Program Mission

As minors and vulnerable adults participate in activities within or sponsored by our diocese, it is our commitment to provide an environment, which is safe and nurturing. Therefore, the mission of the Safe Environment Program is:

To provide required education for all employees (clergy, religious, and laity), those volunteers and others regularly involved with minors, and parents, as to the issue of abuse of children including the detection, prevention, and reporting of child abuse.

To provide required training programs for children and young people in our Catholic schools and religious education programs. This includes age-appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety and information about improper touching and relationships. Children are not expected to be fully knowledgeable about child abuse or of the laws governing the care of children but they need to know when they should seek assistance from a trusted adult.

To thoroughly screen and evaluate the background of all diocesan employees – clergy, religious and laity – and those volunteers who work with children and young people.

To hold those who minister in the name of the Church of Venice – all diocesan employees (clergy, religious and laity) and those volunteers who work with children and young people – to Christ-centered and professional codes of conduct.

Abuse Reporting

An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by anyone should be reported immediately to:

Florida Department of Children and Families Child Abuse Hotline – 1-800-96abuse (1-800-962-2873) or visit https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us

If the alleged abuser is a diocesan employee or volunteer, including clergy, also notify Victim Assistance Coordinator Susan Benton at 941-416-6114.

Contact:

Safe Environment Coordinator for Our Lady Queen of Martyrs is

MaryEllen Wilson-Smith—941-755-1826 Ext 300— me1wilsonsmith@olqm.net

Resources:

Policy and Procedural Guidelines for Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults

Teacher Catechist Standards

Resources for Safe Environment Program for Children

Code of Pastoral Conduct

Code of Conduct for Volunteers Working with Minors

Attestation of Good Moral Character

Allegation of Sexual Abuse Form

Screening Policy for Lay Employees Volunteers and Religious Brothers and Sisters

Communications Policy regarding Protection of Children and Young People