Adopted by the Mother Grove on March 28, 2015
ADF Policy Concerning Convicted and Registered Sex Offenders
Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. (ADF) is committed to promoting safe, accessible places of public worship, teaching, spiritual counseling and healing for children and adults and we adopt this policy for the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation within our church.
The purpose of establishing this policy of protection and its accompanying procedures is to demonstrate our commitment to the safety and spiritual growth of all persons, while reducing the risk for sexual abuse and exploitation to create a crisis within our church.
With the growing number of convicted and registered sex offenders living within our communities, it is increasing likely that one or more such individuals will seek to attend our public worship and/or seek to become involved in other ADF events, activities and/or leadership roles. As ADF Druids, we place considerable value on the virtue of hospitality and its reciprocal nature when creating sacred places for our worship. All persons offered hospitality by ADF, its leadership, its groups or its members for the purpose of worship, training, spiritual counseling and healing or other spiritual activities should be able to do so in safety and without the fear of sexual abuse or exploitation.
We hope that by raising awareness around the issues of sexual abuse and sex offenders that our church and grove congregations can create and implement local policies and procedures of prevention and protection for their membership, while continuing to provide accessible places of public worship. Our concern for the safety and security of our membership as a whole must always be given higher priority than the privileges and inclusion of an individual.
All convicted and/or registered sex offenders who desire to participate in ADF public worship or desire to become involved in other ADF events and activities, therefore, must be fully compliant with the procedures as outlined within this document. Convicted and/or registered sex offenders may not hold positions of responsibility within our church or its local grove congregations and must comply with the conditions of his or her Limited Access Agreement. The ADF Mother Grove reserves the right to limit privileges and/or exclude a convicted and/or registered sex offender from any and all ADF activity when evidence of significant risk to our membership exists.
Convicted Sex Offender- is a person who has been convicted of a sex crime (sexual assault, rape, incest, child sexual abuse); a person who has been convicted of a crime of a sexual nature, or a person who has been convicted of violating a law that is categorized as sexual, who may or may not be registered.
Registered Sex Offender- is an individual who has committed a sex crime, a crime of a sexual nature or one that violated laws categorized as sexual and is required by law to register with a sex offender registry, which is designed to allow authorities to keep track of an offender’s residence and activity, for example, Megan’s Law within the United States.
Positions of Responsibility- include any and all ADF leaders, whether elected, appointed or otherwise identified or perceived by the membership, who in the course of their work within ADF supervise, maintain, facilitate and/or implement public worship, teaching, spiritual counseling (whether private or public) and other activities for ADF, its charted groups to include: Guilds, Kins, SIGs, Orders and all classifications of Groves, as well as those organizing ADF sponsored activities and events, such as ADF festivals, study groups, and organizational meetings.
The following procedures apply when a member of the ADF Mother Grove, an ADF Clergy person, Senior Druid or other individual holding a position of responsibility with our church learns of a convicted or registered sex offender seeking participation in ADF public worship, teaching, spiritual counseling or other ADF events and activities.
- The ADF leader will formally and in writing notify the ADF Human Service Specialist who will immediately notify the Risk Management Committee of the ADF Mother Grove.
- The ADF Human Service Specialist will be responsible for informing the Risk Management Committee of all developments and information obtained from the interview process.
- The Risk Management Committee will be responsible for identifying an appropriate ADF leader to function as an interviewer. The interviewer will be responsible for conducting an interview of the offender when possible in person, however, in the event that a face to face interview is not possible, telephone interviewing may be considered appropriate.
- The interviewer will obtain residence address and telephone contact information from the offender and obtain information regarding the offender’s reasons for and level of participation desired within ADF. The interviewer will review ADF’s policy and procedures concerning convicted and/or registered sex offenders with the interviewee.
- The interviewer will seek to enlist the cooperation of the offender in making ADF accessible to him or her, while maintaining the safety, security and well-being of all persons offered hospitality by ADF, its leadership, its groups and its members. The interviewer will notify the offender that his or her status will be shared with individuals on an as needs to know basis and that confidential privilege cannot be guaranteed.
- The interviewer will obtain permission to contact the offender’s treatment provider, parole or probation officer to verify the conditions of the individual’s parole or probation and criminal history when applicable. The offender will, in a timely manner, sign releases of information for his or her treatment provider, parole or probation officer and provide the interviewer with contact information for these individuals.
- The interviewer will be responsible for contacting the parole or probation officer and treatment provider to obtain all necessary and relevant information, including but not limited to, whether the offenders participation in ADF activities will violate the offenders conditions of parole or probation when applicable. The interviewer is furthermore responsible for reporting all information obtained from the offender, treatment provider and parole or probation officer to the ADF Human Service Specialist.
- The Risk Management Committee will determine who will be notified within ADF of the offender’s participation and designate an individual to make all necessary notifications. Additionally, the Risk Management Committee will be responsible for the determining the information to be disclosed. All notifications must include: the ADF Archdruid, Vice Archdruid, the ADF leader responsible for the public worship, teaching, spiritual counseling or other ADF event or activity where the offender desires participation, as well as any ADF Clergy person having direct contact with the offender. Appropriate monitors may be identified and will be provided with additional training and instruction.
- The interviewer with assistance from the ADF Human Service Specialist will develop a Limited Access Agreement with the offender, which will specifically addresses the level of participation and any limitations. The completed Limited Access Agreement will be submitted to the ADF Human Service Specialist, who will forward the agreement to the Risk Management Committee for review and consideration. The offender may not begin participation in group ADF worship, face-to-face-teaching, spiritual counseling or other in person ADF events and activities prior to the approval of the Limited Access Agreement and its implementation by designated ADF leadership.
REASONS FOR EXCLUSION
Reasons for immediate exclusion will include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- If immediately upon becoming aware of ADF’s policy, the offender fails to notify an ADF Clergy person, Senior Druid, other ADF leader or a member of the ADF Mother Grove of his or her status as a convicted or registered sex offender. This notification must occur prior to the individual knowingly engaging in ADF public worship, teaching, events and activities.
- Refusal or failure of a convicted or registered sex offender to abide by the policy and procedures for notification and participation as outlined within this document.
- Refusal of a convicted or registered sex offender to sign and/or comply with a Limited Access Agreement.
- The refusal of a convicted or registered sex offender to give permission for the ADF Human Service Specialist or a designee of the ADF Mother Grove to contact his or her treatment provider or parole officer.
- The refusal of a convicted or registered sex offender to undergo a risk assessment with a qualified therapist. Any cost incurred in the process of undergoing a risk assessment will be the responsibility of the offender.
In the event that a convicted or registered sex offender is unable to agree to the conditions for participation, but at a later time, changes his or her mind the process may begin again.