Summary of Child Safety and Compliance Activities in the Past Year
The Diocese of Allentown uses a combination of vigilance, education and prevention, coupled with swift and decisive action in the event of an accusation, to accomplish its first priority, which is keeping children safe.
Each year, an independent auditor assesses the effectiveness of diocesan programs and compliance with the requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the so-called Dallas Charter of 2002.
In every year since the audit began, the auditors have found the Diocese in full compliance.
Currently, the Diocese is in the process of gathering its youth protection compliance data for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. Here is a preliminary look at the numbers:
Safe Environment Training, which explains how to recognize and prevent abuse, was provided to 16,980 students enrolled in Catholic schools or parish religious education programs. In addition, all priests, deacons and candidates for ordination; all teachers in diocesan schools; all employees of the Diocese or its parishes; and approximately 7,000 volunteers at schools, parishes and diocesan facilities are up-to-date on all training requirements.
Criminal background checks are required for all priests, deacons, seminarians, and employees, and all volunteers who have contact with children. The background checks are redone periodically on a rotating schedule. In the 12-month period, 1,049 new background checks were performed.
Spending on all youth protection programs, which includes education and compliance activities, was $183,000 during the just-ended fiscal year.
Allegations against members of the clergy: In the event of an allegation, Bishop Schlert removes the priest from ministry, notifies law enforcement immediately, and acts with transparency in cooperation with law enforcement. During the 12-month period, there were no members of clergy removed from ministry because of an allegation of a sexual abuse of a minor.