Success! Do we have it? How will we know?
The first answer is yes, at least in many ways. We have come far in:
- implementing procedures to make abuse impossible
- developing a culture where abuse is unthinkable
Still, even the best parishes know that ensuring safety can't stop now. This is what a fully implemented Strengthening Our Parish Communities program would look like to children, the frail elderly, and their parents or care givers, in our parishes:
- All volunteers, staff and clergy who teach, supervise, and visit children or elderly have agreed to our Model Code of Conduct and intend to act accordingly
- Vulnerable Sector Police Information Checks have been procured for all these personnel
- Annual training in child abuse prevention and elder abuse prevention is available and is presented to these personnel, and to interested members of the parish
- Children and elderly are treated with respect, patience, integrity, and consideration
- Positive reinforcement is the norm, rather than criticism, competition or comparison
- The Two – Adult rule is always observed
- Good supervision ratios is followed for minors (minimum of 2 adults per 15 children)
- Pastoral care visits are made by pairs of volunteers
- Complaints are dealt with promptly, respecting civil authority and the people involved.
Successes have been many. We hope to feature some of those as an inspiration and motivation to others. All Catholics should feel free to ask questions about how safety is being implemented in your parish. The world is waiting to see if we will be trustworthy bearers of the Gospel.
For more information, please visit www.calgarydiocese.ca and scroll down to click on the dove symbol for Strengthening Our Parish Communities. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk with your Pastor or Parish Volunteer Screening Coordinator, or contact the Diocesan Coordinator: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (403)218-5549.
This article appeared in the October 2014 issue of the Carillon