Children and youth
- A child is defined as anyone under the age of 12 years.
- A youth is defined as anyone who is at least 12 years old, but not yet 18 years old.
For the purposes of this policy, the following are included, but not limited in the definition of Church Personnel when they are functioning in their respective roles for or on behalf of the Episcopal Church:
- All clergy whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary
- All paid personnel whether employed in areas of ministry or other kinds of services by the Diocese, its congregations, schools or other agencies, such as camps, and conference centers
- Those individuals who contract their services to the Diocese, its congregations, schools or other agencies on any on-going or regular basis
- Volunteers, may also be considered Church Personnel and covered by these Policies & Procedures by the nature of certain roles and context of ministry as covered in the “Safeguards for Prevention of Sexual Misconduct” specified herein. Volunteers may include members of Advisory Boards, Vestries, Bishop’s Committees, Trustees, Boards of Directors, etc.
Clergy, Lay-Professional, Licensed and/or Other Personnel Working With/Around Children and/or Youth
- All clergy whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary who engage in ministry service
- All paid employees
- All volunteer Church Personnel whose work takes children/youth throughout the facility and/or assists with children/youth programs who have keys, giving them access to the buildings and grounds
- All wardens
- All persons who supervise or assist with supervising children or youth, other than church school teachers, in ministries, programs or activities more often than occasionally
- All duly-appointed and licensed lay persons, whether as an employee or volunteer, who is authorized to provide ministry on behalf of the Church (other than distribution of the Bread and Wine by a lay person at a public service of Holy Communion), such as Stephen Ministers, Lay Eucharistic Visitors, etc.
- Children’s or youth choir directors, organists and other musicians who work with children or youth in any regular capacity; other than a single service as a guest musician (with no individual instruction)
- Lay youth ministers and/or Directors
- All Church Personnel who work or assist in the nursery more than four times a year or who work in the nursery if they are the only person over 18 present at any time
- All staff, whether volunteer or paid, at church camps
- Church School teachers
- All persons who provide transportation to children or youth without other adults in the vehicle more often than occasionally
- Adult participants in overnight events with children/youth more than two times a year
Abuse refers to acts of mistreatment of anyone under the age of 18 (or mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under age 21) such as:
- Physical abuse is non-accidental injury, which is intentionally inflicted upon an individual.
- Sexual abuse by an adult is any contact or activity of a sexual nature that occurs between a child or youth and an adult. This includes any activity, which is meant to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the adult, child or youth.
- Sexual abuse perpetrated by another child or youth is any contact or activity of a sexual nature that occurs between a child or youth and another child or youth when there is no consent, when consent is not possible, or when one of them has power over the other. This includes any activity, which is meant to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any of the children or youth.
- Emotional abuse includes mental or emotional injury to any child, youth or adult that results in an observable and material impairment in the individual growth, development or psychological functioning, or that impedes an adult’s ability to function.
- Neglect is the failure to provide for a child or youth’s basic needs or the failure to protect a child or youth from harm as specified by law.
- Economic exploitation is the deliberate misplacement, exploitation, or wrongful temporary or permanent use of a child or youth’s belongings or money.
Sexual harassment, meaning unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct or communication is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of the individual’s employment; or,
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or,
- Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment or unreasonably creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive Work environment.
Examples of unwelcome sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Threatening adverse employment actions if sexual favors are not granted;
- Promising preferential treatment in return for sexual favors;
- Unwanted physical contact;
- Sexually offensive remarks, including the following kinds of prohibited behavior:
- Verbal: sexual advances or propositions or threats; continuing to express interest after being informed the interest is unwelcome; sexual innuendoes; suggestive or insulting comments or sounds; sexual jokes or teasing of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; and any other abuse of a sexual nature.
- Visual: display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or letters; leering; obscene gestures; sexually suggestive or offensive graffiti.
- Physical: unwanted physical contact, including offensive touching, pinching, brushing the body, intentionally impeding or blocking movement for sexual gratification; unwanted sexual intercourse or other unwanted sexual acts; sexual assault or battery.
Sexual exploitation is the development or attempted development of a sexual relationship between a person in any ministerial position, lay or ordained, and an individual with whom he or she has a Pastoral Relationship.
For the purposes of this policy, a Pastoral Relationship can include but is not limited to:
- A clergy person and any person who attends a congregation or other ministry setting in which the clergy person serves; or
- Someone who seeks direct ministry from the clergy person.
A Pastoral Relationship can also exist between any clergy person or duly-appointed lay person, whether as an employee or volunteer, who is authorized to provide and does provide such ministry, including but not limited to:
- Pastoral care
- Spiritual direction or intentional spiritual guidance
- Ministration of any Sacrament (other than distribution of Communion by a lay person at a public service of Holy Communion)
- Life/leadership/peer coaching
- Hearing a person’s confession, in the course of the duly-authorized ministry
- Other ministers licensed under Canon III.4: Pastoral Leaders, Worship Leaders, Preachers, Eucharistic Visitors, and Catechists and those they serve in the course of these ministries.