Summary of Child Protection Efforts
The following are the highlights of the child protection efforts that have been put into place by the Archdiocese of New York, as of December 2012:
Annual Audit Results
Each year, Archdiocese of New York undergoes an audit, to determine our compliance with the Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This audit is consulted by outside auditors, under the supervision of an independent National Review Board established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In December 2012, the Archdiocese was found to be full compliance with the Charter -- our eighth consecutive finding of full compliance.
Statistical Summary of Efforts to Date
Since the start of the program in 2003, the following protective steps have been taken:
- 94,095 background checks have been completed on clergy, employees, and volunteers (this includes criminal background checks and sex offender registries);
- 83,712 clergy, employees, and volunteers have received training on keeping children safe (either through "VIRTUS -- Protecting God's Children" or "Safer Spaces" classes);
- 155,888 children received age-appropriate, morally sound safety training during the 2011-2012 school year; safety information was also provided to parents of school and religious education students.
Future Initiatives Planned
To maintain the effectiveness of the program, we are taking the following steps for the future:
- Clergy Training -- A clergy training program was held in Spring 2012, focusing on maintaining proper professional boundaries in ministerial relationships.
- Renewal of Background Checks -- A new policy is now being implemented to refresh background checks of all staff.
- International Clergy -- A new policy is being implemented to conduct home-country background checks for international clergy.
- On-Line Training -- Volunteers and non-instructional employees are now able to fulfill their training requirement by viewing the "Safer Spaces" video through an on-line training tool;
- Training Refreshers -- We have implemented a standard annual printed training refresher resource for teachers, catechists, and others who work and volunteer regularly with minors
- Updated Training Materials -- Our "Safer Spaces" training video, which is used for volunteers and non-instructional employees, has been updated to include new information and policies, and an updated Spanish version is in production. Our online training module is being upgraded, and should be available in early 2013.
A printed version of this summary of child protection efforts is available to be downloaded and distributed. Just click here.