Volunteer Management and Screening in Faith
The Need for Effective Volunteer Management and Screening
It is our desire that the Church be a safe and holy place for all whom
our ministry affects.
Unfortunately, there have been times in the past when people in positions
of trust and authority have caused harm to those who were seeking their
help. In seeking to reduce and eliminate abuse or harm within our churches,
the purpose of an effective screening and management program is two-fold:
- To help ensure that people in positions of trust and authority are
well suited to their positions in terms of skills, interests and attitudes,
so that they do not cause harm to others.
- To provide people with the proper training, support, supervision,
follow-up, and recognition to ensure that their ministries are life-giving
to themselves and others.
The Benefits of Effective Volunteer Management and Screening
- Meets our moral, ethical, and legal responsibilities to try to protect
those to whom we minister from potential harm or abuse
- Brings us in line with community standards and the standards of other
organizations - Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Minor Hockey Associations etc.
- Good ministry management gets the right people into the right positions
and guides people away from positions for which they are ill-suited
- Job descriptions provide clear, objective standards and boundaries for
open, honest discussions
- By providing people with clear guidelines and expectations, we give them
a better chance of being successful in their ministry
- Proper training and management helps protect people from false allegations
- Happy successful volunteers lead to a healthier parish
What is Expected in all Areas of Ministry
In the Diocese of Niagara, we feel that a program of good management and screening for all staff and volunteers is a necessary, important and worthwhile step in maintaining safe and vibrant ministries. In 2001 Niagara began the process bringing all parishes and associated ministries on board with an up to date policy that outlined a 10-step process for implementing a screening and management process. The diocesan policy clearly outlines the expectations that all parishes and associated ministries were expected to be in full compliance with the policy since January 2002.
Volunteer Management and Screening Reporting Process
“Duty of Care” is an important principle of management and screening for all ministry positions, lay and professional. The fact is that we, as a church organization with vulnerable people in our midst, have a legal duty to do all that we can to ensure they are safe. Four our parishes you fulfill your “duty of care” by ensuring that your current Volunteer Management and Screening practices are up to date and setting into place a process that will ensure that this work continues for the long term.
For the diocese, we attempt to fulfill our "duty
of care" responsibilities in three ways:
- by setting clear expectations for parishes regarding the implementation of this program;
- ensuring that parishes are well trained and supported regarding volunteer management and screening; and
- by providing regular and diligent follow-up with parishes that will include reporting measures such as these as well as intermittent audits of parish records.
In the resources section of the webpage, you will find the entire "Volunteer Management and Screening Reporting Process". The next date for parish reports to be completed and returned to the Diocesan Resource Centre is Monday, February 28, 2011.
The Bishop's Directive
"I expect that every parish and associated ministry in the Diocese of Niagara to comply with this policy for the good of The Church".
If you have any questions about the Volunteer and Staff Management and Screening Policy, or how to apply it in your parish contact Canon Marni Nancekivell (Click here to send an email) or call at: 905.527.1316 x 390.