Safe Environment Program
Creating a safe environment for children and young people is a diocesan priority. Article 12 of the US Bishops’ document, The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, requires U.S. dioceses to establish "safe environment programs" and gives the necessary elements of these programs.
All adult and teen leader volunteers who regularly work with children, youth or vulnerable adults must attend this training.
The diocesan safe environment program includes:
Training for all volunteers regarding the dynamics of abuse and abuse-prevention strategies
(required every 3 years)
- Evaluation and conduct of the backgrounds of all employees and volunteers
- Review and signing of the Code of Conduct and Standards of Behavior
All programs require the presence of two adults or one adult and two older teen.
This policy extends to:
- All Church-sponsored trainings and events regardless of where the programs or activities are held.
- Catholic school events and activities outside of a regular classroom setting
- Religious education classes and programs
- Youth ministry programs and events
- Liturgy of the Word for children
- Rite of Christian Initiation adapted for children
- Babysitting, nursery and child care programs
- Choirs for children and youth
- Altar server training
- Vacation Bible School
All employees are screened during the interview and hiring process. All new volunteers are to be interviewed and screened.
What are the different Safe Environment Trainings?
- Initial Session: Sessions for adults to teach employees and/or volunteers about recognizing boundaries, how to respond if boundaries are broken, and how to report boundary violations (employees/volunteers including trainers, must attend an initial session or re-training session every three years).
- Retraining: Employees and volunteers who have participated in the initial training. Participants must have attended the initial session (employees/volunteers including trainers, must attend a session or re-training session every three years).
- Teen Leader Safe Environment: For teens, ages 13-17, wishing to volunteer in a ministry in parishes or schools. Must also go though Called to Protect for Youth Program taught in Catholic Schools and Parish Religious Education programs.
For more information, please contact the Parish office.