A Summary of the Diocesan Safe Environment Program
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 “CMGConnect”. CMGConnect 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. Youth in grades 9-12 who work with other minors on a regular basis will do their own training through CMG connect, which covers safe and appropriate ways to interact with others. Youth in grades 6-8 who interact on a regular basis with children will read and sign a code of conduct, with their parents, which outlines their promise to demonstrate good moral character as to serve as Catholic Christian role models.
This replaces the former Safe Environment Program (VIRTUS )offered through our Diocese. Individuals will still be able to complete their Safe Environment clearance in the privacy of their homes and at their leisure.
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 Selection.com to conduct the background checks. This background check company re-screens all church personnel and /or volunteers quarterly through Search America, the largest criminal data base in the United States, as part of their ongoing commitment to the Catholic Church. The background check is a fully integrated process within the CMGConnect training Platform.
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
- Sherrie Kelly (Chairperson), Retired school counselor for Sacred Heart Jr/Sr. High School
- Nancy Main, Retired social worker/child advocate
- Dr. George Jerkovich, Psychiatrist at Salina Regional Medical Center
- Monica Woolsoncroft, Physician Assistant at a Salina Clinic
- Guy Steier, District Magistrate Judge
- Mike Marshall, Retired detective with the Salina Police Department
- Melissa Short-Eshleman, Semi-retired officer from the Salina Police Department
- Maria Cheney, LSCSW, Counselor at Veridian Mental Health/Salina
- Dcn. Steve Frueh, Diocesan Assistance Coordinator
- Corey Lyon (Moderator), Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese of Salina and Canon Lawyer, ex-officio member
- Rev. Bill Surmeier, Certified Counselor/Retired Priest, ex-officio member
- Rev. Keith Weber, Diocesan Finance Officer, Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Salina - ex-officio member
- Rev. Msgr. James Hake, Defender of the Bond of the Marriage Tribunal and canon lawyer, ex-officio member
- Very Rev. Kerry Ninemire, Pastor of Seven Dolors Parish, Manhattan - ex-officio member
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