2017 Independent Audit Determines Catholic Diocese of Richmond Remains in Compliance with Child Protection Charter
(RICHMOND) – The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has received word from an independent auditor that the diocese remains in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The diocese participates in the audit process annually.
Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Diocesan Administrator, received notice of compliance in a Dec. 13, 2017, letter from Stonebridge Business Partners, Rochester, N.Y., which conducts the yearly audits for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Child and Youth Protection.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the USCCB in 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse.
Data related to the diocese’s child protection program, called Safe Environment, are gathered and audited every year, followed by an extensive onsite audit every third year. The data includes statistics about background screening and VIRTUS training of clergy, employees and volunteers who regularly work with minors and the vulnerable. It also tracks assistance provided to victims, as well as any new allegations and subsequent investigation.
Among the statistics tracked through the Safe Environment program are:
- Since October 2004, the Diocese has held 2,790 child protection training sessions, known as VIRTUS, Protecting God’s Children for Adults. In 2017, there were 280 training sessions.
- Some 53,880 individuals have participated and 195 facilitators have been trained to lead a VIRTUS training session.
- During the July 1, 2016– June 30, 2017 audit period, the diocese reported 30,512 active participants in the Safe Environment program. Participants are considered active if they attend VIRTUS and are up-to-date on background screening. Participants include all clergy, parish and school employees as well as volunteers who work with minors and the vulnerable.
For more information about the diocese’s Safe Environment Program, visit the Catholic Diocese of Richmond website at https://richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/.