The Safe Gatherings abuse prevention, background screening and training program has been underway in the California-Pacific Conference for approximately two years. For the first year of the program, both the cost of the background check ($23 per person) and the administrative costs ($20 per person) were fully subsidized, thanks to a generous grant from Hub International. When those funds were exhausted, the Conference continued to subsidize the cost of administration using apportioned funds, but the cost of the background check reverted to the church or other salary-paying unit or agency.
Beginning July 1, 2017, the conference will no longer be able to subsidize the administrative cost. The full $43 will be charged to the church, salary-paying unit or agency for Safe Gatherings background checks and training initiated on or after July 1, 2017.
As a reminder, here is a breakdown of what is included in the costs:
The $20 covers:
- Online application
- Two electronic reference checks
- A self-paced, comprehensive training course that addresses responsibilities and best practices related to abuse prevention and boundary awareness.
- Course test
- Administrative access for the organization – which includes applicants, status, date of approval, approval expiration, email address, and phone number
- Administrative and applicant notification
- Telephone support 8 am to 5 pm Central time
- Safe Gatherings review of all information
- Copies of background check reports sent to applicant upon their request, in compliance with California requirements
- Adverse actions notices sent to applicant when applicant not hired due to background check results
- Ability to pay by applicant at the time of application
- Ability to set up the organization so applications are paid by the organization
- Documentation of approval valid for three years and continued access to online training program for an entire year
The $23 covers:
- Background checks: National and State Criminal Check, National and State Sex offender list and 7 year county search for all US addresses where applicant has lived during past seven years.
Important Note Regarding Volunteer Certification:
Safe Gatherings certification for volunteers is transferrable from one Conference entity to another, provided the volunteer is within the three-year certification period. In other words, if a volunteer has been certified under one Conference entity and volunteers for another Conference entity within three years of the original certification date, completion can be verified within the Safe Gatherings system. The volunteer does not need to go through Safe Gatherings again until their three-year certification has expired.
Safe Gatherings Billing Process Effective July 1, 2017
- Clergy: Safe Gatherings bills Conference > Conference pays bill > Conference bills church
- Declared Candidates: “Self-pay” Candidate pays upon application
- Volunteers and Lay Staff at Churches: Church sets up “Church-pay” or “Self-pay.” Safe Gatherings bills church if “church-pay.”
- Volunteers who serve with children, youth and/or vulnerable populations at Conference-sponsored events, ie: Spanglish, ERT, LMA: Safe Gatherings bills Sponsoring Agency > Sponsoring Agency pays Safe Gatherings directly
- All employees, and volunteers who serve with children, youth and/or vulnerable populations at Conference-sponsored camps: Safe Gatherings bills the Camp > Camp pays Safe Gatherings directly
LEARN MORE ABOUT SAFE GATHERINGS
For questions or further information, please contact:
Director of Human Resources