Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults
The Church of St. Thomas the Apostle has a long and dedicated history of providing a variety of ministries and programs to meet the many needs of the parish community. The value of parish programs has also included the unwavering expectation that the environment for carrying out these ministries be safe, healthy and grounded in respect for the dignity of all persons participating.
The parish has in place updated policies and procedures regarding persons with particular responsibilities for program leadership. For many years, paid staff has had to agree to a background check as a condition of employment. More recently, volunteers working alone with children and vulnerable adults have also undergone background checks as a condition of participating in parish ministry.
After finalizing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Archdiocese extended a standardized background check requirement for all volunteers who regularly work or have contact (even one time) with minors or vulnerable adults in a supervisory, leadership, chaperone, care-giving, teaching or similar relationship. St. Thomas the Apostle fully complies with this requirement.
The parish has no knowledge of a situation where a child or vulnerable adult has been abused or exploited by a paid staff person or volunteer working under a parish program. Should such knowledge surface, the parish will fully comply with reporting expectations of both civil and archdiocesan authorities.
Accordingly, these parish guidelines reflect the most current recommendations and suggestions form the Archdiocese and from the McDowell Agency, an independent agency working as a consultant to parishes. More details are available from the parish office.
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