For twenty straight years, outside audits have found the Diocese of Allentown in full compliance with national standards designed to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse.
The 2022 compliance certification came recently, as independent auditors from StoneBridge Business Partners completed their annual review of the Diocese’s actions, procedures, policies, and records.
The strict safety standards in place at the Diocese are outlined in The Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, which was adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002.
Vigilance, education, and prevention, coupled with swift and decisive action in the event of an allegation, are the hallmarks of the Diocese’s comprehensive program to keep children and vulnerable adults safe.
Rigorous background checks are required for clergy, lay employees, and volunteers in parishes and ministries. The Diocese also has significantly enhanced screening for aspiring priests, both before entering the seminary and during their studies.
An Independent Review Board of highly qualified lay people – professionals in their fields – advises Bishop Alfred Schlert on matters of abuse of minors.
Safe Environment Coordinators at every parish and school oversee compliance with the many programs designed to create the safest environment for minors.
Thousands of volunteers, priests, deacons, seminarians, religious men and women, employees, school principals, and others have been given “Protecting God’s Children” training on how to recognize and prevent child abuse. In addition, Mandated Reporter Training is required of anyone who comes into contact with children and young people.
“Our 20-year record of compliance with these important safety guidelines is a testament to the ongoing commitment here at the Diocese of Allentown, and in our parishes and schools, to create a safe environment for all,” said Ms. Pamela J. Russo, secretary for Catholic Health and Human Services and Youth Protection.