interests
- by doing a risk assessment, we take into consideration the personal safety of all involved. The risk assessment ensures that we are not placing a volunteer in a dangerous location (i.e., unsafe equipment or working alone at night) or placing an inexperienced volunteer alone.
To ensure that as a faith community, we fulfill all our obligations.
The development of screening policies and procedures is intended to meet our legal obligations, but even more importantly adequate screening measures will fulfill our ethical, moral and spiritual responsibilities to promote wholeness, accountability, trust and care in our ministries.
The complete two-volume Strengthening the Caring Community Parish Volunteer Screening Program can be downloaded here: