Updated Policies, Standards and Procedures now available

At the March 2014 meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, revisions to the Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct [PSP] were approved.

As stated in PSP 15.01, “These policies shall be deemed always a work in progress, though at all times effective as of the date last approved by the Synod of Bishops.  To that end, ORSMA, SMPAC, together with the Synod of Bishops and relevant professional consultants, will continue to review and to propose revisions to these Policies based on current trends in relevant best practices, and the realities of the application within the Church of these Policies in their past and current incarnations.”

The following changes have been made to reflect the needs of the Church in dealing with sexual misconduct:

  1. Expanded section 2.09 to further clarify the role of the Ruling Bishop and the grounds for recusal.
  2. Added PSP Section 9.10 Effect of Conviction of Criminal Offense.
  3. Added PSP Section 15 Registered Sex Offenders along with a companion Guide for parishes which can be downloaded here.

The updated PSPs may be downloaded here.

To further assist parishes in compliance with the PSPs, the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations has developed forms for the recruitment and screening of youth workers.  The Youth Volunteer Application Packet may be used in parishes and organizations that have not yet adopted their own forms.  The packet can be downloaded here.