The Safeguard the Children Committee plays a crucial role in assuring that the safeguard initiatives found in the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People have been made a priority in every parish and school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and that the Archdiocesan safe environment programs, policies and procedures are being implemented throughout the parish/school and its community.
The Safeguard the Children Committee has six areas of focus:
1. Monitor Archdiocesan Policies and Procedures
The Safeguard the Children Committee plays an important role in helping to ensure that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles policies and procedures are followed and that accurate records are kept to verify that the norms of the Charter have been met.
2. Educate Safe Environment Programs and Resources
Education is the key to change. One of the most important jobs of the committee is to ensure that all adults who work with or around children have attended the VIRTUS® Adult Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs and that all children and young people have been educated in one of the Archdiocesan approved children’s programs. The committee also helps educate through the use of outside speakers and resources.
3. Evaluate Parish/School Site Safety
The Committee consistently evaluates the parish/school site from the perspective of child and youth safety issues. Although Safeguard the Children focuses on child abuse prevention it is also about the safety of our children at all times.
4. Review Parish/School Policies, Programs, and Events
Each parish/school site has many programs and events which take place each year. Many of these are opened to the community at large. It is important to review these on a yearly basis and evaluate any safety issues which may arise and establish clear safe environment monitoring policies and procedures for addressing them.
5. Assist Annual USCCB Safe Environment Pre-Audit and Audit Process
The Safeguard the Children Chairperson and their Committees play an important part in the USCCB Safe Environment Audit Process.
6. Celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month (April)
Celebrating what we as members of the Catholic Church are doing to help stop child sexual abuse is an important role of the Committee. April is a great month to spread the word that “together we are making a difference” not only in our parishes/schools but also to the surround community.