Safeguarding God’s Children

Diocesan policies for the protection of children and youth

Upcoming Safeguarding Training Opportunities

Sunday, May 28 | 12 – 3 PM | In person or via Zoom
Saint James, Parish House Forum Room
Refreshments will be served
Click here to register for training at Saint James

Sunday, October 8 | 12 – 3 PM | In person or via Zoom
Saint James, Parish House Forum Room
Refreshments will be served
Click here to register for training at Saint James

For general Safeguarding, inquiries, please contact Dina Ishler for questions, (717) 481-0708, email If you need to create an online Safeguarding account through Praesidium, please contact Dina,, or Deacon Hank Morrow,

If you need to renew your Safeguarding training

Email Dina Carter Ishler:
(717) 481-0708

Dina will send you an invitation to create an account with Praesidium Academy where you will log in and take the course. The training takes less than an hour.

Diocesan Requirements

The Diocese of Central PA requires all who are employed by the congregation, all who serve on vestry, all who work in children and youth ministry, all who volunteer with children and youth, and those who have keys to any of the church grounds to take this training from a diocesan-certified trainer. Diocesan certificates will be issued upon completion of the course. In addition, every Episcopal congregation is required to adopt Safeguarding God’s Children model policies.

Individuals must renew their Safeguarding certification every five years. Saint James offers the three-hour training onsite approximately once per quarter, alternating between weekday business hours and Sunday afternoons.

What is Safeguarding God’s Children?

Safeguarding God’s Children is a two-hour training program for the prevention of sexual abuse of children and youth. The program provides participants with information they need to protect the children they know and care for in their personal lives and in the ministries in which they serve.

Jesus Christ calls us to loving relationships that are healthy and helpful to each other. In our ministry with children and youth, every child, youth and adult, deserves to be treated as Jesus would treat them, that is, with love, respect, and kindness. We are to seek God’s purposes for one another and not our own selfish ends.

All participants in ministry to children and youth deserve to be in a safe environment, including, but not limited to, an environment that is free from harassment, abuse, and misconduct. Our Diocesan Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse are meant to help provide such an environment.

Who Needs the Training?

  • All clergy whether stipendiary, non-stipendiary, or otherwise who are engaged in ministry or service to the church
  • All paid personnel, whether employed in areas of children and youth ministry or other kinds of services by the diocese, its congregations, schools or other agencies
  • Those who contract their services to the diocese, its congregations, schools or other agencies
  • Volunteers, including any person who enters into or offers himself or herself for a church related service to and with children and youth (18 and under) or who actually assists with or performs a service with the children and/or youth of the congregation or is part of any function that is under the auspices the Diocese of Central PA and/or each congregation, whether or not they have been selected or assigned to do so
  • All church school teachers
  • All persons who supervise or assist with supervising children or youth in ministries, programs or activities infrequently, generally no more than three times a year or for one program or activity during a year that lasts less than a month (i.e. assisting with preparation for the Christmas pageant, or teaching one “unit” of Church School for a month)
  • All persons who provide transportation to children or youth (transportation with parent permission still requires Safeguarding God’s Children training)
  • All persons who work or assist in the nursery, whether on an emergency basis or otherwise
  • All vestry members or other members of similar decision-making groups who have the authority to approve the creation of ministries, programs or activities for children or youth. (They are invited to take the one hour training session)
  • Anyone who has a key to the church grounds and buildings.

State Requirements

The following state requirements are also needed and must be updated once every 5 years.

PA Child Abuse History Clearance
Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check
Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Background Check*

Click here to begin the process

*FBI fingerprint background check is required for all employees. It also is required for volunteers who have not lived continuously in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years. Pre-register by going to IndentGO (

Enter the correct code. Volunteers, enter: 1KG6ZJ.

Employees ages 14 and older, enter: 1KG756.

Schedule an appointment and provide information as needed. Provide Saint James with your report.

After you have completed your clearances

After you have completed your clearances, please make at least two copies of each clearance and *mail/bring one copy to the church office. It will be filed confidentially, and the dates of your clearances will be entered into your Realm account where you will be able to view for future reference.

* The Saint James mailing address is at the bottom of this website.