Monday, August 29, 2011

Random Notes on "Safe Environment" Training

Here are some notes on Safe Environment training, given by the Diocese of San Bernardino, California. It is technically named as Training on Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People. According to its statement, this training is held to ensure that safe environment exists everywhere in the jurisdiction of the Diocese. 

This is required to be taken and passed by bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral coordinators, educators, seminarians, religious men and women, deacon candidates, lay employees, independent contractors and volunteers. It is renewable every 5 years. 

  • When there's a suspected abuse of a minor, one should report the incident to any local law enforcement authorities or any immediate supervisor. (i.e. clergy: Vicar General, church employee or volunteer: Human Resources, catholic school staff/teachers: Office of the Superintendent)
  • Accusations of sexual misconduct of key church personnel are subject to both civil and canonical laws. 
  • Confidentiality on matters concerning physical identification of both parties (abuser and victim) shall be observed. Delegated officials/authorized agencies are the only mandated investigators
  • Two Adult Rule: at least two adults, 18 years of age older shall be present in any occasion/project/event that involves children participation. Adults will serve as back-up persons for the activity. 
  • A combination of male and female minors requires the presence of both male and female adult supervisions (to present both genders)
  • Safety (environment and stakeholders) is something that must be observed before, during and after a certain activity. 
  • All minors are supervised in a planned and organized manner until parental supervision begins. 
  • Even with a group of all girls, a male chaperon is still encouraged. 
  • Phone permission is allowed for minors as long as there are two people who can testify as witnesses. Conversation shall be transcribed with guardian's name affixed. 
  • Buddy system shall be observed during outside activities. 
  • Sacramental records older than 70 years are open to public.
  • The key to effective counseling is to be objective. 
  • Harassment can be visual, verbal, physical and sexual. It can be in single or persistent pattern. 
  • Conflict of interest: uses authority en the group to get personal benefits (prior dealings, personal involvement, etc.)

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