Procedures for Filing a Complaint of Sexual Abuse

 1. All clergy, staff, and volunteers, must report knowledge or belief that a child is the victim of sexual abuse. (See Sexual Abuse Policy v Section 2)

 

2. All complaints or knowledge of abuse should first be brought to the attention of the pastor of the parish, the principal of the school, or the supervisor of the particular ministry or organization.

 

3. If a victim or a victim¦s family is making a direct complaint on their own they will meet with the pastor of the parish, the principal of the school, the superior of the religious community, or the supervisor in charge of the activity. At all times, a victim or complainant, may report directly to the Bishop, to the local civil authorities, and to a child abuse reporting agency.

 

4. The person hearing the complaint will take note of the victim’s name and address, the person they are accusing, the place where the incident occurred, the time that the incident took place, and a general description of the nature of the offense. Forms for filing a complaint are available on the Eparchial website (www.stamforddio.org), in English or Ukrainian, under the safe environment department.

 

5. Upon receiving the preliminary information noted above, it is mandated that the pastor, principal, or ministry supervisor forward the report of abuse to:

a) The Bishop & Chancellor of the Eparchy

b) The local police department for your town (911)

c) The Child Protection Agency or Hot Line for your area that is listed on the Eparchy website or parish bulletin Board

d) The State Dept. of Children & Families (within 12 hours).

 

6. The Bishop and Chancellor, upon receipt of a complaint, will contact the Victim¦s Assistance Coordinator , the Eparchial Review Board, the local protopresbyter, the Eparchial attorney, and the Eparchial Insurance company. They will also verify that the report has been filed with the local police and the appropriate Child Protection Agency and State Department for Children.

 

7. The Bishop will personally meet with all victims and their families.

 

8. The Bishop will begin a preliminary internal investigation of the incident in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. If there is credible evidence that child sexual abuse has occurred, appropriate measures will be taken to remove the offender from ministry and place them on administrative leave.

 

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Policy and Procedures concerning sexual abuse of minors by clergy or church personnel

 

Page 1 (Click on the page to read the .pdf file)

Preamble

Section 1:

Prevention, Education and Reporting

Section 2:

Civil and Canonical Responsibilities (reporting and investigation)

 

Page 2 (Click on the page to read the .pdf file)

Section 2 (continued)

Section 3:

Administrative Guidelines for Dealing with a Complaint

Section 4:

Services to Victims

Section 5:

The Accused

 

Page 3 (Click on the page to read the .pdf file)

Section 5 (continued)

Section 6:

Legal Representation

Section 7:

Reassignment of Clergy and Religious

Section 8:

False Accusations

 

Page 4 (Click on the page to read the .pdf file)

Section 8 (continued)

Section 9:

Screening and Selection -- Clergy, Staff and Volunteers

Section 10:

Media

Section 11:

Insurance

Section 12:

Conclusion

 

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CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

FOR CLERGY, ADMINISTRATORS, PRINCIPALS, TEACHERS, STAFF, AND VOLUNTEERS

 

For Clergy, Administrators, Principals, Teachers, Staff, & Volunteers

 

The Eparchy of Stamford is committed to keeping children and youth safe in accord with the policies of the USCCB¦s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This code of conduct will establish guidelines for appropriate interactions between church personnel and those whom they serve.

 

Definitions

 

A minor is defined as a person under the age of 18.

A young adult is defined as a person between the ages of 18 v 20. Both a minor and a young adult are defined as youth.

An adult is defined as a person age 21 or older.

 

All clergy, principals, teachers, staff, and volunteers of the Eparchy will observe the following guidelines in dealing with minors and young adults.

 

- Avoid situations where I am alone with minors and young adults.

- Never touch a minor or young adult in a sexual or other inappropriate manner.

- Immediately report any suspicion of abuse of youth to the pastor, principal, or immediate supervisor, as well as the local office of a Child Protective Services agency whose telephone numbers are available.

- Do not allow any minors or young adults to reside in or to be an overnight guest in a rectory unless they are members of the immediate family of the clergy.

- Do not allow the use, by minors or young adults, of any alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or any illegal substance.

- Never attempt to physically discipline a child or young adult. Discipline problems should be coordinated by the immediate supervisor in consultation with the parents of the minor.

- Never be alone with a minor or young adult in a residence, sleeping facility, locker room, dressing facility, or any other isolated area that is inappropriate to a ministry relationship.

- Do not take overnight trips alone with a minor or young adult who is not a member of your family. Adult chaperones should accompany any trip involving minors or young adults.

 


- Do not sleep in the same bed with a minor or young adult. If an adult chaperone stays in a hotel or other sleeping facility with a group of minors or young adults, the chaperone should sleep in their own bed.

- If you discover an inappropriate attraction or attention being shown to you by a minor or young adult, maintain clear professional boundaries between yourself and the youth, and report or refer them to another adult.

- If the need should arise to have to counsel minors or young adults, avoid meeting in isolated environments. Schedule meetings at times and use locations that can create accountability. Limit the length and number or meetings and make outside referrals, if necessary. Parents and supervisors should be advised of these meetings.

- Do not drive a church or school vehicle transporting youth unless you have received a prior authorization and have the appropriate license or certification.

- Do not buy expensive or inappropriate gifts for youth nor give a gift exclusively to one youth to the exclusion of others.

 

HARASSMENT

 

1) Clergy, employees, and volunteers shall not engage in any form of physical, psychological, written and/or oral harassment of any individual and shall not tolerate any such conduct by any other church personnel.

 

2) Clergy, employees, and volunteers, shall maintain a professional work environment that is free from any and all forms of physical, psychological, written, and/or oral intimidation or harassment.

 

3) This prohibition against harassment encompasses a broad range of physical, psychological, written, and/or oral behavior including without limitation: physical or mental abuse; racial insults; derogatory ethnic slurs; unwelcome sexual advances or touching; sexual comments or sexual jokes; display of offensive materials; or requests for sexual activity or behavior of any kind for any reason.

 

4) Clergy, employees, and volunteers shall take every report or allegation of harassment seriously and shall report same to their immediate supervisor.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (IN UKRAINIAN)

 For more information please visit:

 USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection

 USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People