Child Protection Policy
All children have the right to be safe and protected from harm in any and all environments – home, school, religious institutions, neighborhoods and communities. The Catholic Diocese of Belleville (the “Diocese) embraces this right to safety and is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children. The Diocese will do all in its power to create a safe environment for children and young people, to prevent the physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and to bring the healing ministry of the Diocese to bear wherever possible. It is the expectation of the Diocese that all individuals and entities under its auspices comply with the provisions stated in this policy.
This Child Protection Policy (the “Policy”) builds on a 1990 policy issued by the Diocese that was updated in 1993 with an additional policy document regarding clerical sexual misconduct with minors. This Policy continues and expands our concern for children and reflects the provisions contained in the revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (approved by the full body of U.S. Catholic Bishops at its November 2002 General Meeting) and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (approved by the Congregation for Bishops December 8, 2002).
With renewed faith, we commit ourselves to the original goals of this Policy:
a. To reiterate and strengthen educative and screening procedures toward the goal of preventing child abuse;
b. To identify and observe reporting requirements to civil and Diocesan authorities;
c. To address the spiritual, physical and emotional care of the abused child and the family, as well as the affected Catholic community;
d. To address the spiritual, physical and emotional care of the individual against whom the charge was made; and
e. To address other actions to be taken when child abuse is alleged.
All Personnel and Volunteers as defined in the Diocesan Child Protection Policy are required to abide by the Child Protection Policy of the Diocese.
Approved: March 6, 2015
The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton
Bishop of Belleville