Safe Environment Program
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse.
The Charter directions action in all the following matters:
The Catholic bishops of the United States adopted the Charter in June 2002. The Charter was revised and approved in June 2005. The Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (Essential Norms) was approved by the Apostolic See in December 2002 and a revision was approved January 2006.
In June 2011, the USCCB approved a revised Charter, which modified the definition of sexual abuse of a minor to include:
In June 2012, the National Review Board released a report to bishops and the faithful to highlight both what has been done and what still needs to be done to protect children and restore trust. The report is titled A Ten Year Progress Report.
Parents have the right to insist their parishes and schools are in compliance with the Charter. All parishes and schools should be able to show parents that the clergy, employees, and volunteers who work with children are familiar with the warning signs of offenders, what to do if they have a concern about someone, and how to report suspected abuse. Employees and volunteers who work with children also need to have their backgrounds evaluated so parents can have a reasonable assurance that known offenders are not around their children.
Diocese of Evansville
Framework for Youth Protection
Overview and Vision
The Diocese of Evansville has been working with parents, civil authorities, educators, and various organizations in the community to make and maintain the safest environment for minors. The vision for our diocese is one wherein:
The primary components of a framework to accomplish this task include the items listed below:
Policies and Procedures Regarding Sexual Misconduct with Minors and the Diocesan Review Board
Child Abuse Prevention Month
In 1995 the following two documents were promulgated: Policy for Handling Accusations of Abuse, and Guidelines for Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse. In August of 2002, Policies and Procedures Regarding Clerical Sexual Misconduct with Minors was promulgated in accord with the Essential Norms of the Charter. This policy provided for the establishment of a Review Board, a Victim Assistance Coordinator, and a Promoter of Justice. It was re-promulgated on August 20, 2003, expanding the 2002 policy to include all diocesan personnel, not just clergy. The term diocesan personnel is defined in the document as all ordained and non-ordained ministers, employees, and volunteers who provide services, paid or unpaid, for the Diocese or any of its entities. The most recent revision of the Policies and Procedures was adopted on April 5, 2017.
Diocesan Review Board members are:
The diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator is Tom Wannemuehler, LCSW and the Promoter of Justice is Very Rev. Kenneth Walker, Judicial Vicar. Vice-Chancellor Dominic Faraone serves as diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator.
Every April, child and youth serving organizations including Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Month to highlight the importance of protecting minors from abuse. These efforts are part of the ongoing work of the Church in the United States to carry out the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
Here are some resources that can be used in your parish and/or school.
Pray a rosary to Our Lady with special intentions for victims/survivors of abuse and the defense of the vulnerable. A rosary prayed in the USCCB Chapel will be streamed live on the USCCB Facebook and Twitter page.
Dedicate April 5th to prayer and sacrifice for the intention: "May survivors of abuse experience God's profound love for them, and receive comfort and healing." Click here for more about the Call to Prayer.
Hang these victim outreach posters in your parish or school to encourage reporting and advocate for suvivors.
In 1997 the Catholic Schools Office began conducting criminal background checks for all newly hired administrators and teachers. Following the establishment of the Charter in 2002, ALL paid employees and those volunteers who have regular contact with youth are required to submit to background checks. Currently, over 17,000 employees and volunteers, including the bishop, all priests, deacons, and seminarians have submitted to a criminal history check.
Youth Protection Training
Winter/Spring 2019 Calendar of Adult Trainings
* Please contact the parish/school to register
Safe Environment Curriculum Verification Form