Safe Environment Audit
Each year the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois takes part in the Safe Environment Audit. To ensure the diocese is compliant with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops requires an annual audit of dioceses in the United States.
In accordance with The Charter, the diocese requires all adult staff and volunteers to be Protecting God’s Children trained and background checked. The diocese also requires children and youth to receive annual personal safety training in the Catholic school and PSR setting. These are all necessary efforts in ensuring the protection of children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
The annual Safe Environment Audit captures data which helps to measure compliance with training and screening requirements at each diocesan school, parish, and organization. Information collected from this audit is then shared with the USCCB and a third-party auditing firm that assesses the diocese’s compliance. Every three years, the third-party auditing firm visits the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois to conduct a detailed on-site audit. During their on-site visit the auditing firms visits the Catholic Pastoral Center and various schools and parishes of the diocese.
The last on-site audit took place in 2020. The Diocese of Springfield’s next on-site audit will take place in 2023 with annual data collection audits in between.
If your school, parish, or organization needs the audit forms or if you have any questions about this process, please contact Alison Smith at the Office for Safe Environment, (217) 695-8500 ext. 162 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Christ calls upon each of his followers to protect children. National Child Abuse Prevention Month has been observed every April since its proclamation in 1983. While this is a call we must answer on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, Child Abuse Prevention Month in April is a time to emphasize these efforts and bring awareness to ways in which child abuse can be prevented. This is also a time to celebrate happy and healthy childhoods. As we strive to help children around us live the full and abundant lives that God desires for them, schools and parishes throughout the diocese continue in their protection and prevention efforts. April is the perfect time to highlight this mission. Children, one of God’s most precious gifts, are vulnerable to abuse that can have lasting harmful effects. By addressing risk factors and becoming more knowledgeable of protective factors, child abuse can be prevented.
Information for Parents
As the primary educators of their children, educating children starts at home with their parents. VIRTUS offers a guide for caring adults, parents, and guardians to establish safety guidelines and principles with their children. Click the button below to download this resource.
Resources for Parents to Protect Their Children and Adolescents
“Protecting Your Child in an X-Rated World: What you need to know to make a difference.” By Frank York & Jan LaRue
Protecting Your Child in an X-Rated World is an informative guide for adults concerned about children and pornography. Well researched by pornography awareness experts, this book gives facts to inform and action steps to keep kids safe. Describing the special vulnerability of children to the pervasive nature of pornography, the book tells how to "porn-proof" the home and oppose pornography in the community and schools, and gives hope for children already exposed to pornography. Appendixes are included for legal reference, Internet filtering devices, and other resources to protect children.
“Theology of His Body/Theology of Her Body” by Jason Evert
In this book which utilizes a dynamic, flip book design to be two books in one well-known chastity speaker and author Jason Evert unpacks the mystery of what is means to be male and female in light of the Theology of the Body in a language teenagers understand. Teens will learn about the profound realities to which their bodies point and how to live chastely and lovingly towards those of the opposite sex. (Note: this is a unique flip book where you have TOB for His Body on the cover, then you flip it over and it is TOB for Her Body, so 2 in 1.)
Real Love” by Mary Beth Bonacci
In this newly updated and expanded edition of Real Love, Mary Beth shares those questions-and her answers-in an even more comprehensive guide which addresses the details of the very real struggle we all face in trying to live real love in a world gone mad. Through these questions and her answers, Mary Beth offers a comprehensive catechesis of the Church's teaching in the areas of marriage and human sexuality. She tackles the toughest issues-premarital sex, contraception, divorce, homosexuality, internet pornography and others. She gives practical advice on living the Church's teachings. And throughout it all, she demonstrates that living respect for God's gift of sexuality is the way-the only way-to find real, honest love.
“If You Really Loved Me” by Jason Evert
Teens will find this book a useful guide to starting a relationship, deciding one's vocation, one day finding a potential spouse, and maintaining purity - without forsaking love. This book will give parents and educators new insights to help teens know the difference between love and lust. They may even look at their own lives differently, because as Evert explains, chastity is not only for singles; married couples must practice this virtue as well. "If You Really Loved Me" gives readers straight answers to tough questions. Addressing the relationship issues that today's young people face, Evert explains the often-misconstrued virtue of chastity - not as a rejection of human sexuality, but as an affirmation of authentic love.
“A Case for Chastity” by Heather
Gallagher, Peter Vlahutin
In twenty-six short topical chapters, teens and young adults share their questions and real-life experiences about sexual relationships. Their questions range from "How far is too far?" to "What's wrong with cohabitation?" Two questions posed by many people of all ages both within and outside the Church are also treated: "Chastity sounds nice, but is it practical?" and "What do the Bible and celibate men know about sex anyway?" Teens will find A Case for Chastity a readable and informative book, and their parents and teachers, particularly catechists and DREs, will find it an invaluable resource.
“Pure Love” by Jason Evert
In an easy to read question and answer format, Pure Love is a great introduction to the topic of chastity. It is the ideal complement to classes on human sexuality. Rich with scriptural reference, this booklet is in complete compliance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
What's the Big Deal About Pornography? By Dr. Jill C. Manning
Dr. Manning speaks directly to the young people she calls the “internet generation.” She discusses such topics as:
- What is pornography?
- How does pornography affect people?
- Can pornography teach me things about sexuality that I need to know in the future?
- What do I do if I can't stop looking at pornography?
- What do I do if someone I know can't stop looking at pornography?
- 11 suggestions teens should talk to their parents about.