Christi Sullivan is coordinator of the Denver Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection.
As the Office of Child and Youth Protection marks 10 years of service in the Archdiocese of Denver, we continue to keep the “Promise to Protect and the Pledge to Heal: The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” a comprehensive set of procedures established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002, as the guiding statement of our mission.
In 2013 we added another 3,985 adults who have received training in child sexual abuse prevention to our continually growing numbers of more than 45,000 adults. We also taught more than 22,000 kids last year to recognize signs of inappropriate behavior and who they should tell, if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable.
Most people who do not have children under age 18, do not realize that the Church offers child sexual abuse prevention classes that are age appropriate, to all children in religious education programs.
The “Called to Protect” series we use in the archdiocese is a curriculum that teaches children, youths and adults how to recognize the signs of abuse and what to do about it. It is a wonderful and comprehensive series that conveys very important and sensitive information in a way that does not frighten children. Training is available in English, Spanish and closed-captioned English.
Every year the Office of Child and Youth Protection is audited for compliance by an outside firm hired by the USCCB and every year we have been found to be compliant with their Charter.
As we work together to eradicate the curse of child sexual abuse, our office has become a clearing house for all things kid safety, including: information on Internet safety, social media safety, sport safety and smart phone safety. Basically we have safety resources for adults of all electronic experience levels and children of all ages, in English and Spanish.
All of these resources and trainings are available to anyone at no charge, thanks to the generosity of those who contribute to the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal.
Please visit us online at www.ArchDen.org and click on “Child & Youth Protection Office” for more safety stuff!