Diocese beefs up predator screening
October 27, 2010
The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, that includes Catholic parishes in part in Joplin, Springfield and Webb City, has received results of the 2010 audit completed under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In a letter dated September 10, 2010, William A. Gavin of The Gavin Group, Inc., states:

"Based on the analysis of the results of the 2010 Full Audit of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, you have been found to be in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

To comply with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the diocese adopted the "Virtus: Protecting God's Children" awareness training program. Diocese and parish employees and volunteers must be trained how to behave appropriately, how to recognize the signs of abuse and to immediately report abuse. In addition to the initial training, employees and volunteers receive continuing education via monthly bulletins.

In addition to awareness training, individuals employed throughout the diocese as well as volunteers who work with children are required to go through a background screening. The diocese has strengthened its background check measures. The new background screening process is administered through AmericanChecked Inc., which searches numerous sources including the nationwide criminal database, US Department of Homeland Security alert lists, the Multi-State Sex and Violent Offender Registry Database, county criminal records, wanted persons lists, state criminal records, probation, prison parole and release files, and other government agencies.

All 2,300 educators, staff members and volunteers and 87 priests serving in the diocese will have undergone the new screening system by December 2, 2010.

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