Dioceses must develop programs that meet the guidelines set forth in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Specifically, Article 12 of Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People calls for “Dioceses/eparchies are to maintain “safe environment” programs which the diocesan/eparchial bishop deems to be in accord with Catholic moral principles. (Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, page 18). Safe Environment programs are in place to assist parents, children and those who work with children in becoming educated towards the prevention of sexual abuse in the church.
The Diocese of Laredo is proactively engaged, through the education, training, and screening of its clergy, lay personnel, and volunteers, in maintaining a safe environment for children and young persons in all its churches, facilities, and sponsored events.
The Diocese of Laredo’s Safe Environment Program includes relevant curricula to educate children on what sexual abuse is and how to recognize it, how to disclose sexual abuse, how to keep safe from sexual predators, and the treatment available to those already victimized. Moreover, the safe environment program includes components for parents and resources on how to keep their children safe and how to recognize the signs of sexual abuse, as well as to work in coordination with the church to maintain a safe environment for all children and young people.
The Office of Safe Environment oversees the implementation of Safe Environment Program in our parishes and schools.