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Archdiocese in compliance with child protection policies

An on-site audit of the Archdiocese of Omaha’s child protection policies and procedures showed it was in compliance with the U.S. bishops’ 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for the 14th consecutive year.

"It is reassuring to know that our child protection training procedures, policies and programs have been found to be in compliance with the charter," said Archbishop George J. Lucas. "I believe this (audit compliance) reflects the commitment of all in the Catholic community to keep children safe."

StoneBridge Business Partners, an independent auditing firm retained by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently reviewed records and interviewed archdiocesan personnel, a number of clergy and employees at parishes and schools, and members of a review board that advises the archbishop on handling allegations of child sexual abuse.

The audit looked at the reporting of and response to allegations of sexual abuse, efforts to promote healing and reconciliation with survivors and others harmed by clergy sexual abuse, and the background checks for priests, deacons, educators, volunteers and other personnel. The audit also looked at efforts to conduct safe environment training for children and adults who work with children.

"The auditors verified that the letter and spirit of the charter are being taken seriously on all levels, and that the archdiocese is providing parishes and schools effective child protection programs and training support," Archbishop Lucas said.

The archdiocese developed its own training curriculum, and it is being used in 37 dioceses across the country.

Last year in the archdiocese, 30,493 children received safe environment training. And 14,042 archdiocesan clergy, employees and volunteers who work with children and parents received background checks and safe environment training and materials.

To learn more about the archdiocese’s safe environment policies and programs, or to report an allegation of sexual abuse by a church official, contact Mary Beth Hanus, manager of victim outreach and prevention, at 402-827-3798 or mbhanus@archomaha.org.

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