We comply with Maryland laws requiring reporting suspected child abuse to civil authorities. Under Maryland law any person who has reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse must report the suspected abuse to civil authorities (local law enforcement or the local Department of Social Services Child Protective Services), even if the potential victim is now over 18 years old and even in cases where the alleged perpetrator is deceased.
If someone associated with the Church, including clergy, employees, or volunteers of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is suspected of abuse, then the suspected abuse must also be reported to the Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection at 410-547-5348 or the Victims Assistance Hotline at 1-866-417-7469.
If you have reason to believe that a bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore has engaged in child sexual abuse or other inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor, if you allege that a bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore engaged in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct toward an adult, or if you allege that a bishop of the Archdiocese has engaged in activities that constitute seriously negligent supervision or an improper cover-up relating to alleged child sexual abuse by others within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, please contact EthicsPoint, an independent third-party company that will route your complaint to members of the Independent Review Board who are not employees or volunteers of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The EthicsPoint hotline is: 1-888-572-8026. You may also make an electronic complaint to EthicsPoint at: www.ethicspoint.com.
Bishop Reporting Initiative
This initiative of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Independent Review Board creates a vehicle to assure proper reporting of allegations that a bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore:
Although the Vatican and U.S. Catholic bishops are considering a global or nationwide approach to addressing these issues, while such broader discussions are ongoing, the bishops of the Archdiocese of Baltimore have requested that the Independent Review Board establish a process for it to receive and ensure appropriate reporting of allegations. The Independent Review Board has responded with this local initiative, which is supported by the bishops of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Communications on Reports regarding Bishops: Effective immediately, staff for the Archdiocese of Baltimore reporting portals/hotlines (EthicsPoint and office of Child and Youth Protection) are instructed that all allegations in the three categories identified above against a bishop of the Archdiocese must be immediately forwarded to both Judge Joseph F. Murphy and Judge Ellen M. Heller. Also, those reporting portals will be configured to the extent possible so that allegations about bishops are automatically routed directly to Judges Murphy and Heller. Both Judges Murphy and Heller are members of the Independent Review Board (IRB) and are not employees, volunteers, or in any other position within the Archdiocese. The IRB was established in 1993 as a group of independent, interfaith, diverse, lay leaders to review in detail all actions taken by the Archdiocese in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse and provide counsel to the Archdiocese relating to its actions and policies for protecting children.
Communications materials about the portals/hotlines will be updated to emphasize that these allegations concerning bishops are being directed to these two members of the Independent Review Board who are not employees, volunteers, or in any other position with the Archdiocese.
Reporting and Procedures:
PROCEDURES FOR ALL CHURCH PERSONNEL INCLUDING VOLUNTEERS
As of Nov. 1, 2017, the Archdiocese of Baltimore will join more than ninety dioceses using VIRTUS as a training and compliance management system. The Archdiocesan policies updated in 2014 remain unchanged. VIRTUS has worked with us to customize training tailored to our policies and to Maryland law.
Church personnel, including volunteers, who have not already registered in Shield the Vulnerable, will be required to register using VIRTUS. VIRTUS will direct volunteers to review the Code of Conduct for Church Personnel and A Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth. The Archdiocese of Baltimore will continue to work with Employment Screening Resources (ESR) to conduct online criminal history screening; as part of the registration process, VIRTUS will direct volunteers to the ESR website where they will be asked to submit to an online criminal history screening. VIRTUS can be accessed at: https://www.virtusonline.org.
If you have questions about registration process, you may speak with the school’s Screening Coordinator. Also, feel free to contact the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Office of Child and Youth Protection at (410) 547-5348.
Thank you for your commitment to the policies that promote child protection in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. With your support we will continue to create and maintain safe environments where our children will thrive.
The Independent Review Board, made up mostly of lay people and headed by Judge Joseph F. Murphy, is an interfaith group including representatives from the legal community and law enforcement, health care, academia and social work.
Board members review individual allegations of abuse and help shape archdiocesan child protection policies.
“They make sure that we actually live up to our policies … to make sure that we are living up to the promises of our policy and of the charter,” said Jerri Burkhardt, director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the archdiocese.
Judge Joseph F. Murphy (chairman)
Retired judge of Maryland Court of Appeals, former Chief Judge of Maryland Court of Special Appeals and former Deputy State’s Attorney for Baltimore City
Frederick H. Bealefeld III
Former police commissioner of Baltimore City
Beverly A. Cooper
Vice president, The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Inc.
Michael R. Enright
Managing director, Beowulf Energy
Judge Ellen M. Heller
Retired judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City
Monsignor Robert J. Jaskot
Pastor of St. Mary-St. Francis-Holy Family Catholic Community, Frederick County
Sister Patricia M. McCarron, S.S.N.D., PhD.
Headmistress, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson
Mary Page Michel
Iona R. Rudisill
Anti-human trafficking and exploitation program manager, Baltimore City Child Abuse Center