Keeping God's People Safe

RePORTING ABUSE

If you see something, say something.

If you witness or suspect abuse occurring in your parish, report it to your rector or to the Diocesan Director of Ministries. If you are a mandated reporter, you must report suspected or known abuse. For clarity on mandated reporter status and responsibilities, consult the Keeping God's People Safe manual.

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services' anonymous abuse reporting hotline is availble 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)

Keeping God’s People Safe Training

The Diocese of Chicago is committed to doing everything in its power to maintain a safe and supportive atmosphere for the children and adults who are members of its congregations, attend its programs or participate in its ministries.

To foster a secure environment, we have developed Keeping God’s People Safe, a two-level workshop training program that sensitizes all of those who serve in our church to the dangers of child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment, and teaches them to recognize and prevent situations in which abuse or exploitation might occur.

Level one, called Protecting God's People, is required for all clergy, paid employees, those who provide pastoral services, and all persons – volunteer or paid – who work with children or youth or vulnerable adults. Church and agency volunteers who have routine access to the facilities and grounds where children or youth gather or who serve on vestry or perform other pastoral ministries must also complete this training.

Level one training must be renewed every five years. There are two types of training:

  • In-person training: led by a certified Keeping God’s People Safe trainer, this training is approximately 3 hours long. Trainings are held throughout the year at congregations throughout the diocese. Check the table below for a schedule of upcoming trainings.
  • Online training: KGPS certification is the same whether taken online or in-person. Visit the Safeguarding Website to self-enroll using the registration code: diochicago312. For help enrolling please use this Quick Start Guide.
    • Online Modules to Complete for Level One Certification:
      • Meet Sam
      • It Happened to Me
      • Keeping Your Church Safe

 

Level two, called Leading & Caring for God's People, is required of all clergy, paid staff, church personnel, and volunteers who administer programs, lead programs for adults, perform pastoral ministries, serve as wardens, or are members of a vestry or bishop's committee. Level one training is a prerequisite for level two training. Level two must also be renewed every five years. There are two types of level two training:

  • In-person training: led by a certified Keeping God’s People Safe trainer, this training is approximately 2.5 hours long. Trainings are held throughout the year at congregations throughout the diocese. Usually they are offered in the afternoon, after a level one training. Check the table below for a schedule of upcoming trainings.
  • Online training: Consisting of two or three online modules, depending on employment status, level two training can be completed online. Each module takes 30 – 40 minutes to complete. Visit the Safeguarding Website to self-enroll using the registration code: diochicago312. For help enrolling please use this Quick Start Guide.

    • Online Modules to Complete for Level Two Certification:

      • All of the modules listed in Level One and:
        • Preventing Sexual Exploitation In Communities of Faith – For Ministries

        • Preventing Sexual Exploitation In Communities of Faith – For Congregations

        • Preventing Sexual Harassment of Church Workers – For Workers (only required if you are a paid staff member)

For further guidance determining what level of training and/or background investigation is required of yourself or someone ministering at your congregation, consult this requirements matrix, which lists common positions in Diocese of Chicago parishes and their associated requirements. If you have further questions, please contact Karin Gutierrez.

Would you like to host a Keeping God’s People Safe training at your church? Keeping God's People Safe sessions are scheduled at a church's invitation by contacting the diocese's Keeping God's People Safe coordinator. See a list of upcoming trainings below or contact Karin Gutierrez for more information.

For more information on specific Keeping God’s People Safe policies, download the Keeping God's People Safe manual in English or in Spanish.

upcoming trainings

Date      
Level  
Time   
Location                     
Notes
       

 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

In addition to completing Keeping God’s People Safe, all clergy, paid employees, child and youth program volunteers, pastoral and eucharistic visitors, and participants in a handful of other ministries without exception undergo screening interviews and background checks. To conduct a background check, please contact Anna Stefaniak, Associate for Human Resources, 312.751.4202. To see if your ministry position requires a background check, please consult this table.

View the background check information and consent form in Word or PDF format.

View the background check responsibility and cost sheet.

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