We are excited to announce a new partnership with Safe Gatherings- an online tool for implementing a safety policy in your congregation. This online administration system provides an easy way for churches to screen, train, and track your staff and volunteers.
As children prepare to head back to school and churches plan to start another year of exciting ministries and faith formation opportunities, the screening and training of staff and volunteers should be forefront on every ministry leader’s to-do list. Safe Gatherings and the Rio Texas Conference are ready to assist you in this hard and holy work.
Safe Gatherings provides screening (references and background checks) and training for the Rio Texas Trusted con Confianza certification process. Staff at Safe Gatherings and the Rio Texas Conference will work with you to make sure all of your staff and volunteers are approved for working with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. This is the first step in implementing the new Rio Texas Annual Conference Safety Policy.
For churches looking for an easy way to ensure your staff and volunteers are screened and trained, please visit riotexas.org/safesteps to set-up your church account and assist your staff and volunteers in their application and training process. Once your church account set-up is complete, individual staff and volunteers will register online, complete an application, and view online training.
The church’s portion of the the background check fee is $10 per applicant. If you are screening someone who will be driving children, youth, or vulnerable adults, you will want to include a driving record check. The cost is an additional $10.50. Churches can choose to pay this fee for their staff and volunteers, or you can invite the individual applicant to pay the cost for both background check and driving record check. The Rio Texas Conference will cover the rest of the cost. Once Safe Gatherings receives the completed application, they go to work–checking the references and requesting a background check. Safe Gatherings will communicate with the applicant and the church regarding approval and process updates. Once individuals have reviewed the Safe Gathering online training, they are invited to attend a Rio Texas Trusted con Confianza interactive training. These will be offered online and in-person. Training dates and times can be found at: riotexas.org/safetrainings.
You are invited to begin using this tool immediately. Over the next 10 months we will work with interested churches to set-up and manage their accounts as they learn to use this new system. Following Annual Conference in June 2018 all churches will need to be entered into the system. Good news is you have time and can utilize this system as soon as you are ready.
There are videos and tutorials to assist you in this process riotexas.org/safesteps. Additional resources can be found at riotexas.org/safe. You can also contact Safe Gatherings ( 888.241.8258) or Tanya Campen (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the conference office for help.