Many people think that parishes are less likely to experience safety issues and destructive incidents because the majority of people want to do well and serve others. However, no parish is exempt from harmful acts, including abuse, crimes, theft, embezzlement, etc. because people aren’t perfect. The Church is comprised of a conglomeration of individuals; unfortunately with some of those people not being concerned about the well-being of others.
Providing a safe environment for your parishioners is important. That’s why it’s valuable to have a full-featured solution in place to help protect your parish.
ParishSoft is a church management software for parishes of all sizes. With the administrative details taken care of, you’ll have more time to spend on your people, programs, and ministry. But aside from streamlining productivity and decreasing administrative burden, ParishSoft is committed to helping you keep your parish and parishioners safe. That’s why we’ve implemented our new Safe Environment Program (SEP) for parishes.
What is the Safe Environment Program?
Background checks are one aspect of enabling safety measures within an environment, but Catholic parishes have a unique need for more than that. Because parishes and dioceses need to capture, track, and report on the full life cycle of people’s involvement in their ministries, they need a full-service package that will ensure the safety and security within the parish.
The Safe Environment solution is a complete package that provides comprehensive safety efforts for parishes and dioceses. Whether clergy or lay ministers, volunteers, or paid personnel, it’s important to know and track which requirements have been met for each individual. Know if trainings have been completed and background screenings have been submitted and passed. The Safe Environment program allows all historical assignment activity to be readily available for review.
There are many beneficial features of ParishSoft’s full-service safety program—from tracking and requirements to notifications and background checks. View the aspects below.
Certain requirements are automatically linked to individuals based on the roles they are assigned. Some of these include screenings, like background checks, along with any applications that have been submitted and training that the individual has completed. Other customized requirements, such as approvals, reviews, and USCCB are also included. The counts which are required for the annual USCCB National Audit are automatically calculated. These customized requirements make it easy to view where people are at in the process based on their role within the parish.
One benefit of the SEP is the ability to track various components. Check someone’s status and view if they have completed a specific training or religious education class. You can also track any errors or issues with a person’s profile. This tracking will help monitor if a re-certification is required or a background check has expired.
A great safety feature is automated notifications. Get notified when new individuals are added. Then you can view their status and communicate with them as needed. When requirements are completed, an automatic notice will be sent. If there are any issues along the way, an alert will trigger the need for attention.
One of the most-used measures in keeping parishes safe is background checks. However, though many parishes and dioceses are using background screenings to help protect their people, just 60% of churches are utilizing background checks with the proper level of advanced searches. Our integration with Protect My Ministry allows for screening submissions and status updates. Background checks are a critical tool in parish safety, especially when it comes to protecting kids in children’s ministries.
The reason historical records are important to the Safe Environment Program is that without them, you won’t know the status of various clergy, lay ministers, or volunteers. View start and end dates of specific roles. If somebody is no longer serving in a certain capacity, you’ll want to be aware of that. Requirement completions and issues are also tracked within the historical records.
Safety and security are top priorities for parishes of all sizes. If you’re ready to ensure that your parish is a protected space, contact us today to learn more about ParishSoft’s Safe Environment Program. And view this on-demand webinar “Going Beyond a Checkbox to Ensure a Safe Environment for Your Parishioners” to see a demonstration and to learn more.