July 18, 2014
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek has expressed his desire to provide a meaningful, viable and practical program for all adults who minister to children. Thus he authorized Praesidium (a company that is on the ground floor of developing safe environment training programs) to provide a such training. This training meets the standards and those “norms” established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
At the Bishop DeFalco Retreat Center on June 6-7, the Safe Environment Office of the Diocese of Amarillo, in cooperation with Praesidium offered a second training session for new Safe Environment Adult Facilitator’s.
As a result of this training session, the diocese has added 47 new facilitators along with the previously trained facilitators for a total of 137 facilitators. These facilitators represent 44 parishes and all five Catholic schools in the Diocese of Amarillo.
All facilitators hold a responsible position in the parish and Catholic schools and are committed to training Church Personnel (volunteers, employees, teachers, deacons, priests, any adult who ministers to minors, etc.) so that everyone can feel safe and secure in our Catholic Facilities. Bishop Zurek has expressed his appreciation for the dedication of these Facilitators who so willingly dedicated their time to this ministry.
Most volunteers, if they have any planned, regular, private, isolated and/or unsupervised contact with minors, must receive Safe Environment Training and undergo a Criminal Background and do so every five years.
Every Catholic employee (diocesan, Catholic school and parish) and every Deacon and Priest must receive Safe Environment Training and undergo a criminal background regardless as to their assignment.
The Praesidium training, offered to all Church Personnel, utilizes a multimedia format as its training method. There are two videos shown that explain boundaries and appropriate behavior, how to recognize inappropriate behavior, how to recognize symptoms of abuse, plus the Facilitator’s overview of the Safe Environment Policy and Code of Conduct, followed by a question and answer session.
If you are a volunteer who has not received clearance to minister to minors, or your five year clearance is about to expire, contact your pastor who can direct you to the person in your parish who can provide the training.
For further information regarding Safe Environment, Victim Assistance, Reporting Abuse, the Amarillo Diocese Safe Environment Policy and Programs for Children and Minors please visit the Diocese of Amarillo at www.amarillodiocese.org., under Safe Environment.
Deacon Blaine Westlake is Director of Safe Environment for the Diocese of Amarillo.