In order to assist the members of our diocese more effectively, we have placed several documents online that explain the goals and desires of the Diocese of Salina in matters of child and youth protection. Also, here is a direct link to the Office of Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/safe-environment.cfm Please contact the Safety and Security office with any questions that you may have.
In their pastoral letter, Walk in the Light: A Pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse, the US Bishops stated,
"People tend to think that certain authority figures - such as parents, stepparents, teachers and clergy - are above reproach: that 'pillars of the community' could not abuse children. Abusive behavior often hides behind the masks of love and trust. While the true incidence of child sexual abuse remains unknown, it is nonetheless significant. We state firmly and clearly that any act of child sexual abuse is morally evil. It is never justified."
As a community of faith, we believe that the prevention of child sexual abuse begins with each person. Increased awareness and a willingness to take action are steps for every person to take to eradicate abuse in our society, in the community, in the neighborhood, and in the family.
A Training Program on the Prevention of Child Abuse
All those who minister to children or young people are to be educated about the nature of child sexual abuse, how it is perpetrated, how to report it, and strategies for prevention. The Diocese of Salina has implemented a training program by the name of “VIRTUS”. VIRTUS is a national program, widely in use in dioceses throughout the United States. It is a web-based on-line training program that specializes in helping churches and religious organizations create safe environments for children and youth. The program is mandatory for all adults [employees or volunteers] who interact on a regular basis with children in the Salina Diocese. There are three Parts to the VIRTUS program.
Most users complete the registration and training in 90 minutes. This replaces the former Safe Environment Program offered through our Diocese. For this reason, individuals can now complete their Safe Environment clearance in the privacy of their homes and at their leisure.
The VIRTUS program also is available in Spanish. Anyone logging on to the VIRTUS web site is offered the Spanish option.
Criminal Background Check
Every adult who regularly ministers to children or young people in the Church must have a criminal background check conducted by the Diocese. The Diocese employs a private national company, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) to conduct the background checks. This also is accomplished online by the applicant.
Safety Curriculum for Students in Parish Religious Education Programs and Catholic Schools
All dioceses in the United States must incorporate into their teaching curricula a safety program which assists young people to avoid people, places and circumstances that are potentially abusive and harmful. The Diocese of Salina recommends the employment of Child Lures Prevention, Happy Bear or a program of equivalent subject matter. These nationally recognized programs focus on various ways children are lured into harmful situations and how they can be avoided. This training program is for students in both primary and secondary grades.
Please contact Wendy Backes at the Safety and Security Office or Jennifer Mitchell at Child Lures Prevention (800)552-2197 www.childluresprevention.com
Lay Review Board Membership
The Lay Review Board meets on a quarterly basis. At these meetings, the board regularly discusses improvements that could be made to the diocesan safe environment program, updating policy and procedure and other important and sensitive issues are discussed on an as needed basis.
"Let us pray for all victims of sexual violence in conflict, and those working to end this crime.
ー Pope Francis
|Name||Corey Lyon, JCL|
Diocesan Assistance Coordinator
|Name||Pamela Sullivan, JD|
Diocesan Assistance Counselor
Available On Request