Diocese of Rockford Safe Environment
Program Protecting Children
and Young People
The Diocese’s Safe Environment Program entails the proper screening of those who wish to be employed by and/or volunteer for a parish, school, or other diocesan entity; the proper safe environment training of our employees and volunteers working with youth, and the chastity and personal safety training of our children in our schools and religious education programs; and compliance with Diocesan safe environment policies and the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.
The Diocese screens and tests candidates for the priesthood and diaconate. It conducts ongoing training and education programs in the detection and prevention of sexual abuse for priests, deacons, candidates for ordination, religious, employees and volunteers. All of the Diocese’s elementary students and high school students, both in our Catholic schools, and in our religious education programs at our parishes, have been receiving ongoing training in sexual abuse awareness and prevention. Protecting God’s Children, an online safe environment training program created by Virtus, is offered to all parents, and required of all employees and volunteers having direct contact with children. All Diocesan priests, seminarians, employees and volunteers in direct contact with children are criminally background checked before they perform service for the Diocese in any parish, school or other diocesan facility. The Diocese responds promptly and decisively to allegations of sexual abuse- and removes from ministry and employment any individual associated with the Diocese, be it a priest, deacon, candidate for ordination, religious, or lay employee or volunteer, when a credible allegation is made.