At our recent Sunday School Teachers meeting, the question came up about the Safeguarding God's Children program. SGC is a program that trains and informs parishes on best practices for keeping our children & communities safe from sexual predators. In the past, the only way you could get this information was through a 3-hour program. Many of you have taken that program and I am so thankful that the lessons learned in that program are practiced here with our children and youth. In the Diocese of Georgia, I was one of the 3 original trainers who was responsible for disseminating all that information. I did literally HUNDREDS of these workshops.
Now, thanks be to God, there is a more accessible way to take SGC. Safeguarding Online provides parishes with the same core information but with updated sections. It allows us also to come up with a very easy way to keep a database of people who have taken the course. Finally, it helps the people who are getting this information by allowing them to set the time to do the course.
Safeguarding Online is set into many modules that take 30-45 min. each. The person taking it doesn't have to do it all at one time, but can fit it easily into their own schedules.
Now the question is, “Who needs to take this?” It's my understanding that it's been over 3 years since a course has been taught here. Every 3 years, people need to have a refresher course. So even if you took SGC 3 years ago, you need to take Safeguarding Online so that you have the refresher and get put into the database. So who needs to take Safeguarding Online? EVERYBODY! The more people who take this, the more pe
ople who are equipped to help keep our church safe.
For some people, this course is MANDATORY in order to work with our children and youth and for the leadership of St. Nicholas. These people include:
Sunday School Teachers
Youth Group Leaders
Teen Class Leaders
All Church Employees (Administrators, Organists/Choirmasters, etc.)
Anyone who has regular contact with young people in a program at St. Nicholas
For others, it is vitally important information to have, and while you may not ever work with kids directly at St. Nicholas, you will want to have taken this course. This includes:
Some who has a friend with kids or grandkids
Someone who knows a child or has ever seen one
Anyone else with a pulse
As the body of Christ in Harris County, we want St. Nicholas to continue to be a place of safety and love. We want our wonderful children to have contact with all our wonderful adults and vice versa, so that both can grow in love and faith.
When you are ready to take the course, send me an e-mail. I will need to set you up with a username and password before you take it. It's very easy to do, and the course is very easy to take. If you know someone who needs to take this but doesn't have access to a computer, let me know and they can use mine!
If you have any questions or concerns, or if this subject matter is sensitive territory for you, please come and talk to me.