The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved and issued a revised Policy, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct (PSPs) at their Fall 2013 Holy Synod meeting. This policy is now in force in the Church. It is the goal of the entire Church to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America. The Church laments the sin of sexual misconduct, and will not tolerate sexual misconduct by its clergy or any layperson.
An abbreviated version of the PSPs for parish use may be downloaded here.
(From page 32 of the PSPs): “Every parish shall implement a screening program for all Lay Persons or Lay Workers serving in the Church… who will have more than incidental contact with minors in connection with the Church’s ministries or programs.” This includes, but may not be limited to: Parish Council Members, Choir Directors, Church School Teachers, and Lay Youth Ministers.
For each qualifying parishioner, the parish rector should fill out and keep in a personnel file:
Background check: https://ministryopportunities.org/Index.aspx?uid=75693
Certificate of Completion of Sexual Misconduct Prevention training module. A 45 minute program can be included for free with the background check. Please contact Diocesan Administrative Assistant Priest Andrew Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org for training access.
Each parish should have official parish council minutes on file that formally adopt the PSPs as parish policy
Each new parish council member should sign a document verifying that they have been given a copy of the PSPs, have read them, understand them, and vow to enforce them
The Application Packet, References, Parish Council Adoption of PSPs, and Parish Council Member signing document, need to be completed just once, before the onset of the applicant’s service. The Background Check and Misconduct Prevention Training must be renewed every three (3) years.
The Annual PSP Compliance Report must be submitted by January 31st of each calendar year.
California Parishes and Monastic Institutions
As of January 1st, 2022, Parishes and Diocesan Institutions in the State of California must add LiveScan background checks to their screening processes for youth volunteers. Please read the memorandum below to familiarize yourself with this process.