Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
Safe Environment Policies
In 2002 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) convened in Dallas, Texas to address the problem of sexual abuse in the Church. The bishops worked to establish new procedures and norms that would guide the Church's response to past instances of abuse, prevent it from happening in the future, and provide care for victims. As a result of the meetings the bishops promulgated the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in June of 2002. The Charter has since been revised twice and remains the guiding document for the American Church on the issue of abuse.
The Diocese of Burlington shares in the mission to provide pastoral care for victims and to work to prevent future instances of sexual abuse. The work of preventing abuse has been furthered through mandatory background screening procedures and abuse prevention training for all church clergy, employees and volunteers who work with minors. After the Charter was issued the diocese created the Office for Safe Environment Programs. This office is charged with ensuring that the Charter and the diocesan policies related to the Charter are followed, and that sufficient education and awareness around abuse prevention are available. The Office for Safe Environment Programs is a valuable resource in Vermont and is available to assist wherever or whenever questions of child safety, abuse prevention education, victim assistance or the reporting of suspected abuse are concerned.
As a partner in this effort, St. Augustine Parish is committed to the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the parish, with a special interest in those who participate in our religious education program for young people. Religious education volunteers at St. Augustine's submit to background screening and complete diocesan abuse prevention training through a program entitled "Safe and Sacred." For more information about this program, please click here. Employees, volunteers and personnel must also follow the diocesan Code of Conduct, which appears in the diocesan Policies on Ethics and Integrity in Ministry. For information about diocesan policies related to the Charter For the Protection of Children and Young People please use the links below.