YOUTH PROTECTION TRAINING
Keeping children safe from abuse involves training both adults who work with children and the children themselves. In the Diocese of Birmingham, training for adults is called “Youth Protection” and training for children is called “Safe Environment.”
Safe Environment is a program designed to help children protect themselves from unsafe situations with adults. The Diocese of Birmingham requires all youth education programs to provide training to all youth annually. This is done each fall. Training currently involves watching the “Safe and Secure” video which can be found HERE. Parents are encouraged to watch the video, which is offered in both English and Spanish, and discuss it with their children.
In accordance with the Diocese of Birmingham, all diocesan employees and volunteers who have contact with children or vulnerable adults must complete "youth protection training." The online training is available in English and Spanish, free of charge. The required course is “Protecting God’s Children for Adults”. Helpful information can be found HERE. Training will include a BACKGROUND CHECK and verification of receipt of the YOUTH PROTECTION CODE OF CONDUCT.
Once training is complete, you must print your certificate and submit it to Hannah Matthews in the Religious Education office (for parish volunteers) or the Prince of Peace Catholic School office (for school volunteers) to complete the certification process. When sending your information please indicate the area in which you are serving (ie: Youth Group, MOMS, Religious Education, KOC, etc.).
Copy of Training Completion Certificate or Card
Signed 'Youth Protection Code of Conduct Receipt Form'
Completed and Signed 'Volunteer Inquiry Release Form'
VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
If you have personal knowledge of child abuse or a child in danger, please report the abuse immediately to your local police and/or DHR office.
The diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator is available to provide support to anyone who has been abused in any Catholic church setting or program. If you are a victim of abuse or know of someone who is a victim please contact Albert Manzella. The Victim Assistance Coordinator:
Receives new allegations and reports of suspected child abuse
Supports and coordinates the work of the diocesan Review Board
Coordinates compliance with the annual audit of child and youth protection
The Diocese of Birmingham has long recognized that children, youth and other vulnerable persons can be at risk from certain individuals present in every community. Individuals, who for whatever reason, prey on those weaker than themselves. We recognize that whenever children and youth are out of their parents' direct care, they are especially at risk. In 1991 a set of policies and procedures were promulgated to help ensure that Catholic institutions and programs would be as safe as possible from those seeking to harm minors. Training sessions were implemented to prepare staff and volunteers to continue their ministries in safe and healthy ways, and to properly respond and report allegations of suspected child abuse. Policies, procedures and training continue to change and grow as the needs of Catholic institutions have changed.