October 2020 Updated

New Policy in September 2020

Due to current circumstances, with public gatherings being limited, some parishes might find using an online platform for meetings with children, teens and families to be preferred. Ensuring the safety and privacy of minors during these sessions are of paramount concern. In all circumstances, including online interactions, the Code of Professional Conduct must be adhered to and adult-minor boundaries must be maintained.

Preplanning:

  1. Religious Education teacher or Youth Minister must first obtain permission from the pastor to conduct virtual lessons or meetings.1. Religious Education teacher or Youth Minister must first obtain permission from the pastor to conduct virtual lessons or meetings.
  2. Parents must be informed and must provide written permission allowing their minor to participate in on-line instruction or activity. Parents must have access to everything provided to their children. Parents should be copied on all material sent to their children.
  3. There must be at least 2 Safe Environment compliant adults on any live, virtual meetings with minors.

Setting up a meeting:

  1. Communication regarding time and meeting links should go directly through parents. Minor age 14-up may be copied on the information with the permission of parents.Communication regarding time and meeting links should go directly through parents. Minor age 14-up may be copied on the information with the permission of parents.
  2. Communicate through approved messaging apps or official parish accounts. No personal accounts should be used by the facilitator. Passwords for meeting should be established and shared to avoid access to the public.
  3. For privacy purposes, no meetings or lessons should be recorded. If there is a legitimate need, parental permission must be acquired for each minor being recorded. No pictures, videos or other information identifying a minor may be used without parental permission.
  4. Webcams must be optional
  5. Private chatting or conversations between adults and children is prohibited.
  6. Ensure the location and dress of the individual filming is professional in nature. All attending should present themselves as they would if attending an in-person meeting.

File: 2020-Policy_for_online_use_with_minors_updated.pdf