Archdiocese launches SafeCatholicSPM.org

| August 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
At SafeCatholicSPM.org, the new safe environment and child protection website for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis,  visitors will find a more user-friendly format and access to more resources for keeping children safe.

At SafeCatholicSPM.org, the new safe environment and child protection website for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, visitors will find a more user-friendly format and access to more resources for keeping children safe.

There is a new home on the Internet for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ efforts to protect children, provide victim outreach and advocacy, and ensure accountability for abusers.

The new website, SafeCatholicSPM.org, pulls together new and existing content to provide a more user-friendly experience for parents, educators, parish and Catholic school leaders and other site visitors, said Nicole Mamura, web content manager in the archdiocese’s Office of Communications. It also shares an important message of healing for victims/survivors of abuse and their friends, families and faith communities.

“We want victims to know: We believe you and acknowledge your story,” Mamura said. “It takes tremendous courage to come forward to report abuse, so we want to make this process as clear as possible, and also let victims know about the resources we offer to help them in the healing process.”

In addition, site visitors can learn about the steps that are taken at the archdiocese and at local parishes and Catholic schools to help establish safe environments for children, youth and vulnerable adults.

“This website addresses one of the biggest priorities that you have as a parent: keeping your child safe,” Mamura explained. “Along with offering details about local safe environment efforts, the site provides resources to empower parents and anyone who is interested in learning more about protecting minors. This includes ways to identify possible precursors to abuse, helpful websites and even a smart phone app.”

The new Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment is responsible for ensuring archdiocesan, as well as local parish and Catholic school, compliance with civil law, archdiocesan policy, and with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” to protect children, hold abusers accountable and help victims heal.

The office encompasses the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, the Promotion of Ministerial Standards program, and the Office of Victim Advocacy and Assistance.

A few of the new website’s key features are:

  • An easier-to-navigate layout and more welcoming language and look;
  • A clear message about reporting all abuse allegations to law enforcement or child protection officials first and how to do so, as well as up-to-date contact information;
  • Information about the warning signs for potential sex abuse of a minor, including behavioral warning signs of potential abusers;
  • Screening requirements that clergy, employees and volunteers in local parishes, Catholic schools, and archdiocesan offices and agencies must meet before working or volunteering with children;
  • How to get assistance and pastoral support for victims/survivors of abuse, and how to locate other resources about protecting children and youth.

In launching the new website, the archdiocese sought another way to enhance its child protection efforts, ensuring accountability for abusers and offering help in healing to victims, Mamura said.

“We hope local Catholics and others in our community visit the site and find its content helpful,” she said. “We welcome comments and other input to this important resource.”

Visitors can provide input via the Contact Us page on the site or by emailing SafeCatholic@archspm.org.

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Category: Local News