Every year the Archdiocese of Chicago is audited to confirm its compliance with the requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In order to have the information necessary for Archbishop Cupich to present to the auditors, parishes and schools are required to report compliance information to the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth.
As part of the implementation of the Charter, the Archdiocese of Chicago requires its parishes and schools to provide training on how to create a safe environment for children and youth to all clergy, employees and volunteers who work with children. That training is done through Virtus’ Protecting God’s Children for Adults, a live training programs facilitated by trained facilitators throughout the archdiocese.
Children and youth are also required to receive training on how to recognize and report abuse through a variety of training programs that are age-appropriate and research-based. Current programs approved for children’s training include: Benziger’s Family Life Program, Child Lures Prevention and Praesidium’s Called to Protect. Religious education programs that have relied on the public school training to satisfy this training requirement are no longer permitted to do that, and must provide their own training for children using the above list.
In addition to training, all clergy, employees and volunteers who work with minors are required to submit to a yearly review through the State of Illinois Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System [CANTS]. All clergy, employees and volunteers are also required to read the Code of Conduct and sign the appropriate Acknowledgment Form.
The State of Illinois laws that the Archdiocese of Chicago follow include: teachers are required to submit to electronic fingerprinting, and all school employees and clergy are mandated reporters. They along with catechists, youth ministers and coaches are required to complete Mandated Reporter Training for the State of Illinois.
As part of the ongoing formation required by Article 17 of the Charter, clergy are required to attend a Critical Conversation class.
Parishes and schools who have questions related to completing the Annual Audit Report should contact:
Mayra Flores, BA
Safe Environment Compliance Officer