The Archdiocese of Boston Child Protection office was established in 2002 to assist women and men, families and parishes who were suffering in the aftermath of sexual abuse. The office now works diligently each day to ensure the safety of children and young people in the parishes and schools of the Archdiocese of Boston and to support survivors, families and parishes on their journey of healing.
At St. Ann by the Sea, we take the safety of our parishioners of all ages, very seriously.
We ask all staff, ministers, and volunteers to provide information for a yearly background screening and require attendance at a Child Protection Workshop, that is facilitated by the St. Ann by the Sea Child Protection Team. The team is made up of parishioners, lawyers and church leaders. The program is offered to the parish twice yearly, with an upcoming date this week on Thursday August 30th at 5:30pm. This two hour+ prevention and awareness workshop is for adults and is called “Protecting God’s Children”, which consists of classroom presentations, printed materials and videotapes that will focus on the prevention of abuse and the protection of children. The program is designed for those adults who have access to children as part of their duties. Training also includes recognizing the signs and symptoms that indicate a child is being abused in some way, and how to talk with children about these issues. We discuss the responsibilities of mandated reporting and the Archdiocese’s policies and procedures for preventing child abuse. An on-line component called “VIRTUS On-Line” will provide continued training through monthly bulletins and annual recertification.
We have a Safe Environment Program as part of our CCD Curriculum for Preschool through Grades 10. The programs concentrate on teaching children basic skills that will help keep them safe from dangerous or abusive situations, while supporting parents, educators and community members in responding effectively to suspected abuse. The developmentally appropriate programs introduce the subject of sexual abuse in a subtle way and within the context of general safety.
For more information about VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” or our own safety programs please call us at 781-834-4953.