The parishes and schools in the Diocese of Dallas work diligently and commit themselves to the prevention of abuse of children or vulnerable adults. Our safe environment program requires that all clergy, employees, and volunteers receive special training and undergo a criminal background check before they are allowed to work with children and/or vulnerable adults.
Safe environment training must be updated every year. During the past year 21,798 people received initial safe environment training or were updated in the diocese, including 18,640 volunteers, 1,520 employees, 1,292 educators and 346 priests and deacons.
The Diocese of Dallas requires that all clergy (priests and deacons), volunteers and employees have initial criminal background checks and that they be repeated biennially. Background checks in the Diocese of Dallas this past year totaled 16,700 including 7,022 first time checks and 9,678 rechecks.
All children attending Catholic School and Faith Formation Programs were trained this year about “Boundaries” and the importance of “Telling Someone” if their boundaries were violated. The number of children trained this year was 59,352.
This year we have incorporated into our Safe Environment Program a “Ministerial Code of Conduct.” The intent of which is to provide a set of normative standards of conduct for all clergy, employees, and volunteers engaged in ministerial and other church related situations in the diocese.
The Safe Environment Program, Ministerial Code of Conduct, and Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found on the diocesan website at www.cathdal.org , click on “A Safe Environment.” I would encourage you to visit the website where the program of t he Diocese of Dallas is explained in greater detail.
We are deeply committed to maintaining a safe environment in the diocese for children and vulnerable adults. National Child Abuse Prevention Month serves to remind us all of the importance of this issue, but providing a safe environment is a year round effort and I commend our parishes and institutions and the diocesan Safe Environment Office for their dedication.