Catholic parishes and dioceses should be safe, nurturing environments for people to attend when they seek a place of worship. To be a refuge from worldly trials and pains, churches must first ensure a safe environment. Keep reading to learn about the new Safe Environment Program, and what your parish can do to cultivate safety for all.
The Safe Environment Program (SEP) is a digital product that integrates safety protocols specifically for Catholic parishes and dioceses.
Every church should be using reliable background checks to make sure their volunteers, staff, and leadership teams are safe and trustworthy. Background checks reveal any questionable actions and criminal behavior someone may have on their record. Through re-verification, screenings also keep track of any new red flag behavior if something comes up on their record.
The Safe Environment Program goes above and beyond background checks alone. SEP helps parishes and dioceses stay informed about required screenings, training, applications, and more. Up next: let’s review all the features.
What exactly does the Safe Environment Program do? Let’s dive into all the details of every feature and discuss why Catholic parishes already benefit from SEP tools.
First and foremost, the ParishSOFT SEP conducts background checks for churches. The Safe Environment Program partners with Protect My Ministry— one of the most widely trusted faith-based organizations conducting safety screenings for volunteers.
Why not simply collect background checks from Protect My Ministry? The SEP takes screening results and allows parishes to integrate every detail as needed. Connect the SEP with existing church management software and set continuous monitoring into place. That way, if anything comes up on someone’s record, ministry leaders are immediately notified.
Our FCRA-certified background checks provide accurate, comprehensive reports. Information is updated daily, giving your team the peace of mind that they’re viewing the latest information on every member in the database.
Background checks are the first step in bringing a new volunteer or layperson on board. Next, the ministry must organize and keep track of all the requirements for training, certification, and assignment.
The Safe Environment Program supports this process by compiling data and creating reports of progress made. Customized training requirements can be established for every ministry and service position so leaders can follow the process step-by-step.
In the same way that the SEP tracks the training process of every service role, it also delivers a full view of procedural standards completed.
Think of this feature like a project management tool. For every project, there are specific SOPs (standard operating procedures) that must be followed to achieve expected outcomes of quality and performance. In this case, every “project” equals a person becoming cleared and equipped for their service role.
The SEP platform is a place where ministry leaders check off the tasks required (for example, screenings, paperwork, and follow-up interviews) until the person is fully approved to begin inside involvement with the parish or dioceses.
SEP allows parishes to customize all these procedures, depending on the role. Options include:
- Screening and paperwork requirements for someone coming from out of state
- Type of background check required for specific roles
- Experience and education requirements for staff positions
- Frequency of re-verification for volunteers
- Notification of errors or expiration dates
- Start and end dates for specific roles
This feature is something you won’t find in any other background check service. At ParishSOFT, we recognize the unique needs parishes face when trying to streamline and safeguard their service roles. With our SEP tools, you get everything you need to ensure ministry safety, both before, during, and after the screening process.
Knowing risks ahead of time is vital to ministry safety. But being able to be warned of potential risks once someone is already serving in your ministry is equally important.
Once the SEP is set up at your parish, you’ll be able to easily spot these risks. With sequential safety data that builds over time, your parish safety and security team can implement a stronger risk management plan.
The features of the ParishSOFT Safe Environment Program fully sync with the parishioner database. This includes your parish’s church management software (ChMS).
The SEP tool keeps track of everything— from childcare incidents to automatic calculated counts to historical records of every volunteer and staff member. If you use a ChMS to manage your parish operations, the Save Environment Program is an excellent addition to consider.
Whether you’re an existing ParishSOFT customer or simply looking for the newest Catholic parish tools today, the Safe Environment Program is the best way to ensure ministry-wide safety and security.
To create a safer environment at your parish, you need a reliable digital platform. Parishes need a user-friendly program that doesn’t sacrifice functionality or security.
Make your parish and diocese a safer place. Prepare your ministry with these industry-leading features. Reach out to get started with the ParishSOFT Safe Environment Program today.