Safe Church

The Diocese of Milwaukee is committed to fostering communities in which its members and guests can explore their faith, exercise their ministries, and live out their vocations in safe and healthy settings. We are committed to keeping everyone safe, particularly our children, youth, and vulnerable adults. 

The Episcopal Church has developed recently new model policies, one for the Protection of Children and Youth, and one for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults. There is new training that is consistent with those model policies. Our updated diocesan policies now comply with The Episcopal Church policies regarding misconduct prevention and best practices, which are available. (see Toolkit below) These policies include Guidelines of Using Social Media and E-Communications (also in the Toolkit), along with updated forms for background checks on leaders of church ministries (both paid and volunteers).

Safe Church, Safe Communities is the program we are following. View the video below for a six-minute introduction that emphasizes the importance of Safe Church, Safe Communities as we share the love of Jesus Christ.


Links to all Safe Church materials and class registrations are found below.

Background Checks

Does your parish need to conduct background checks on lay employees or volunteers? Please email the following information to   to request background checks. Include a spreadsheet with the following information:

  • Parish & parish city
  • Appropriate contact person with whom to share the results of the check (if not the parish's clergy)
  • Full legal name of the person being checked
  • Email of the person being checked

A standard check costs $23. Parishes with an operating budget above $150k will be invoiced for the background check costs. The diocese will cover the costs of background checks for parishes with an operating budget below that threshold. If you have any other questions, please email 

Safe Church Training

Our diocese uses the Safe Church, Safe Communities program created by Church Pension Group that helps in the education and training for preventing and responding to sexual abuse in everyday life and in ministry. It is geared to clergy, parents, youth workers, vestry members, congregation members who are responsible for protecting children and adults, employees of churches and church organizations, and volunteers responsible for planning, implementing or supervising ministries, activities or programs. 

You may complete your Safe Church training online. You are no longer required to do your initial training in person. If you have questions, please email Deacon Terry Garner

Re-Certification is required every three years and may be completed online.

Safe Church Online Training Registration

This registration is to complete all training offered through our online courses. You may print your own certificates when you complete all the online required courses. 

Safe Church Toolkit 

The Toolkit includes the policies, some documents, spreadsheets, and forms that may be useful to you and/or your ministries in updating or creating your ministries’ Safe Church, Safe Community policies.


The Diocese of Milwaukee policies are included as PDF files for easy downloading (and printing if needed). They are also included as docx files so that you can download for easy modification to create the Policies for your parish and/or ministry.

Diocese of Milwaukee Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth (pdf)
Diocese of Milwaukee Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth (docx)
Diocese of Milwaukee Policy for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (pdf)
Diocese of Milwaukee Policy for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (docx)
Recommended Practices and Guidelines for Social Media and Electronic Communications for Children and Youth (pdf)

Local Resources

The Local Resources forms are docx files that you can download and use to identify & include the contact person(s) for Children & Youth ministries and for Vulnerable Adult ministries.

Local Resources for Response: Protection of Children and Youth (docx)
Local Resources for Response: Protection of Vulnerable Adults (docx)

Training Resources

The Training Courses file is an easy reference for which ministries require what training. It is a pdf file for downloading (and printing if necessary).

Training Courses (pdf)

The Training Tracking template below is a spreadsheet that may be useful in monitoring the individuals’ training in your ministry/ministries. You might use one worksheet to track everybody or worksheets for each type of ministry. The first worksheet is “Helpful Info,” which may help you decide how best to use this tool.

Training Tracking Template (xlxs)

The Training Tracking example below demonstrates how you might use the tool by providing some sample entries in the Comprehensive worksheet. The first worksheet is “Directions” describing the sample entries.

Training Tracking Example (xlxs)