The following are the highlights of the child protection efforts that have been put into place by the Archdiocese of New York, as of Fall 2016:
Annual Audit Results
Each year, Archdiocese of New York undergoes an audit, to determine our compliance with the Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This audit is consulted by outside auditors, under the supervision of an independent National Review Board established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In November 2015, the Archdiocese was found to be full compliance with the Charter -- our eleventh consecutive finding of full compliance.
Statistical Summary of Efforts to Date
Since the start of the program in 2003, the following protective steps have been taken:
- Over 120,000 background checks have been completed on clergy, employees, and volunteers (this includes criminal background checks and sex offender registries);
- Over 105,000 clergy, employees, and volunteers have received training on keeping children safe (either through "VIRTUS -- Protecting God's Children" or "Safer Spaces" classes);
- Over 133,000 (annually) children received age-appropriate, morally sound safety training during the 2012-2013 school year; safety information was also provided to parents of school and religious education students.
To maintain the effectiveness of the program, we are taking the following steps for the future:
- Updated Policy on Sexual Misconduct -- A revised Policy on Sexual Misconduct was promulgated, bringing our policies up to date to address a wider range of issues and situations, and to claiify the procedures by which we handle allegations of misconduct.
- Clergy Training -- We conducted a training session for all clergy of the Archdiocese on keeping children safe from intruders such as "active shooters".
- Local Visitations -- We are conducting a program of visits to parishes and schools to assess and improve compliance efforts. A team of retired police officers are carrying this out and have already visited over 55 parishes.
- On-Line Training -- Volunteers and non-instructional employees are able to fulfill their training requirement by viewing the "Safer Spaces" video through an on-line training tool.
- Training Refreshers -- We provide to all staff an annual printed training refresher resource.
- Children's Lessons -- We have introduced updated lesson plans for the children's lessons, including resources and materials for parents.
- Updated Training Materials -- We have an updated Spanish-language "Safer Spaces" training video, which will also be made available online.