Organizations consistently call upon us in times of crisis as a resource to provide independent and transparent guidance and solutions.
Our substantial institutional integrity practice works with domestic and global religious institutions and parachurch organizations from all faiths and practices on a variety of cultural, compliance and investigative matters. We understand the challenges that faith-based organizations face in identifying, addressing and preventing issues such as sexual harassment and abuse. We are experts in assessing cultural and organizational risks and providing concrete steps to facilitate change.
We apply our unique capabilities, relationships, tools, and programs to unearth and analyze crucial information, allowing you to confidently confront sensitive issues that arise in your church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or other religious or parachurch organization. Our team of skilled trauma informed investigators, intelligence analysts, and forensic professionals have achieved an unparalleled track record of results; helping to identify, address, and correct systemic issues related to sexual, gender-based, and racial misconduct within a faith-based context.
Our process and our efforts are governed by best standards and practices designed to ensure accountability, transparency, and care for the wellbeing of the reporting parties.
Guidepost Best Practices:
- Trauma-informed survivor and witness interviews: compassion and care.
- Anonymity and confidentiality for survivors and witnesses, where permitted by law.
- Independence and transparency.
- Practical recommendations that are informed by trauma-informed principles.
- Southern Baptist Convention – Conducted a thorough and independent investigation into the response to sexual abuse allegations and an audit of the procedures and actions of the Credentials Committee.
- Christianity Today (CT) – Assessed the culture of Christianity Today and its handling of harassment claims, including reviewing its training, policies and procedures, and recommended concrete changes. At the request of CT, we prepared a public report of our findings.
- RZIM – Assessed the leadership, organizational structure, culture, policies, processes, finances, and practices of the world’s largest Christian apologetics ministry. At the request of RZIM, we prepared a public report of our findings.
- Preemptive Love – Conducted a full organizational cultural review and investigation.
- Summit Church – Conducted an investigation of a historic issue and reviewed the hiring of a pastor who was accused of mishandling a past sex crime allegation at a previous church.
- Vineyard USA – Conducted an Institutional Assessment, a review of the current structure and governance, and assess how it has allowed the church to respond to significant issues including allegations of sexual misconduct and pastoral failings.
Comprehensive review of the institution’s culture and develop plan for transformative change.
- A culture assessment helps determine if there are systemic and underlying issues relating to awareness, prevention, response, and cultural atmosphere within the institution regarding allegations or suspicions of harassment, fraudulent conduct, sexual abuse, and misconduct
- Input of key stakeholders critical to success
- Develop an implementation plan to make changes, as appropriate
Review of Policies + Procedures
- Review current and past policies and procedures relative to the reporting, investigations, response and oversight of allegations of inappropriate behavior including sexual abuse and misconduct. From this review, develop policies and procedures that provide standardized guidance for moving forward.
- Investigations into allegations or suspicions of harassment or fraudulent conduct
- Sensitive to matters of confidentiality and public perception
- Unbiased, external team lends credibility and objectivity in often challenging matters
Tip Line + Response
- Implementation of an immediate reporting capability (e.g., a 24/7 tip line or reporting number) where any new information or allegations of inappropriate behavior can be received in true name or anonymously
Survivor Support Measures
- Coordinate or assist in identifying a dedicated resource to assist survivors by serving as an additional reference and communication point for the survivors, including but not limited to assisting with access to accurate information and support resources
- Conduct a comprehensive security assessment for affiliates and facilities and then provide frameworks for risk assessments on security that can be shared with organization at large.
- Provide training for awareness, prevention, employment/volunteer screening practices, code of conduct, trauma-informed approach to care for survivors, response and mandated reporting, creating a culture of safety.
Ongoing Ad Hoc Advice + Counsel
We have helped large and small religious, academic, and other types of institutions identify, address, and correct systemic issues related to sexual, gender-based, and racial misconduct within a faith-based context utilizing best standards and practices, consistent with the institutions’ beliefs and framework, and trauma-informed principles.