About Us

Mission

The Office of the Protection of Children and Youth’s (OPCY) mission is to respond to victim-survivors who report sexual abuse by assisting them in the process of healing and reporting allegations, and ensure the Archdiocese is providing services to prevent future instances of sexual abuse. It’s through our programs and the resources we…
 

Promote Healing of Victims-Survivors 

The process victims-survivors of abuse take to heal from clerical abuse is extremely important to us, which is why our office connects them with the appropriate people and/or organizations to receive the help they need. In addition, we offer outreach programs for victims-survivors, in hopes that they’ll feel comfortable sharing an allegation and recover properly.

OPCY strives to support victims-survivors of clergy sexual abuse with the resources and support they need to begin or continue to their healing journey. This includes therapy, healing masses, peace circles and opportunities to connect with other survivors.

It’s never too late to report an instance of abuse, and all victims-survivors have the right to report an allegation to the authorities, but are also welcome to work with our office. If you are seeking referrals for counseling, spiritual direction, self-help groups, educational information, or more, please call 312.534.8267.

Provide Resources and Compliance Training to Protect our Children

OPCY is comprised of the following offices and programs to respond to allegations of abuse by church personnel, help victim-survivors throughout their healing journey, educate parents, caregivers and Archdiocesan staff about child abuse and prevention efforts and screen all employee and volunteer applicants: 

  • Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review (Link)
  • Office of Assistance Ministry (Link)
  • Safe Environment Office (Link)
  • Prayer and Penance Program (Link)

In addition to adult training, OPCY provides age-appropriate, research-based training to children in our schools and parish religious education programs to help them better recognize inappropriate behavior and understand how they should report it to parents and/or caring adults. Over 121,000 students receive safe environment training in Catholic school religious education classes annually. 

In addition to the above, OPCY monitors compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in preparing for the Annual USCCB Audit. In 2016

  • In 2016, more than 97 percent of adults who work or volunteer in parishes and schools underwent a background check.
  • More than 3,700 Protecting God’s Children for Adults/Virtus training sessions have been conducted in the Archdiocese of Chicago since 2003.
  • More than 263,471 adult employees and volunteers have attended Protecting God’s Children