Safe Environment Office

https://salinadiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/safe-environment-2.png

The Catholic Diocese of Salina is committed to maintaining safe environments for children to learn, pray and grow. The Safe Environment Office is responsible for implementing and overseeing the full diocesan response to the USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. To ensure the safety of children and young people entrusted in our care, we provide educational training programs (through CMGConnect on-line platform), conduct presentations, and provide resource materials to personnel ministering to minors in our schools and parishes in relation to the directives of the Charter.

USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

Along with the training, with the assistance of the Human Resources Department, the office helps to oversee background screenings of these trained adults. The Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC) is the first person of contact if you have any questions or concerns related to boundary violations, when and if you should report suspected child abuse, or if you just need someone safe to talk to. The VAC manages the Catholic Diocese of Salina’s response to a victim/survivors of sexual abuse by serving as a contact and support for them, offering information regarding therapy, counseling and opportunities for outreach toward healing and restoration for the individual and their family. The Safe Environment Office supports our parishes and schools, maintains the compliance of our Dioceses and is an excellent resource for parents, educators, volunteers and community members.

Overview

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.

In the Catholic Diocese of Salina, we ensure this by:

  • Thoroughly screening and training all clergy, employees, educators and volunteers, with regard to contact with children. This group includes drivers who transport minors, coaches, kitchen workers, and playground supervisors, just to name a few. The training is done through CMGConnect our on-line training platform through Catholic Mutual which includes an integrated background check through Selection.com
  • Providing appropriate training in recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse to appropriate civil and church authorities. This training is done through meetings and presentations and is also discussed during on-site audit visits with parish and school Safety Coordinators, Pastors and Principals. Child Abuse training materials are presented through various handouts, flyers, posters and are distributed to parishes and schools via our website, newsletter, and the SDNB.
  • Holding all members of the clergy, employees and volunteers who work with minors to Christ centered and professional codes of conduct.
  • Providing safe environment training for STUDENTS in catholic schools and parish religious education programs. In these yearly refreshers, teachers will instruct ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children and young people. These age appropriate lessons may include information and instruction about: God’s love, relationships, personal space, boundaries, respect and care; safe and unsafe touches; lures, internet safety, bullying, as well as how to get help from a trusted adult. This training is for students in grades K-12.
  • For more information regarding the Safe Environment Program for the Catholic Diocese of Salina please contact Wendy Backes 785-827-8746 #24