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 these ministries take place in a safe and healthy environment 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. As part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, all adult volunteer ministers who have regular or unsupervised contact with minors must complete three requirements:
Ministers younger than 18 who work with children must sign a Code of Conduct and provide at least 2 written statements from trustworthy adults attesting to their character and dependability for their ministry position. Attending a VIRTUS session is recommended but not required.
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 from the Archdiocese and from the McDowell Agency, an independent agency working as a consultant to parishes. More details are available from the parish office.
Reviewed June 2014
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