- Screening all employees and volunteers with multiple background certifications to ensure that individuals with a record of abuse do not have access to children.
- Teaching students how to stay safe and provide instruction in age-appropriate child abuse awareness programs.
- Training employees and volunteers to recognize and report abuse by requiring a state-approved online training program.
- Providing ID Badges for all individuals who have completed the required background certification and training for the Diocesan Youth Protection Program.
With the guidance of experts in child protection and law enforcement, the Diocese has done everything in our power to put in place all necessary child protection safeguards. We ensure you that every accusation against any Diocesan personnel is thoroughly examined and immediately reported to law enforcement. We are and have been committed to honesty, transparency and ensuring the safety of our children in all matters.
The Diocesan Safe Environment program offers age-appropriate personal safety instruction to students in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs.
These mandatory programs ensure that children receive important information on how to stay safe. In addition to a classroom presentation of safety issues, adapted for different grade levels, parents receive materials to help guide their own discussions with their children.
The Diocese of Harrisburg uses the VIRTUS Empowering God’s Children® annual training for all children enrolled in our Catholic Schools and religious education classes. This program provides our children and youth the tools and training they need to keep themselves safe. Age-appropriate topics include boundaries, safe and unsafe behaviors, and healthy relationships. The annual, mandatory lessons include content that continues to build on previous lessons as well as engaging activities. All lessons will be offered in English and Spanish.
Summary of the Youth Protection Policy
The Diocese of Harrisburg is committed to its responsibility to protect all children entrusted to its care. The Diocese has developed and implemented a new Youth Protection Policy to ensure the safety of all the Church’s children. The Diocese also pledges adherence to Canon Law and full, open cooperation with the law-enforcement agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other civil jurisdictions.
Adherence to this policy is mandatory for all clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) incardinated or assigned or residing in the Diocese who assist in ministry, all seminarians and those in formation toward Holy Orders, those assigned to pastoral ministry or formation in the Diocese, all those in Consecrated Life (men and women), and all Church personnel (all employees of the Diocese, a parish or mission within the Diocese and all Catholic schools; all employees of an institution or corporation affiliated with the
Diocese; all volunteers for the Diocese, parish, mission, school, or other institution; and independent contractors (and subcontractors) in the employ of the Diocese, parish, mission, school or other institution). Additional questions or requests for information may be addressed by email to: YouthProtection@hbgdiocese.org.