The following are the highlights of the child protection efforts that have been put into place by the Archdiocese of New York, as of Fall 2014:
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 November 2013, the Archdiocese was found to be full compliance with the Charter -- our ninth 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:
- 107,560 background checks have been completed on clergy, employees, and volunteers (this includes criminal background checks and sex offender registries);
- 94,516clergy, employees, and volunteers have received training on keeping children safe (either through "VIRTUS -- Protecting God's Children" or "Safer Spaces" classes);
- 139,780 children received age-appropriate, morally sound safety training during the 2012-2013 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:
- Renewal of Background Checks -- Background checks of all staff are being refreshed to ensure current information.
- International Clergy -- We are now conducting home-country background checks, when available, for clergy from other nations who have come to serve in the Archdiocese.
- 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; the online training module has been upgraded in cooperation with Marist College.
- Training Refreshers -- We provide to all staff an annual printed training refresher resource.
- Children's Lessons -- We have introduced updated lesson plans for the children's lessons, including resources and materials for parents.
- Updated Training Materials -- We are preparing an updated Spanish-language "Safer Spaces" training video, which will also be made available online.
A printed version of this summary of child protection efforts is available to be downloaded and distributed. Just click here.