“Providing a safe environment for children, youth, and vulnerable adults.”

About Safeguard the Children
Safeguard the Children is a comprehensive program designed to promote a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults and prevent child sexual abuse. Our goal is to empower children, teens and vulnerable adults.  The program was initiated in all dioceses in the United States at the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). There is a Safeguard the Children (STC) Committee in each parish which helps to implement the objectives of the USCCB “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”.  The Los Angeles Archdiocese has produced an informative brochure entitled “Working Together” that provides resources on how to prevent abuse and provides information on reporting child abuse.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

Safe Environment   The Archdiocese and our parish community stand resolute in our commitment to report allegations of sexual misconduct to law enforcement, support victim-survivors and protect children and the vulnerable.

Through the Safeguard the Children Program    Holy Family works to maximize the efforts of the Archdiocesan by educating and making adults more aware of healthy ways children and adults interact with each other.

Through Empowering God’s Children Program   we educate children and young people to know they have the power to protect themselves from harmful or threatening situations and to always aim to keep themselves safe and the healthy .

Los Angeles Archdiocese Safeguard the Children Program

Safeguard the Children Policies and Procedures, September 2018

Policies and Procedures September 2018

Policies and Procedures September 2008

Safeguard the Children, Holy Family Reminders 

Reporting Child Abuse
It is important that everyone report suspected child abuse. The truth is that our first inclination is to not get involved, but if you fail to act, that is all it takes for abuse or neglect to continue.  If you ever come across suspected abuse, we urge you to call the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000.  The hotline is operated twenty-four hours, around the clock, seven days a week.  You don’t need to know that child abuse or neglect is taking place, you are welcome to report your suspicions and consult with a social worker if you are not clear whether what you are witnessing or have learned of is abuse.  Depending on your profession, you might even be legally obligated to report suspected child abuse and neglect, a so-called “mandated reporter.”  But if you are not a mandated reporter, you can even make your report anonymously.  Please see this article from the Safeguard the Children Committee Chair entitled “What Can I Do To Prevent Child Abuse” that appeared as an insert in the Holy Family School Guild Gazette in May 2012 as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Priests, deacons, school faculty and administrators and other staff members in our parishes and schools have been designated as mandated reporters under California law. When one of these persons receives information leading to a “reasonable suspicion” that a child is being abused or neglected, he or she must make a report to the appropriate child protection or law enforcement agency. For more information on Responding to an Allegation of Suspected Child Abuse:  https://protect.la-archdiocese.org  If you are being abused, have been abused, or know someone who is being abused, you can call Victims Assistance Ministry at: 800.355.2545 for assistance to make a report. You may also seek help directly by contacting one of the Child Protective Services or one of the Law Enforcement Agencies listed below. In an emergency call 911.

Los Angeles County:
LA County Child Abuse Hotline: 800.540.4000
Investigative Control Unit for All Child Abuse Reports: 213.486.0530 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department:
Special Victims Bureau (24 hours) 562.946.8531
To speak to a detective 562.946.7960
District Attorney’s Office:
Sexual Crimes Division 213.974.9790
Family Violence Division 213.974.3785
For callers residing outside the State of California who wish to contact Child Protective Services in Los Angeles: 213.639.4500

Safeguard the Children Committee
Holy Family has an active STC Committee chaired by a parishioner. Other members include the Director of Religious Education, the school principal,the Director of Operations, the Pastoral Care Director, the Director of Faith Formation, the Director of Youth Ministry and the Parish Life Director. The Director of the Sunday Preschool and two or more other volunteers complete the group. Meetings are held quarterly or more often as needed.

Goals

  • To provide education and mandated training for all staff and volunteers to promote a heightened awareness of their role and responsibility regarding the safety of children, youth and vulnerable adults.
  • To provide training to all children in the school and Religious Education Programs to help them know how to help them know how to respect their bodies, trust their self-protective instincts and learn when and how to seek adult help.
  • To provide an annual parish-wide educational event during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
  • To perform an annual self-assessment of the compliance of the parish to the regulations of the Safeguard the Children Program of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Requirements for Parish Clergy, Staff and Volunteers

Important Forms for Protecting God’s Children

Volunteer Ministry Opportunities
The Safeguard the Children committee chair welcomes inquiries from parishioners with backgrounds in social services, law enforcement, education, child health or legal issues who are interested in joining the committee.

Links

Policies and Procedures with Hyperlinks and appendices
VIRTUS Online Training
VIRTUS Registration

  • To register for a “Protecting God’s Children” adult awareness training session
  • “Why Am I Here and What Is My Role in Protecting Children?”  A handout for participants describing the background of the Protecting God’s Children program and the prescribed role for adults in the faith community.
  • Information on a broad variety of topics related to child abuse and child safety.

Megan’s Law

Safeguard the Children Job Description

Policies and activities of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in “Protecting Our Children” and click on “Protecting Our Children

  • General Policies on Safe Environment Training
  • Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or School Activities or Events
  • Boundary Guidelines for Junior High and High School Youth Working or Volunteering with Children or Youth
  • Responding to the Problem
  • Training
  • Resources
  • Safeguard the Children Committee
    Holy Family has an active STC Committee chaired by a parishioner. Other members include the Director of Religious Education, the school principal,the Director of Operations, the Pastoral Care Director, the Director of Faith Formation, the Director of Youth Ministry and the Parish Life Director. The Director of the Sunday Preschool and two or more other volunteers complete the group. Meetings are held quarterly or more often as needed.

Minutes from  2-06-2020  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes

Minutes from  11-17-2019  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes

Minutes from   5-16-18  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes May 16, 2018

Minutes from   8-17-17  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes August 17. 2017

Minutes from   8-18-16  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes August 18. 2016

Minutes from   4-12-16  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes April 12. 2016

Minutes from   4-19-15  Holy Family Safeguard the Children Committee Minutes April 19. 2015

Mission Statement
Safeguard the Children was established to create a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults in the parish community.

Contact
Donella Sotelo
Safeguard the Children Committee Chair
donellasotelo@gmail.com

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