The role of a Contact Friend is to listen, support and explore possible courses of action.
A Contact Friend will support and inform the person and assist them to plan as to how they wish to proceed. Various options are open for consideration, including assisting the person to deal with the situation themselves, referring the matter to the Oversight/Pastoral Care Committee, seeking outside expertise or referring to an outside agency (e.g. support or advice from other churches, medical attention, counselling, legal advice). If Friends consider the law may have been broken, the Police may need to be contacted.
Some options for resolution may include:
- speaking to the person who has caused the difficulties,
- mediation or
- other Quaker conflict resolution processes.
The goal is to resolve the matter as satisfactorily as possible, providing healing, assistance to all persons affected, enhanced prevention of abuse and incorporating truth and justice.
A Contact Friend may also support the person who has an allegation against them.
Whatever the nature and severity of the disclosure, all persons involved must be dealt with in a serious, sensitive, supportive and compassionate manner. Safety must be assured and appropriate records must be kept, confidential and secure.
Biennially the SQC committee hosts a workshop for all SQC contact Friends. At these workshops, SCQ contact Friends are brought up to date on current SQC policies and procedures, learn new strategies and establish mutually supportive networks across the nation.
SWC Awareness Raising Sessions
Within Regional Meetings SQC contact Friends will work with Pastoral care/Oversight committees to raise awareness of Safe Quaker Communities and will conduct education and awareness raising sessions on an annual basis.