In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (“Charter”). Article 12 of the Charter provides as follows:
Dioceses/eparchies will establish “safe environment” programs. They will cooperate with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations to provide education and training for children, youth, parents, ministers, educators, and others about ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children. Dioceses/eparchies will make clear to clergy and to all members of the community the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust with regard to sexual abuse.
The job of ensuring children’s safety is a challenging undertaking. The prevention of child sexual abuse requires more than adult awareness, education and training about the nature and scope of the problem. We must also give our children the tools they need to overcome advances of someone who intends to harm them.
In accepting this responsibility, the parishes of the Diocese of Paterson provide for collaboration among parents, principals and educators in our Catholic schools. The school principal and educators role is to assist and complete the work of the parents. Teaching Touching Safety is a program we are using in our catholic schools curriculum that requires parents and other caring adults to help children learn appropriate relationship boundaries and how to protect themselves from violators. Through Teaching Touching Safety, we can empower children to respond in the best possible ways when those boundaries have been violated. Teaching Touching Safety is NOT a sex education program.
The Diocese’s Teaching Touching Safety Program Synopsis:
For more information, you may visit www.virtusonline.org.
Any questions, please feel free to contact Joan Valk at the Diocesan Office of Child Protection at (973) 777-8818 ext. 277.