November 10, 2021
The Diocese of Richmond continues to remain in compliance with the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Adults.”
That determination is the result of an onsite audit conducted by StoneBridge Business Partners done Oct. 6-8. The audit period was July 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2021.
In a Nov. 1 letter to Bishop Barry C. Knestout, the auditors stated, “The conclusions reached as to the compliance of your diocese are based upon inquiry, observation and the review of specifically requested documentation furnished to StoneBridge Business Partners during the course of this audit.”
Nazia Shafi, director of the diocesan Office of Safe Environment, called the auditors’ report “uplifting.”
“They were impressed with the initiatives by the bishop. They watched the video of his Mass of Atonement and had positive things to say about the Independent Reconciliation Program (IRP) and the listening sessions he conducted,” she said.
Shafi said the auditors saw that diocesan policies had been updated to be in line with the charter and that, despite COVID, background training continued.
“They were impressed with the annual report we did last April,” she said. “One of the auditors told me he had been doing this for 10 years and had never seen an annual report like ours. He asked for extra copies.”
Shafi said the audit recognized the good work the Safe Environment Office has undertaken.
“They liked that the bishop is totally engaged in our work,” she said. “They saw that we’re doing our best in protecting children and young adults.”
You can view the compliance letter here.