Compliance Plan [Name of Parish] [Location of Parish] [Note to Pastors and Compliance Officers: See ADDENDUM at the end of this template to identify key changes from the last version.] The Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection has an electronic version of this template, first published and distributed January 2006. Adaptations are made periodically. This template is current as of October 2011. Compliance Plan 2 EXAMPLE Date: [current date] Memorandum to: Most Reverend Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson c/o Dr. Paul Duckro, Director, Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection Reference: Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct Subject: COMPLIANCE PLAN FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS, AND VULNERABLE ADULTS [Parish] witnesses herewith to its solidarity with all the parishes of the Diocese of Tucson in the common commitment to protect the children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults of the parish community from harm. I hereby attest that I have reviewed the [Parish] plan for compliance and believe that is consistent with the Diocese of Tucson Code of Conduct, and Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct, as adopted by the parish [or school]. I further attest that I will personally review this Plan as circumstances change, no less often than once per year. A revised Plan will be submitted no more than 13 months after the date on which this document was prepared. If there are no revisions, a dated and signed statement to that effect will be submitted in lieu of the Plan. In adherence to canonical law and in communion with the Bishop of Tucson, I also attest that all supporting information that bears on implementation of the Plan will be maintained and ready for review by the Parish Corporate Board of Directors, by the Diocese of Tucson Department of Human Resources and the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection or any other person delegated authority to review those records by the Ordinary of this diocese. Attested to: _______________________ [Pastor] INSTRUCTION This letter is an opportunity for the Pastor to indicate that the latest version of the plan has been reviewed. There should be at least an annual review, but this review can be scheduled at a time most convenient to the parish or school. Compliance Plan 3 SECTION I_-_Introduction EXAMPLE This Plan is adopted by [PARISH NAME/LOCATION] to meet or exceed the minimum requirements recommended by the Diocese of Tucson for an effective plan to prevent the abuse or mistreatment of children, adolescents and vulnerable adults. Parish Contact Information: Address Phone Fax Email Compliance Officer: Name Home Address Home Phone Mobile Phone Alternative FAX Email Instructional Note: If a compliance or safety team has been named, the leader of the team should be the one listed as Compliance Officer. Record System The parish will employ a four-tiered record system. 1. A personnel file will be maintained for each employee and volunteer. The file will contain the application for employment or volunteer status and materials associated with the review of that application with regard to accuracy and appropriateness for the position. It will also contain the results of the criminal history background check. A separate file will be maintained in a separate location to record any disciplinary actions or reports made to law enforcement. The files of each employee and volunteer are considered privileged information. They will be maintained in locked cabinets with access limited to the pastor, any administrative personnel designated by the pastor, and the compliance officer. These files will also be made available to appropriate diocesan personnel who are delegated by the Ordinary to audit the parish. 2. A sign-in sheet will be maintained for each education session conducted by the parish. The sign-in sheet will include the name of the speaker, the subject, the duration of the program and its location. Each attendee will print his or her name and designate his or her role in the parish. If an Attestation is signed by the employee or volunteer following the educational session, it will be placed in the personnel file referenced above. 3. A log of education programs will be maintained. The log will be organized by date. It will include also the name of the speaker, the name of the program, and the target audience. 4. A spreadsheet will be maintained for all employees and volunteers. The spreadsheet will include the name of the individual, designation as employee or volunteer, and designation of the role occupied as high or low risk (with or without independent influence over or access to minors or Compliance Plan 4 vulnerable adults). There will also be columns for critical elements of the file (e.g., application) and critical dates (e.g., criminal history background check materials sent to diocese, conditional clearance received, year of renewal of criminal history background check, initial education/orientation to safe environment program, most recent education session/completed attestation). The parish will also construct and maintain each academic year a list of students in religious education, youth group and the like. The list will be organized by class or group. There will be a column after the name to indicate whether or not that student has received personal safety education or whether the student’s parents expressly refused that education. INSTRUCTIONS If the compliance officer is a volunteer selected for his or her expertise but with recognition that time available is limited, an employee or volunteer with sufficient time to manage the paperwork should be named as well. Also in this section, detail the system you will use to maintain a record of screening and education. The system almost always begins with a list of current volunteers and employees and a list of children and youth. This list is most easily rendered as an electronic or manual spreadsheet. The spreadsheet summarizes the content of the file that is maintained for each employee and volunteer, making reporting easier. Breaking down employees and volunteers by roles is a good beginning. When an individual occupies more than one role, he or she should be tracked according to the role that carries with it the greatest responsibility and, therefore, the greatest risk. In larger parishes, it is helpful to designate “captains” (or leaders) of the various ministries and services. This leader maintains the list and carries out at least some of the functions involved in screening and education. An accurate concept of screening is important to communicate. Screening is the broadest term. It refers to a careful consideration of any person to whom authority is given. Screening includes review of the completed application, reference checks and, in the case of high responsibility/high risk volunteers and all employees, criminal history background checks. Screening in the broader sense is simply a careful process of coming to know a person to whom authority will be delegated, no matter how limited. Screening is complemented by education. When a person is to be given authority, it is necessary to teach the person not only how to do their work/ministry well, but how to do it safely for their good and the good of all. The actual columns in the parish spreadsheet will vary according to the needs of the parish. The designation as high or low risk will vary according to the size, physical plant and other circumstances of the Compliance Plan 5 parish. The rationale for the differentiation, by role and not by individual, should be made clear elsewhere in the plan. Similarly, the list of children and youth in religious education or youth groups begins with a class list that is maintained by the teacher or leader. The overall list should be overseen by the DRE and/or youth minister. The use of sign-in sheets at any safe environment program educational session and a log of such sessions over time are invaluable in maintaining the spreadsheet data. They are the only record for parent education. As employees and volunteers leave ministry or service in the parish, a separate list of former personnel (noting years of service and with reference to the location of the personnel file) should be developed so that future investigations or other reviews will be easier to conduct, should the occasion arise. Similarly, class lists and youth group membership lists should be maintained by academic year. Volunteer and employee compliance records are to be kept in a secure location, accessible only by designated persons. Those with access will ordinarily include Pastor, Compliance Officer, and any other persons delegated by the pastor to have responsibility for personnel. The parish may decide to keep employee files separate from volunteer files, which is an acceptable practice. Compliance Plan 6 SECTION_II_-_Orientation, Diocese of Tucson Code of Conduct and the Summary Statement of The Guidelines for the Response to and Prevention of Sexual Misconduct. EXAMPLE Each new employee or volunteer entered into ministry or service in the parish will have gone through a systematic process of screening appropriate to the responsibility/risk associated with the position he or she is to occupy. At the end of that process, if the individual is accepted for ministry or service pending successful completion of the criminal history background check, an orientation to the Safe Environment Program, which has been adopted by the Parish, will be carried out. The Orientation consists of the following elements. The individual is instructed in the Safe Environment Program of the Diocese of Tucson, which has been adopted by the Parish. The Code of Conduct and the Summary of the Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct are presented in writing and they are elaborated in an oral presentation. The oral presentation is done in person or through the video program provided for the purpose by the diocese. In either case, the mandated reporting law of the State of Arizona, adherence to which is a critical element of a safety plan, is given prominent attention. Following the orientation, the employee or volunteer is asked to sign an Attestation, which is a concrete statement that he or she has understood and agrees to abide by the law of the State and the policies of the diocese as adopted by the Parish to prevent harm to minors and vulnerable adults. The Attestation is placed in the personnel file and noted as completed on the spreadsheet. INSTRUCTION All new volunteers and employees will be brought into service using a process that promotes careful reflection by both the parish leadership and the potential employee or volunteer. Any role in the parish, no matter how small it seems to the individual, is an important delegation of the authority of the pastor and/or the expression of the pastor’s trust to an individual asked to perform a service for the parish. This mutual scrutiny with respect to appropriateness for the role in question is particularly important in the case of a person who is being considered for a role in which he or she will minister to another person. A ministerial relationship is marked by an “imbalance of power.” The individual serving is voluntarily given that power by the community to use for the good of those served. Nevertheless, it can be misused and lead to the harm of the person being served. The individual considered for such a role should be marked by humility, awareness of his or her weaknesses, openness to supervision and a desire to grow in wholeness. The process of considering a potential employee or volunteer is described below in the appropriate sections. However, for both employees and volunteers, it culminates in the orientation to the Safe Environment Program (SEP). Orientation to the SEP is just as important as the orientation to the actual work to be done. It includes education in the mandatory reporting law, the Code of Conduct, and the Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct. Compliance Plan 7 This orientation may consist of viewing the video, “Diocese of Tucson Safe Environment Program & Mandatory Reporting Law” (also referred to as “Protecting Our Children: Our Common Commitment), accompanied by a discussion of the Code and Guidelines, or it may be done in a manner unique to the parish. In any case, it should culminate in the signing of the Attestation. The new employee or volunteer should be given written copies of the Code of Conduct and the Summary of the Guidelines to take home. This training may be done individually or in a group. It should be a conscious undertaking in which the pastor’s delegate communicates the situation the Diocese of Tucson was facing when these policies were developed in 2002 and the way in which the mandated reporting law, the Code of Conduct and the Guidelines combine to form a plan to reduce the risk that such a situation would recur. Compliance Plan 8 SECTION III – New Volunteers EXAMPLE A volunteer is a person who works one or more days per month on a regular basis. Volunteers are categorized according to role. Roles may be classified as having high responsibility for others and, therefore, high risk (Category 1) or as having low responsibility for others and, therefore, low risk (Category 2). A volunteer may also be classified as Category 1 because of other types of responsibility or risk (e.g., handling parish money, handling privileged documents, transporting others). The following categories of volunteers are classified as roles of high responsibility and therefore of high risk. [LIST HERE THE RELEVANT CATEGORIES OF VOLUNTEERS (e.g., compliance officer, compliance team members, catechists, youth ministers, Eucharistic ministers to the homebound, and the like). (Note: if the compliance officer is a volunteer, that role should always be classified as high- responsibility.)ALTERATIVELY, A PARISH MAY SIMPLY CLASSIFY ALL VOLUNTEERS AS HIGH RESPONSBILTY.] These categories of volunteers are classified as high responsibility/risk because they have independent access to or influence over minors or vulnerable adults. This access may be due to the specific nature of the ministry or service or because of the general prominence of the role. In addition, some roles are classified as high responsibility/risk for other reasons, including but not limited to authority to handle money, secure documents or transport others. The following categories of volunteers are classified as roles of low responsibility and therefore of low risk. [LIST HERE THE RELEVANT CATEGORIES OF VOLUNTEERS, IF ANY (e.g., lectors, Eucharistic ministers serving only in public liturgies, and the like).] To be considered as a volunteer for the parish, any candidate must: Complete the application form (for anyone undergoing a criminal history check, this must be the standard Application for Ministry & Volunteer Service; low-responsibility volunteers may use the approved abbreviated form) Sign the Permission to Obtain Information for reference and fact checking Go through one or more interviews Be oriented to the Safe Environment Program (as noted in Section II) Sign the Attestation Be oriented to the service or ministry to be provided Any volunteer who is being considered for a position of high responsibility/risk must also: Sign the Permission to Obtain Information allowing a criminal history check and any other such checks that are determined by the parish to be relevant to the role Compliance Plan 9 Submit fingerprints for the criminal history background check No volunteer can be placed in independent ministry or service until the above materials have been submitted, the educational orientation is concluded and a conditional clearance is received from the Department of Human Resources of the Diocese of Tucson, a service provided to the Parish by the Diocese of Tucson. INSTRUCTION The original Application for Ministry or Volunteer Service should be maintained securely in the parish’s safe environment personnel files. When a volunteer moves from one parish to another, it is important that the receiving parish ask for and maintain a new application; an application from the former parish should not be accepted in lieu of a new application. Volunteers are classified as high or low risk depending on the responsibility associated with the role to be filled and the particular circumstances of the parish. Volunteers who occupy more than one role are classified according to the role that carries the highest responsibility and therefore the highest risk. A person is considered to be a regular volunteer if he or she works one day or more per month. Persons who volunteer on an ad hoc basis for parish events or seasonal celebrations can be managed with proper supervisory processes (see Section V), unless their role even in those limited circumstances puts them in independent contact with minors or vulnerable adults. Society of St. Vincent de Paul volunteers ordinarily are incorporated into the parish plan. Even though they are an independent organization, usually they serve on behalf of the parish. If this is not true and the local Conference functions as an independent ministry, OCAAP should be notified so that the Conference can be registered as an independent ministry. The roles of the individual members of the Society can be classified as high or low responsibility depending on the contact with minors or vulnerable adults or the entry into private homes. The situation of Knights of Columbus volunteers is handled similarly to that of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Even though the Knights of Columbus is an independent organization, if members (individually or corporately) are serving on behalf of the parish, they should be counted as volunteers and classified according to the service that is provided. High risk is associated with “independent access to or influence over minors or vulnerable adults.” You might consider using the handout explaining which volunteers must go through criminal history background checks by virtue of responsibility for minors or vulnerable adults. In addition, other risks should be considered. Other risks might be associated with independent access to parish money or records, or responsibility for transporting others. Although these risks are not explicitly part of the Safe Environment Program, they do represent risks to the parish and to those served by the parish, including (but not limited to) minors. Persons that handle money should be considered for a credit history check in addition to a criminal history check. Fiscal and Administrative Services is able to assist in the construction of procedures for the handling of money to complement the screening. Persons who transport others, especially those who transport minors, should be considered for a driving record check in addition to the criminal history check. At the least, drivers should produce evidence of a valid driver’s license and Compliance Plan 10 insurance. Further guidance regarding the credentialing of drivers is available through the Property and Insurance Office. Refer also to the Guidelines Concerning Supervision of Minors on Parish and School Trips & Other Outings. All volunteers, however, should go through some systematic process of review and orientation. No volunteer can be put into independent ministry or service until the required information is collected, the screening process is favorably concluded, and the educational program is completed. The submission of materials for the criminal history check must be made in a timely manner; it is not acceptable for an individual to be ministering or serving prior to the submission of the materials for the criminal history check. When the materials for the criminal history check have been submitted and the educational program has been completed, and only if there is serious need, the individual may be put into ministry or service, under direct observation, pending completion of the criminal history check. Direct observation means that at no time will the individual be allowed to minister or serve independently; a credentialed member of the team must be present with and observing the person in the course of any ministry or service. A potential volunteer may satisfy the requirement for a criminal history background check by documentation of such a check by another agency; however, he or she must also demonstrate that the check is at least as stringent as that conducted by the Diocese of Tucson. In addition, the documentation of the clearance itself must include: 1. Date of clearance 2. Type of clearance (e.g., law enforcement, teacher, etc.) 3. Agency conducting the criminal history background check 4. Expiration date of the clearance It is recommended that Category 2 or low-responsibility volunteers, who do not undergo a criminal history check, be screened via a check of the relevant sex offender lists. In addition, it may be helpful to do checks even on Category 1 or high-responsibility volunteers at intervals between criminal history checks. If this step is included in the policy, the check should be documented, noting when and by whom. The following sites are the most useful for this purpose. For persons registered in Arizona, go to http://az.gov/webapp/offender. Note that Level 1 offenders are not listed in the public domain in Arizona. For persons who have lived elsewhere, you may conduct a national check at http://www.nsopr.gov. Note that in some cases there will be no response from a particular state, requiring another search at a later time or a direct check of that state’s registry. If a more thorough review is desired, a review of most Arizona court records is also possible. You may obtain current information as to the most useful websites by calling the Department of Human Resources of the Diocese of Tucson or OCAAP. Any information obtained from the above-named sites should be treated with the same level of confidentiality as the initial screening. It should be shared only on a need-to-know basis. An online search of the sex offender list or other court records is only part of a criminal history check. It does not take the place of the criminal history check. It does supplement the criminal history check and can be especially useful in the case of Category 2 personnel. Compliance Plan 11 Remember also that a criminal history check, however thorough, is only part of a broader background check. A background check, however thorough, is only part of a comprehensive safe environment program. Education and supervision are also critical elements of any prevention plan. Note that volunteers who claim clearance as a teacher but who cannot produce the clearance card can be verified by calling 602-223-2279. You will need their Social Security Number or clearance number to verify the clearance. Note also that volunteers who are minors (those younger than 18 years of age) should not be considered exempt from screening. In fact, they might be at greater risk because of their inexperience. If they are serving other minors, the proximity in age is also a risk factor. On the other hand, it is generally not possible to conduct a criminal history check on a minor. The record is usually sealed by the courts. An effective screening of a minor, therefore, involves completion of an application, review of the application, interview based (in part) on the application, and careful reference checking. The education and supervision of minors with respect to carrying out their work safely are also extremely important in mitigating risk. Minor volunteers require intensive education in maintaining boundaries with other minors they might be serving. This training is best supported by a clear set of instructions (see references to Standing Operating Procedures [SOPs] in Section VIII). It is particularly important that minors not be given responsibility as a driver for the transport of other persons in a motor vehicle. Compliance Plan 12 SECTION IV – New Employees EXAMPLE All employees, whether full or part time, are required to go through the following process: Complete the Application for Employment form Complete the Permission to Obtain Information form (to allow reference checking, fact checking, the criminal history background check and any other such checks that are determined by the parish to be relevant to the role) Go through one or more interviews Submit fingerprints for the criminal history check Complete and submit within three days of hire the I-9 Form (Immigration Reform Control Act form); the form is to be submitted to Human Resources for completion of the “e-verify” process as mandated by the State of Arizona Be oriented to the Safe Environment Program (as noted in Section II) Sign the Attestation Be oriented to the ministry or service to be provided No employee can be put into independent ministry or service until this information is collected, the educational program is completed and a conditional clearance is received from the Department of Human Resources of the Diocese of Tucson, a service provided to the Parish by the Diocese of Tucson. INSTRUCTION The Diocese of Tucson policy adopted by the Parish states that all employees, regardless of the apparent level of responsibility or risk, must go through the criminal history background check prior to employment. An employee’s original Application for Employment should be part of the employee’s permanent personnel record at the parish. A potential employee may satisfy the requirement for a criminal history background check by documentation of such a check by another agency; however, he or she must also demonstrate that the check is at least as stringent as that conducted by the Diocese of Tucson. In addition, the documentation of the clearance itself must include: 1. Date of clearance 2. Type of clearance (e.g., law enforcement, teacher, etc.) 3. Agency conducting the criminal history background check 4. Expiration date of the clearance In addition, all other aspects of the screening and orientation process are handled as for the highest level of responsibility among volunteers. Employees are expected to be leaders in the parish and examples to others. Employees play a critical role in maintaining a professional atmosphere and efficient organization to serve the Mission while guarding against various risks that would threaten the sustainability of the Mission. Compliance Plan 13 The difference between an employee and a contracted service person is sometimes unclear and the determination to engage a service in one or the other form is not always consciously made. A good resource for consulting about such decisions is the Department of Human Resources of the Diocese of Tucson; doing so will prevent problems with the United States Department of Labor. It may be helpful to check the sex offender registry at intervals between criminal history checks. If this step is included in the policy, the check should be documented, noting when and by whom. The following site is the most useful for persons living in Arizona: http://az.gov/webapp/offender. Note that Level 1 offenders are not listed in the public domain in Arizona. For persons who live elsewhere part of the year, you may conduct a national check at http://www.nsopr.gov. Note that in some cases there will be no response from a particular state, requiring another search at a later time. If a more thorough review is desired, a review of most Arizona court records is also possible. You may obtain current information as to the most useful websites by calling the Department of Human Resources of the Diocese of Tucson or OCAAP. Any information obtained from the above-named sites should be treated with the same level of confidentiality as the initial screening. It should be shared only on a need-to-know basis. Compliance Plan 14 SECTION V- Other employment and volunteer situations EXAMPLE Those applicants for employment that have been rejected will be sent an appropriate applicant rejection letter by the parish hiring authority in accordance with the current employment process in effect in the Diocese of Tucson as adopted by the Parish. Agencies with which the parish contracts for recurring services will be required to demonstrate that they have risk mitigation strategies that meet the diocesan standard as adopted by the Parish. Individuals who are engaged as contractors rather than employees will be managed according to the risk and responsibility their work entails. Contractors whose work involves independent access to or influence over minors or vulnerable adults will be expected to undergo the same type of screening as applied to employees and high-responsibility volunteers. Those whose work does not involve such access but who have access to confidential information or monies will also undergo this type of screening. Those contractors whose work is classified as low risk and responsibility will undergo the type of screening that is used for low-responsibility volunteers. Individuals or firms engaged to perform intermittent or time limited services on an irregular basis will be actively supervised during the time they are on the grounds. At no time should they be allowed to be around children, youth or vulnerable adults without this supervision. Volunteers engaged to serve on an irregular basis will be adequately prepared as to the procedures of the parish to mitigate risk during the activity in which they are involved and should be actively supervised during the time of their service. INSTRUCTION Agencies with which the parish contracts for recurring services may include providers of maintenance or transportation. The contract with such agencies should include a statement that requires disclosure of the agency’s policy to reduce risk of one of their personnel abusing a minor or vulnerable adult. The policy and associated procedures will ordinarily be some combination of screening, education and supervision. Parishes sometimes engage personnel as contractors rather than as employees. Although contractors are not reported on the annual audit forms, the responsibility for prudent hiring and supervision of contractors is only slightly different from the responsibilities associated with hiring and supervising employees. Care should be taken to recognize and meet those responsibilities. Volunteers who are engaged on an intermittent but irregular basis include those engaged for periodic, large scale activities associated with fiestas or seasonal liturgies. It is not feasible to screen all such persons. However, a good plan for such activities includes designation of persons who have been screened and educated to be on site supervisors, circulation of written policies regarding prudent behavior (see references to Standing Operating Procedures [SOPs] in Section VIII), and education regarding the implementation of those policies for all who will be engaged at whatever level. Persons who violate SOPs during the event should be disciplined according to the nature of the violation, even to the point of being sent home. Compliance Plan 15 These instructions notwithstanding, any volunteer who is given independent access to minors even once should be carefully screened, including a criminal history check. Examples of time limited services include repair and remodeling contractors engaged by the parish. Compliance Plan 16 SECTION VI- Renewal of Criminal History Background Checks EXAMPLE Each employee and each volunteer required to undergo a criminal history background check must have that background check renewed. In the case of persons checked through the Diocese, the renewal will occur five years after the initial clearance. In the case of persons cleared by virtue of a check done by an approved agency, the renewal will occur upon the stated expiration of the clearance. Each affected employee and volunteer will be notified at the beginning of the year in which he or she must renew the criminal history background check and instructed as to the date by which resubmission must be accomplished. If the employee or volunteer seeks to renew the criminal history background check by virtue of documentation of such a check by another agency, he or she must also demonstrate that the check is at least as stringent as that conducted by the Diocese of Tucson. In addition, the documentation of the clearance itself must include: Date of clearance Type of clearance (e.g., law enforcement, teacher, etc.) Agency conducting the criminal history background check Expiration date of the clearance The new clearance card will be copied for the parish records and a copy will be forwarded to the Diocese of Tucson Department of Human Resources. INSTRUCTION To make this system work, the compliance officer must maintain [or oversee the maintenance of] a record- keeping system with which to track the criminal history checks of employees and high-responsibility volunteers and insure that employees and volunteers who will have to renew in the current audit year are contacted at the beginning of the year and given the deadline by which the criminal history check must be renewed. Practically, to accomplish this task, the compliance officer must review the record-keeping system at the beginning of each audit year to identify those volunteers and employees whose clearance will expire in the audit year and the month of expiration. Requests for renewal of the criminal history check submitted at The materials necessary for renewal of the criminal history check are as follows. The “Permission to Obtain Information” form, which must be executed immediately prior to the request for any type of background check in order to comply with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act The “Criminal History Check Transmittal” form The “Criminal History Check Log” (when more than two requests are submitted) A check from the parish for the required fees (cash cannot be accepted) Compliance Plan 17 These forms can be downloaded from the Human Resources web page on the Diocese of Tucson web site (www.diocesetucson.org) After completion of the re-screening via the electronic process, a comparison will be made between the original and the new results. If any changes of significance are noted, the individual may then asked to undergo a complete screening including a fingerprint check. The cost for the new process (renewal) will be $12.00. This includes researching an individual’s prior screening record. In order to not delay the review process, it is important that the correct fee accompany any request for a criminal history check. Human Resources is not able to invoice; cash is also not acceptable because of the difficulty auditing cash transactions. Note, however, that if the initial criminal history check produces information that requires a more comprehensive and in-depth criminal history check there will be an additional charge. As much as is possible and if necessary, the additional cost will be estimated for the parish prior to carrying out the more complete criminal history check and no action will be taken until the parish has approved it. Compliance Plan 18 SECTION VII- Response to Signs of Sexual Abuse EXAMPLE 1. Any cleric, consecrated religious, employee or volunteer of the parish is expected to report reasonable suspicion of abuse of any minor, consistent with the mandatory reporting law of the State of Arizona. 2. The dual reporting protocol is recommended, in which reports are made both to local law enforcement (by calling 9-1-1) and to Child Protective services (888-SOS-CHILD or 888-767-2445). The latter call is especially important if a parent, guardian or other family member is the suspected perpetrator of abuse. 3. It is also mandatory to make a report of reasonable suspicion of abuse, exploitation or neglect of an elder or an adult considered under the law to be vulnerable. Call Adult Protective Services (877-SOS- ADULT or 877-767-2385). In case of emergency, call law enforcement (9-1-1). 4. The person making the report should write out a succinct summary of what gave rise to the concern and when/to whom the report was made. 5. The person making the report should inform the pastor and the compliance officer, who should also keep a log of the report and of follow up actions taken at the direction of these agencies or otherwise. 6. After a report is made, the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection (OCAAP) of the Diocese of Tucson must be notified (520-792-3410, ext. 1013) and supplied with a copy of the summary/log created. 7. Suspected abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult or any other criminal behavior is not the only situation in which action is expected. Any suspected or observed a. violation of the norms of appropriate or prudent conduct, b. with minors, vulnerable adults or any adult with whom a cleric, religious, employee or volunteer is in a ministerial relationship, c. as established in the Code of Conduct and/or the Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct, d. should be reported to the Pastor and/or the Compliance Representative. 8. If an adult reports sexual misconduct when he or she was a minor by a priest, deacon, or any worker in the church, no matter how long ago it is reported to have occurred, a report will be made to the OCAAP, which will make a report to the Pima County Attorney’s Office. 9. The person making such a report should be encouraged to report it independently to the Pima County Attorney’s Office or to local law enforcement. If the individual would like to have counseling assistance, he or she should be instructed to call the Victim Assistance Program (800-234-0344). 10. An adult making any other kind of report of sexual abuse as a minor should be encouraged to make an independent report to law enforcement. 11. All such complaints will be investigated internally and reported to the Department of Human Resources and/or the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection of the Diocese of Tucson. This aspect of the policy includes any inappropriate behavior, dress, attitude, language, or improper use of the computer. 12. The purpose of a report is not to summarily judge the person suspected of inappropriate conduct; it is to initiate an internal investigation that will make clear what actually happened. Therefore, as much as possible, confidentiality (beyond those with a genuine “need to know”) with respect to the person accuse should be maintained. 13. In addition, as much as possible, the identity of the person making the allegation should be protected; however, in the course of many investigations it is necessary to directly or indirectly reveal the identity of the person making the report in order to allow the accused to make a response. Compliance Plan 19 14. The results of the investigation will either clear the individual against whom the allegation has been made or point to what type of corrective action must be undertaken to prevent harm to those served, to the individual accused and to the parish. 15. It is a difficult thing to make a report. For that reason, it is important to be clear that any person making a good faith report will not be subject to any adverse consequences. No retaliatory action of any kind should be tolerated. INSTRUCTION Be clear in this section. The mandated reporting law remains the bedrock of the prevention program. Annual education regarding the law and questions that have arisen during the year as to how it should be followed in particular circumstances is recommended for all personnel. A Model SOP for Reporting has been posted in the Compliance Officers Toolbox. You might consider using it (including the handouts available under the Initial Orientation section) for retraining of staff or as an update for the education of parents and other members of the parish community. Make clear the importance of internal reports and the seriousness with which investigations of imprudent behavior will be undertaken, even in the absence of suspicion of abuse. Such internal investigations will make clear if there is danger to others or if the individual is simply exposing self and parish to risk by imprudent behavior. It will also clear the air if there is misunderstanding or malicious misrepresentation. Compliance Plan 20 SECTION VIII – Supervision EXAMPLE It is the policy of the parish to develop written “standing operating procedures” (SOPs) for all areas of ministry and service involving minors or vulnerable adults. SOPs are rules for handling one’s self in the situations typical of a particular ministry. They reflect the most prudent manner of behaving in such situations. Prudence in ministry or service acknowledges the importance of the mission but asserts that the mission can be accomplished without exposing the one being served, the one serving or the parish to undue risk of harm. Each employee and volunteer is expected to know and adhere to the SOP applicable to his or her ministry or service. Failure to adhere to the SOP will be cause for review and possible disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the ministry or service in question. The key elements underlying all SOPs are as follows. Persons with a history of sexual misconduct with a minor cannot be employed or engaged in service or ministry a volunteer. An employee or volunteer should not be alone with a minor other than his or her own children. If the situation is unavoidable due to emergency or unavoidable conditions, the employee or volunteer should call another person on the team to seek assistance and/or to document the occurrence at the time it is happening. Any outing with youth should include an adequate number of adult chaperones who have undergone the screening process and an SOP for them to follow. This rule is especially important when an overnight stay is included. Minors in volunteer service are not immune from the need to follow rules of prudent behavior. Minors can offend other minors and are also vulnerable to false allegations. Minors being served should be given clear rules for behavior during any class or group, especially if this includes an outing of any type. An employee or volunteer should avoid meeting with anyone he or she is serving in isolated circumstances or at odd hours. Visits to the home of a person being served or visits by the person being served to the home of the employee or volunteer are high risk events and should never be done without the company of another employee or volunteer. Behavior that singles out any one person among those served may signal increased risk and certainly invites misinterpretation. The more responsible the role of the employee or volunteer, the more risk is associated with the role. Such an employee or volunteer must learn to carry himself or herself as a public figure within the parish community. Dress appropriate to the role is an important aspect of carrying one’s self as a public figure. Appropriate speech is equally important in maintaining one’s self as a person who is in service to others. Touch must be done with discretion and with respect for the comfort of the person being touched. Touch that might reasonably be construed as romantic or sexual is never appropriate. Compliance Plan 21 Prudent behavior includes interpersonal boundaries. Maintaining healthy interpersonal boundaries requires sensitivity to the reactions of others and awareness of one’s self. Ongoing education to enhance interpersonal sensitivity is critical for any employee or volunteer in a role of high responsibility and risk. Accountability is not the enemy of privacy, but of secrecy. Secrecy is the breeding ground for abuse. Accountability includes being “visible” with respect to what, when, where and how a ministry or service is being provided. Any employee or volunteer is expected to be accountable regarding his or her activities. INSTRUCTION Supervision is, with screening and education, one of the three most important elements of the preventive dimension of the safe environment program. Supervision of ongoing activities is the responsibility of every level of leadership in the parish. It is accomplished in part by direct observation. Equally important, however, are written “standing operating procedures” (SOPs) for each ministry and service offered in the parish. For example, those involved in high responsibility/high risk activities such as religious education and youth ministry should have the benefit of clear guidelines regarding interpersonal boundaries, having at least two adults present during any activity with minors, contact with minors outside structured ministry sessions, and the like. A Model SOP for the Whole Parish, based on the elements of this Section, has been posted in the Compliance Officers Toolbox. Guidelines and Models also are available from OCAAP to assist in the writing of SOPs for various ministries and events, especially those in which minors or elders are served. It is especially important that clear plans be written when minors will be transported and/or involved in an overnight stay. The relevant SOPs should be part of the orientation of each employee and volunteer and referenced in the annual education program. The SOP addresses rules for mitigating risk of abuse or false allegations as well as the procedures for responding to suspected or observed abuse. The rules for mitigating risk should be clear and relevant to the particular ministry; however, the General SOP in the suggested text includes elements that constitute prudent behavior and should be part of any parish SOP. This General SOP and the SOP for reporting suspicion of child abuse should be published at least annually to all volunteers and employees. Sometimes, an employee or volunteer, minister or person in another service to the church, will eschew prudent guidelines because he or she believes himself to be “above suspicion” and of no possible risk to others. He or she may assert that the risk to self is of no importance. Compliance Plan 22 We suggest appealing to such persons by pointing out that the risk of false allegations is not only to self but to the parish as a whole. In addition, failure to maintain an atmosphere marked by clear boundaries in the parish makes it all the more difficult to recognize a person who may not have good intentions. In any case, in the end it is the behavior that must be maintained. It is important not to let respect for a particular person override adherence to the SOP in place for his or her ministry. Compliance Plan 23 SECTION IX- Computing Policy EXAMPLE Any use of computing facilities of the parish for unlawful action will, when discovered, be reported to law enforcement. The parish will fully cooperate with authorities to provide any information necessary. All computing facilities of the parish are subject to unannounced audits and will be audited whenever there is a change in the regular user of a particular computer. Any individual user of parish computing facilities is expected to establish password protected access to his or her computer or, in the case of a shared computer, a password protected individual user profile. INSTRUCTION It is necessary to insure that each cleric, consecrated religious, employee or volunteer who uses parish computing facilities understands the dangers and consequences of its misuse or abuse. It should be clear that any violation of parish policy with respect to computing facilities will result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination. It is important that employees and volunteers be periodically reminded of the computing policy and procedures in the current personnel guidelines and that the policy be enforced consistently. It is advisable to initiate an audit of parish computers for evidence of illicit use on a regular basis and whenever there is change in the regular user of a machine. If the parish operates an internal network, it is advisable to maintain software to detect and inhibit illicit use of computing facilities. It is advisable to use a password to protect access to computers. In the case of shared computers, it is advisable to establish individual user profiles with separate passwords for access. Compliance Plan 24 SECTION X – Education Plan EXAMPLE All employees and volunteers will participate in education regarding the Safe Environment Program at least once every three years. More frequent education for high-responsibility volunteers will be provided in the context of their ongoing education program. This education will include information regarding any changes in diocesan policy or the mandatory reporting law of the State of Arizona, interpersonal boundaries, recognizing dangerous situations, and responding appropriately to reduce risk or stop abuse. There will also be opportunity to discuss particular cases, brought out as examples by individual employees or volunteers or by parish leadership, that will bring out nuances and difficulties in recognizing potential abuse and/or making a report. Education of low responsibility volunteers may be more basic in content than that provided to high responsibility volunteers; however, the education of low responsibility volunteers should emphasize at a minimum the Mandatory Reporting Law and the Code of Conduct. Each employee and volunteer will sign an Attestation at the end of the educational session. The Attestation will be placed in the personnel file and noted on the spreadsheet. Any employee or volunteer who has not completed and documented the re-educational requirement by the end of three years will be suspended from active ministry or service until it is completed. Children and youth will, in the course of their religious education or other group activity, be offered annual education in personal safety. This education will be carried out using the Personal Safety Curriculum for Children and Youth of the Diocese of Tucson or another approved program. [NAME THE PROGRAM]. The goal is to reach at least 90% of the children and youth, excepting those whose parents refused such education on their behalf, with personal safety education. Parents will be given the right of refusal of this education for their children. Refusal forms, completed by the parents or by the person to whom the refusal was given orally, will be maintained at the parish. Those parents who refuse such education for their children will be given educational material with which to educate their own children. Parents and Grandparents as well as all other adults in the parish community will be offered education in how to maintain a safe environment for their children, how to respond to reports of abuse and what are the policies of the Diocese of Tucson as adopted by the Parish with respect to maintaining a safe environment for children and youth. This education may be offered in the form of particular programs, in the form of homilies or special announcements, as bulletin inserts or in the course of other parish events. The goal ultimately is to enhance awareness of all in the parish community regarding safety issues for children, youth and vulnerable adults in the parish and in the larger civic community and to encourage participation in parish and civic efforts to prevent harm. Documentation of all educational sessions will be maintained at the parish in the form of the educational log, log of planned sessions, sign-in sheets, class lists, spreadsheet and personnel files. Compliance Plan 25 INSTRUCTION 1) The educational program for employees and volunteers builds on the basic educational program that is provided to all new employees and volunteers. a) All employees and volunteers are expected to participate in an educational update at least once in three years that bears on some aspect of the Safe Environment Program. b) For low risk volunteers and for employees without direct contact with minors or vulnerable adults (broadly defined), the educational program may focus on the mandated reporting law, experience with the law during the last year, the Code and Guidelines, and recent developments regarding the parish plan for compliance and the diocesan safe environment program. c) For volunteers and employees with a higher level of responsibility and risk vis-à-vis minors or vulnerable adults (broadly defined), the educational program should be more advanced and embedded in the context of an ongoing education program. Safe Environment Education for high- responsibility volunteers and employees should focus on maintaining healthy boundaries, recognizing danger signs in those who may be harmed or those who may harm, intervening to stop potential abuse, and supervising effectively to mitigate risk of abuse or false allegations of abuse. For such programs, it is useful to invite local law enforcement and social service professionals to address the group. If the presentations are taped, they form a library for use with personnel who were not present. d) Following each educational program, the employee or volunteer should sign an Attestation, which should then be placed in the file of the individual. 2) Clerics document their education with the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection (OCAAP). Education obtained at the parish will serve to satisfy the education requirement if a copy of the Attestation is sent to OCAAP. 3) Education of children and youth is an annual requirement. a) This education need not be complicated. Its focus is to encourage children and youth to recognize distress that is triggered by the actions or inactions of another person, and to tell a trusted adult about the distress so that the situation can be sorted out. b) The Personal Safety Curriculum for Children and Youth of the Diocese of Tucson is a flexible instrument for implementing such education. The use of repetitions after the primary class is a helpful way to reach more of the students since, on any given day, there will be students missing from class. c) Other types of risk, such as internet risk, should not be neglected, especially for older students. Nor should the program neglect the responsibility of older children with good personal resources to notice distress in other minors and make a report to law enforcement or a trusted adult in the family or parish. 4) Parent communication regarding the education of their children in personal safety is an important part of a successful education program. a) In communicating with parents about this education, it should be clear that this is not sex education, nor is the focus solely on sexual abuse. The focus includes physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. The focus includes misconduct that may be initiated by a worker in the church, but it includes any misconduct by any person in any setting. It includes risk that accrues from the behavior of another minor and risk that may be attendant on use of the internet. b) The parent has the right to refuse to have the child participate in safety education, but this refusal should be clear and in writing. Compliance Plan 26 c) Parents that have refused to allow their child(ren) to participate in personal safety education should be documented. This documentation may be a refusal form signed by the parent(s) or by a notation if the parent(s) simply did not send the child. Note all efforts to educate the parents as to how they might educate their children and maintain a safe environment in the home, including the parents who did not send their child(ren) for personal safety education. 5) Some examples of optimal practice include the following. a) Education that is integrated into regular class time is preferable to scheduling safety education at other times. b) Education that is integrated into the regular curriculum is preferable to a class that appears to be unrelated to the overall teaching of the Faith, especially as it touches on respect for self and others. c) Education that integrates resources (e.g., police or sheriff’s department) of the local community into the planning or delivery of the programs builds connections with others for the common good. Such connections build trust, which will be invaluable if there is an emergency of any type. d) The use of repetitions at teachable moments supplements the learning provided in the primary personal safety class. 6) Education of parents is a valuable undertaking. It should be undertaken in a manner that best fits the parish. a) Parents benefit from education in maintaining a safe environment in the home. b) Elements of a safe environment include the following. i) Children are safer when they feel free to speak with their parents about what might be troubling them. ii) Children are more likely to speak with their parents if they are confident that the parent will maintain a balanced response, comforting the child without jumping to conclusions. iii) Parents need to know how to make a report and why the parish might have to make a report, even one that affects a particular parent. iv) Parents benefit from information that makes them more aware of behavior that suggests an adult may be pursuing their child and that increases their knowledge of internet dangers. c) It is often valuable to offer parent education sessions in collaboration with local law enforcement or other agencies involved in child welfare. 7) Education of adults in the parish at large is beneficial. a) Many adults who do not have children or youth in parish programs will have children and youth in the extended family. If they are aware of the risks that children and youth face, they are more likely to be alert to particular problems that these children and youth face. b) Many adults will have elders or other vulnerable adults in the immediate or extended family. If they are aware of the risks that elders or other vulnerable adults face, they are more likely to be alert to particular problems that might arise in their own families. c) Many adults will have had negative ideas from secular media regarding the church with respect to sexual abuse. They will benefit from learning about their parish’s efforts to prevent harm and to respond effectively should there be reason to suspect abuse or maltreatment. d) All adults, as citizens of their civic communities, have a responsibility for the welfare of children, youth and vulnerable adults. When they are made aware of the risks and the civic organizations created to prevent or respond to maltreatment, they are better able to respond to urgent situations and to support the civic effort to prevent harm. 8) Various educational resources are listed on the Resources page of the Diocese of Tucson website http://www.diocesetucson.org/SEP.html. 9) Parishes experiencing difficulty implementing an effective educational plan at any level should call OCAAP as early as possible in the academic/fiscal year. Compliance Plan 27 SECTION XI – Audits EXAMPLE The parish will make a report annually to the diocese as soon as possible before the end of the fiscal/academic year. The report will include information necessary to document the implementation of the education and screening components of the prevention plan. Additional information may be requested by the relevant diocesan offices, as necessary to meet the expectations of the audits sponsored by the USCCB. The parish will maintain records as outlined in Section I and referenced throughout the plan. These records will be available to persons delegated by the Ordinary to audit on-site the performance of the parish with respect to the Safe Environment Program. INSTRUCTION Reports bearing on implementation of the compliance plan will be requested in the July-August period, referencing the preceding academic year. The focus of these reports is dependent in part on the information required of the diocese by the USCCB audit process. However, they will include a request for the following information. Total number of employees Total number of employees classified as having independent access to or influence over minors or vulnerable adults Total number of volunteers Total number of volunteers classified as having independent access to or influence over minors or vulnerable adults The number of volunteers who are required in the parish Plan to have an up-to-date criminal history background check (This may be less than the total number of volunteers but cannot be less than the total number of volunteers classified as having independent access to or influence over minors or vulnerable adults.) The total number of children and youth in religious education, youth groups or other formation program at the end of the academic year The number of employees whose criminal history background check is up-to-date The number of employees who have received in the last three years their basic safe environment program education or an update to the basic education The number of volunteers (of those subject to criminal history background checks in your plan) whose criminal history background check is up-to-date The number of volunteers (of the total number of volunteers) who have received in the last three years their basic safe environment program education or an update to the basic education The number of children and youth who in the last academic year have received personal safety education bearing on prevention of abuse or other maltreatment The number of children and youth for whom parents have offered written or oral refusals of personal safety education. Compliance Plan 28 An estimate of the number of parents and other adults in the parish community who in the last academic year have received education in how to maintain a safe environment for their children When parents refuse, directly or indirectly, to allow the child to receive personal safety education, documentation should be maintained. Either a signed refusal form should be on hand or the class list should be annotated to document that the parent declined to send the child on the day of the education. In addition, the parish should demonstrate that parent education materials as to how to maintain a safe environment in the home were offered to those parents, either specifically to the parents whose children did not receive personal safety education or in general to all parents (and other adults) of the parish or religious education program. Parent educational materials are available from the OCAAP Resource Page on the Diocese of Tucson web site. Note that education plans for children that are parent-based require additional reporting. Parishes with such a program should report not only the number of parents who were taught how to teach their child/children, but also the number of children that the parents indicate were educated by the parents in the home. It is expected that by July 1, all employees and volunteers will be current with respect to their obligations under the parish plan for compliance or that they will be placed on inactive status as of July 1 until they have satisfied those obligations. The Plan should be clear that ministry or service in the parish is a privilege that will be withdrawn if the employee or volunteer is not in compliance with the parish Plan, the diocese Code of Conduct or the Guidelines. Making the reports required of each parish will be much easier if the record keeping system is efficient. Ordinarily, one or more spreadsheets with appropriate columns that are kept up-to-date during the academic year will allow relatively simple compilation of the data. Note that such a spreadsheet should have a column that indicates whether an employee or volunteer is classified as having independent access to and/or influence over minors in addition to a column to indicate whether he or she is required to have a current criminal history background check according to the parish plan for compliance. They are not equivalent data. All employees are required to undergo criminal history background checks; in some parishes, due to the circumstances of parish life, all volunteers are also required to undergo criminal history background checks. Compliance Plan 29 ADDENDUM: Important notes and primary changes in version 2012 Remember throughout that any text in brackets is meant to be deleted or overwritten. The text under [Instruction] is meant to be read by you but not to be part of the plan. If you want to incorporate some of the text under [Instruction], however, you can do so. Letter of Transmittal should be addressed to Bishop Kicanas but sent in care of Dr. Paul Duckro, Director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, PO Box 31, Tucson, AZ 85702 In the writing of the plan, recognize throughout that the plan is that of the parish or school. Each parish and independent school has its own legal identity, under canon and civil law, and has adopted the Safe Environment Program (SEP) of the Diocese of Tucson, written a Compliance Plan to reflect the Parish system for putting the SEP into practice, and contracted with the Diocese of Tucson for the consulting services of the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center staff. It is through that consulting arrangement that our departments work with you to write, implement and review your Compliance Plan. The Compliance Plan Template is provided as a resource to help you write and review the plan. In Section III, remember that screening and credentialing may be applied to personnel for reasons other than the protection of minors or vulnerable adults. Two common examples are persons who handle money and those who provide transportation. In addition, the new text makes clear that the submission of materials for the criminal history check must be made in a timely manner; it is not acceptable for an individual to be ministering or serving prior to the submission of the materials for the criminal history check. When the materials for the criminal history check have been submitted and the educational program has been completed, the individual may be put into ministry or service, but only under direct observation, and pending completion of the criminal history check. Direct observation means that at no time will the individual be allowed to minister or serve independently; a credentialed member of the team must be present with and observing the person in the course of any ministry or service. In Section IV, the Instruction has been expanded to make clear that an employee can be cleared by virtue of a fully documented prior clearance that is as or more stringent than the criminal history check done through the Diocese of Tucson. The most common example of that type of clearance is the one done through the Department of Public Safety (“DPS Card”) for the purpose of teaching. [Note, however, that the DPS card issued for the purpose of carrying a concealed weapon is not an acceptable form of screening because of the limited barriers to obtaining that card.] The application and copy of the DPS card should be submitted to Human Resources for the record. In Section V, with regard to ad hoc volunteers, it should be clear that any person who is serving in a role that allows access to minors should be credentialed as a high-responsibility volunteer, even if serving as an ad hoc volunteer. For example, a person enlisted to assist in any form with a youth group outing must undergo a criminal history check, initial education regarding the Code of Conduct and mandatory reporting, and instruction in the SOP for the event. Section VI includes additional text to make clear that the renewal of the criminal history check should be applied for prior to the expiration of the previous clearance. There have been a number of cases in which the request for renewal follows the expiration by months or even more than one Compliance Plan 30 year after the expiration, while the individual has remained in service or ministry. This is not an acceptable practice. If, for any reason, an employee or volunteer is resisting submission of the materials necessary to process a renewal of the criminal history check, the most effective and decisive response is to put the person on leave until it is accomplished. Section VII has also been slightly revised to emphasize the importance of creating a summary/log of the observations leading to the report and the actions taken in making the report. Section VII is in fact the SOP on reporting and should be posted and/or distributed annually to employees and volunteers. With regard to the commitment in Section VIII to write SOPs, note that a guide to constructing an SOP and a variety of model SOPs are posted in the Compliance Officers Toolbox. In Section X, consider the advantages of writing this section so that it is clear that while annual education is desirable, especially for high responsibility ministries, the minimum standard is education at least once every three years. In Section XI, note that the annual audit report is to be submitted as soon as possible before the end of the year. For schools, it is advisable to submit the report before the busy May end-of-school period. For parishes, it is advisable to submit the report by June 1, before vacations begin in earnest. These earlier deadlines require good record-keeping throughout the year, an early start to renewal of criminal history checks and safe environment education, and frequent communication with OCAAP. Look for supporting information on the Diocese website. The Resources and Support web page is located at www.diocesetucson.org/SEP.html. The Compliance Officer Toolbox is located at www.diocesetucson.org/cot.php. Share the compliance plan with leaders of the parish; for example, it is very helpful to present the plan to the parish council and parish board and to orient new members to the plan.
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