All adult employees and adult volunteers who will participate in a live, online session that includes minors must be screened and trained in accordance with the Diocese of Rockford Safe Environment Program.  Especially important is the Guidelines for Youth and Those Working with Youth document

No adult should be alone with a minor/teen – in person or online.  We recommend that at least two adults who have complied with the Diocese’s Safe Environment Program participate for the full duration of any online session.

All participants – adults and minors/teens included – must be dressed appropriately and modestly at all times during the video session.

All participants – adults and minors/teens – who may appear on screen must be streaming from an appropriate location (not from a bed or bathroom, for example).  It is imperative that all adults adhere to this requirement and require participants to adhere to this requirement.  A participant who is not in an appropriate location is to be removed from the session.

If anything inappropriate occurs or appears on screen, the adult leaders must immediately remove that individual’s image from other participant’s screens or remove that participant from the live stream.  The adult leader is to remove the video and/or audio of a participant who engages in minor classroom disruption or distraction, joking, or other minor action.  The adult leader is to immediately remove from the live stream session a participant who engages in anything more serious than these minor actions.  Please have all adult leaders prepared to act accordingly.

Instruct all adult leaders that if a participant is removed from the live stream, the adult leader is to notify his or her supervisor ( Director of RE/YM, Pastor, Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator, etc) immediately.  The adult leader is to complete and submit to the adult’s supervisor an incident report immediately following the live stream session.

For privacy purposes, parents must sign a form giving permission for the audio – and video-recording of their child, before their child can be recorded or have their image appear online.  Audio- and/or video-recording of a live stream may not occur unless an authorization form has been signed for every participant whose voice and image may appear on the recording.  If a permission form has not been signed for an individual, the adult leader must not permit speaking by that person or the image of that person to appear on the live stream screen at any time during the session that is being recorded.

The link to a session should not be posted in a public space, and participants should be instructed not to share it on any public or social platforms.

When creating a session on a platform that allows the session to be protected with a password, it is recommended that this feature be utilized to ensure that only the intended and invited participants can access the session.

Some platforms allow participants to meet when the host is not present.  This must be disabled by the adult leader in advance of the session.  Additionally, when the adult leader/host leaves the meeting, the adult leader/host must end the meeting for all participants.

Ensure all participants are identified so that there are no unauthorized attendees.

Be aware of the chat feature and how you wish this to be utilized.  It is recommended that the private chat feature is disabled so that any message is shared with the whole group (and a private chat cannot occur between two individuals)

Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list, and additional “best practices” may be added in the future.

Have any questions about Safe Environment?  Contact Heather Dunaway, Safe Environment Coordinator:      , (815) 399-4300 x417