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Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children &Youth

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to providing safe and healthy environments for children and youth.This commitment is expressed in the Archdiocese of Baltimore's child and youth protection policies.These policies of the Archdiocese have been in place since the 1980s.They have been evaluated, strengthened, and disseminated broadly through the years.In 1993, the Archdiocese publicized written child protection policies and established an Independent Review Board.The Archdiocese implemented mandatory screening and training policies for employees and volunteers in 2003, as well as mandatory safe environment education for children.In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops promulgated the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms which establish a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.The Archdiocese of Baltimore has regularly been found by outside auditors to be compliant with the Charter.The Archdiocese continues to work with others outside of the Archdiocese to assist with efforts to protect all children in the community from child abuse.Over the years, the Archdiocese has updated its policies.The Archdiocese now in 2014 rededicates its efforts to creating safe environments for our children and reiterates its expectation for compliance with the child and youth protection policies and procedures through this revision of its policies.

Church personnel in the Archdiocese are expected to promote the dignity of each person and to understand the power they have to do great good and the power to cause harm.We pray for the healing and reconciliation of all those who have been victims of child abuse.We will exclude from ministry,employment, and volunteer service anyone against whom there is a credible allegation of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect of a child.We will affirm efforts to provide appropriate and loving outreach to the children and youth of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore wishes to acknowledge the commitment of the clergy,religious, employees, and volunteers to the young people of our Church and the implementation of these policies.

We believe that God's people have the right to healthy ministry and to quality pastoral care.

We believe that at the heart of this ministry is a relationship with God, a desire for holiness, and a commitment to live in right relationship with God's people.

We believe that the protection of those children and youth entrusted to the Church's care is of paramount interest.

We believe that those who work in the Church have grace influenced ability to do great good for children and youth.

We believe that when a representative of the church commits child abuse,emotional, spiritual, physical and/or psychological damage occurs.

We believe that the Church must continue to reach out to those who are victims of child abuse with the very compassion of Christ.

We recognize our responsibility to provide avenues of healing for those who are victims and for their families.

We recognize our responsibility to observe the requirements of civil law regarding prompt reporting of suspected child abuse and to continue cooperating with civil authorities.

We recognize there are instances where the state may not prosecute even though a credible allegation has been made.  Regardless of criminal proceedings, when a credible allegation has been made we take appropriate action to promote the safety of children and youth.

We recognize our responsibilities as an employer:Church personnel are entitled to fair treatment under canon and civil law.

Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children &Youth Table of Contents