Protection for Children & Youth
The Catholic Church teaches the inherent value of each individual person from conception to natural death. In response to the sex abuse crisis within the Church, each diocese has outlined requirements for child safety and protection based on national standards of the USCCB.
The catechetical leader is responsible for fulfilling all diocesan mandates relative to safe environments for children. Thus, all parish employees and all catechists and aides over age 18 who hope to work with children and youth are interviewed, background checked, and VIRTUS trained through an in-person diocese-run three-hour session.
After in-person training, they must complete at least 24 monthly emailed child protection update bulletins online, and read, sign, and remain compliant with the following Diocese of Cleveland directives:
- Policy for Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse, Revised 2016
- Standards of Conduct for Ministry, Revised 2016
In addition, the diocese requires that all children in PSR programs complete age-appropriate lessons on personal safety, the importance of boundaries, and the recognition and reporting of questionable or abusive behavior of adults.
If you suspect that abuse has occurred, you MUST report it to civil authorities.
- Call Cuyahoga County Department of Child & Family Services at 216-696-KIDS (5437).
- Then report your concerns to the Diocese of Cleveland 24-hour response line: 216-334-2999.
- Then immediately speak to the catechetical leader or pastor/administrator.
- Catechetical Leader Stephanie Pritts: email@example.com or 216-861-5343.
- Fr. Michael K. Gurnick: firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-631-6872.
The safety and protection of our children depends on the cooperation of all of us. If you see or hear something that troubles you, please say something to parish leaders.