Safe Environment Programs of the Diocese of St. Petersburg

The Diocese of St. Petersburg must ensure that children and youth who worship, study, or participate in activities sponsored by the Diocese can do so in the safest and most secure setting possible. Parents and caretakers must have confidence in the Diocese before they will allow their children to become involved in Diocesan activities. The Safe Environment Programs of the Diocese of St. Petersburg are designed to instill that confidence and are encouraged by insurance and risk management companies as well.

This same concern applies to our vulnerable adults. A vulnerable adult is an individual who is 18 years or older whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living are extremely limited or whose ability to provide for his or her own care or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, physical, developmental disability dysfunction, brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.

In accordance with the US Conference of Catholic Bishop’s (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese has established safe environment programs under the Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. The Diocese cooperates with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations in its effort to provide education and training for children, youth, parents, ministers, educators, and others about ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults. The Diocese makes clear to clergy and members of the community the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust with regard to sexual abuse.

In addition, the Diocese evaluates the background of all diocesan and parish personnel who wish to have the care, responsibility, and or supervision of children, youth or access to vulnerable adults. Specifically, the Diocese utilizes the resources of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Volunteer, Employee, Criminal History System (VECHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) to perform Level 2 criminal history background checks.

To read further about the Safe Environment programs and policies of the St Petersburg diocese, follow this link SAFE ENVIRONMENT.