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Safeguarding God’s Children provides participants with the information they need to protect the children they know and care for in their personal lives and the ministries in which they serve. In the Diocese of Western Michigan, we want each of our parishes to actively protect their children and youth so that they may grow stronger in their life in Christ. (See schedule of upcoming training.)

Parishes must complete the Annual Certification of Compliance, which is an online form ideally completed by a parish administrator, not an individual Safeguarding participant. This online form is due by March 1st of every year to keep track of everyone in your parish who has taken these trainings since 2007.

This section provides tools and resources to help all of us in West Michigan achieve that very important goal. To learn more, please read on. If you need immediate assistance, please call (269) 381-2710. Or check the resource links on the left side.

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Blue Arrow LeftBest Practices Policies
Pastoral Letter from the Bishop

Michigan's Background Check (ICHAT)
MI Sex Offender Registry
Abuse Risk Management Website
Safety Bulletin from Praesidium

Latest News
EDWM Video
Parish Locator
Contact Us

Note: We have no "Train the Trainer" sessions are currently scheduled. Trainers are needed!

To learn more, please click here now or call the Diocesan office at (269) 381-2710.

About Safeguarding Online

The Diocese of Western Michigan offers Safeguarding God's Children and Safeguarding God's People online, as an internet-based course. Participants need a high-speed interent connection and some degree of computer proficiency. Each course ends with a brief quiz to ensure that the material is understood.

Application to Take Safeguarding God's Children/People Online: If you wish to take an online Safeguarding class, fill out and submit this online form. This form works for both Safeguarding God's Children and Safeguarding God's People.
Discussion Points for Churches Certifying Participants in Safeguarding God's Children Online Training.
Parish Certification for Particpants to Take Safeguarding Online: Parishes must certify each participant who wants to take a Safeguarding online class. This form can be submitted online, and provides a link to the discussion points above.

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Overview of the Program

We are, and we always should be, shocked by headlines about the sexual abuse of children – within or outside the church. The Episcopal Church has developed a training program to help protect our youngest members, especially within the setting of the church where we all should experience love and safety. This training program is now required for all persons involved in any activities where they are in contact with children and youth in our churches. (Upcoming Training Dates)

Annual Certification of Compliance. This form is for a parish administrator to complete, not an individual Safeguarding participant. This online form is due by March 1st of every year to keep track of everyone in your parish who has taken these trainings since 2007.

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What is the Training Like?

Training involves three hours spent watching two videos and discussing the material contained in them. The first video deals with behavior of both abusers and children who have been abused. Interviews with both are included. Some of the dynamics of how abusers approach children, how children might act, and responses of adults are demonstrated. This is really a well done video for all people to view. It can help you be observant of children in all settings, not just church related.

The second video is more focused toward how the institutional church functions to protect children in hiring personnel, interviewing volunteers, monitoring programs, etc. It is important for us to look at how we can best conduct our programs to the benefit and safety of our children – even in our small congregations.

Please make a special effort to participate in this training program, if you haven't done so already. Periodic refreshers are also strongly encourage. To learn more about "Safeguarding God's Children," call Gennie Callard, Assistant to the Bishop for Children and Youth Ministries, at (269) 381-2710, ext. 13 or send an e-mail.

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How to Register for Certification

It's easy to sign up for an upcoming training meeting via phone or e-mail. Just click on the registration e-mail link below for the date you are interested in. Or call the phone number listed. In your e-mail, please include:

Your full name
Parish (church)
Number of people attending from your parish

Please bring $10 per person. Checks are preferred, made payable to the "Diocese of Western Michigan: with "Safeguarding" in the memo area of your check. Financial assistance is available and must be requested at time of registration.

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Upcoming Certification Workshops.

Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016
: St. John's Episcopal Church, Mount Pleasant (click here for map)

: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $10.00 donation not required - lunch will be served
Registration: E-mail the contact the Rev. Wayne Nicholson
Contact Information
: click here to email Wayne Nicholson