The Diocese of Savannah is committed to providing safe environments and fostering continuous improvement in every organization that sponsors activities and/or provides services to children and youth. Through a series of workshops, educational materials, media articles and background checks, the Diocese is:
- Increasing awareness of potentially harmful situations through the VIRTUS Protecting God's Children for Adults training workshops.
- Implementing a Diocesan Code of Conduct for Those Working with Minors which outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviors for all clergy, employees and volunteers.
- Evaluating background checks for relevance to the employee’s or volunteer’s position.
- Providing continuing education through the VIRTUS Web site.
April is CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH. The USCCB Office for Child and Youth Protection has published a Resource Guide for 2017 that includes
- Homily helps - talking points and Bible verses
- Suggested Songs
- Bulletin Blurbs
- Bulletin Blurbs En Espanol
- Bulletin Inserts and Handouts
- Sample Prayer Service for Healing
- Servicio de la Palabra Para Sanación
The guide can be downloaded from this link.
Tools to download from the USCCB Office for Child & Youth Protection can be found here.
LENTEN PRAYER SERVICE OF CONSOLATION
On March 27, 2017 The Diocese of Savannah held its first Prayer Service dedicated to those who suffer from abuse, particularly victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. Bishop Hartmayer's 7homily can be viewed here.
2017 Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference
The Diocese of Savannah and the Archdiocese of Atlanta recently co-hosted the National Conference for Diocesan Directors of Child & Youth Protection, Safe Environment and Victims Assistance Coordinators.
Highlights from the Conference included:
Keynote speaker Archbishop Wilton Gregory. Archbishop Gregory shared with the Conference the history leading up to passage of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and his role as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops during the Charter's construction and promulgation.
Monsignor Robert Oliver, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, discussed the ongoing efforts of the Commission in fulfilling Pope Francis' initiative to mandate standards of Child and Youth Protection in every Episcopacy throughout the world.
Dr. Monica Applewhite, Consultant and Expert in Root-Cause Analysis of Child Sexual Abuse, explains to Coordinators and others why their role is so important in our Church today.