Diocese found to be in compliance with
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
A safe environment audit recently completed covering 2013-2014 has found the Diocese of Des Moines in compliance with the requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Bishop Richard Pates received a letter dated Sept. 22 from StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York, stating the diocese was in compliance with the safe environment requirements. The information will be forwarded to the Secretariat of Youth and Child Protection for use in a 2014 audit report.
“We are grateful for the conscientious work of many people who understand that having a safe environment in our parishes and schools for children is a top priority,” said Bishop Pates. “I thank all of the staff and volunteers who take the time to complete the safe environment training and background checks and, in particular, Sister Jude Fitzpatrick and her associates at the Pastoral Center.”
The diocese hopes to implement a new online background screening process in October that should significantly simplify the process and eliminate some of the delays encountered in its current process for performing safe environment background checks.
The diocese relies on the efforts of all those at the parish and school level to make sure staff and volunteers who should have a background check and complete Virtus safe environment training do so.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was created in 2002 by the U.S. bishops following reports of abuse of minors by clergy.
The Diocese of Des Moines has had a policy addressing sexual abuse of minors by clergy since 1988. After the charter was created, a new diocesan policy put more emphasis on the needs of victims and put programs in place to prevent opportunities for abuse.