The Samaritan Counseling Center’s mission begins and ends with people and our community.

National Pilot Program

National Pilot Program Seeds New SafeChurch Clusters:  Find a “Hub” Near You!

Initially funded by the Ms. Foundation for Women and developed by the Samaritan Counseling Center in Lancaster, PA, SafeChurch is part of a groundbreaking effort to end child sexual abuse across the United States  by building an inclusive, strategic and sustainable movement encompassing diverse secular and faith-based organizations. Learn how we are working with other organizations across the country to develop a movement for ending child sexual abuse! Click here for more information.

In addition to deepening our work in Lancaster and contiguous counties, our “big” vision is to have multiple clusters of “safe churches” in relationship with local organizations working to end CSA within geographically defined communities across the country to ignite a faith-based movement within the larger stream beginning to coalesce around this issue.

The 2 year national pilot program that began in April 2013 and concluded in April 2015 was a 20 hour, 3-day training for ordained and lay leaders from a broad spectrum of theological traditions to equip them to facilitate a SafeChurch process in their own congregations, or in a “Cluster” of several churches working together.

The pilot was intended to be a learning experience for both participants and Samaritan’s designers of SafeChurch to determine how the model developed in Pennsylvania can be adopted and implemented in other geographic locations.

Our pilot program demonstrated the portability of the model.  We now offer it as a three-day facilitator training which can be hosted by a community organization or a regional church association.  See our Facilitator Training page for details!

In addition to our Lancaster-Lebanon-York- Harrisburg, PA, Clusters, SafeChurch is now available in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Harlem and Harrisonburg, VA.  Organizations that are serving as community “hubs” in these areas and the contact information for each are listed below.

CONNECT (Harlem, NY)
Sally MacNichol, Co-Executive Director

The Collins Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
Ana Arias, Associate Director

Care & Counseling Center of GA (Decatur, GA)
Tom Van Laningham, Faith Community/Outreach Coordinator

Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute (Pittsburgh, PA)
Michelle Hanna-Snyder, Executive Director

Samaritan Counseling Center of Western PA (Sewickley, PA)
Carl Baughman, Executive Director

SafeChurch Focus

Building. . .

a faith-based movement to end Child Sexual Abuse

Moving. . .

beyond first generation “safe church policies and training” to shifting culture to inspire and equip adults to protect children from sexual harm in church and community

Connecting. . .

with others sharing a vision where people of faith take leadership to end the conditions that allow one in four girls and one in six boys to be sexually abused

Engaging. . .

survivors as sources of wisdom and leaders

Partnering. . .

with the Just Beginnings Collaborative to End Child Sexual Abuse