Child Safety Information Series / Safe Environment Training

Child Safety

Safe Environment Training

From the Diocese of Colorado Springs website:

As directed by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, training opportunities for adults, youth, and children in creating and maintaining a safe environment in our programs, parishes, and community are developed and delivered.

Please check our page , the events calendar for scheduled Safe Environment Trainings or contact Mission Effectiveness

As many as 40% of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children.” (Crimes Against Children Research Center, 2012)  When minors volunteer or act as leaders in activities that involve other minors, we have a perfect opportunity to remind them that they now have a share in the responsibility for creating and maintaining a safe environment for themselves and others.

Hasta el 40% de los niños que son abusados sexualmente, sufren el abuso por parte de niños mayores o más fuertes". (Centro de investigación de crímenes en contra de menores, 2012) Cuando los menores son voluntarios o actúan como líderes en las actividades que involucran a otros menores, tenemos una oportunidad perfecta para recordarles que ellos ahora comparten la responsabilidad de crear y mantener un ambiente seguro para ellos mismos y los demás.

Not On My Watch

The Church raised the bar when it placed child safety among its highest priorities. It takes awareness – ongoing awareness – on everyone’s part, children and adults alike, to create and maintain an environment free of abuse and exploitation. Report every known or reasonably suspected instance of child abuse or neglect to your local law enforcement or to the Colorado Child Abuse Reporting Hotline at 1-844-CO-4KIDS (1-844-264-5437). Child abuse is preventable!

Access the English and Spanish versions of the August 2016 Child Safety Information Series document on how you can prevent child abuse.

I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying Because What You’re Doing Is So Loud

As adults, we are always teaching children whether we’re aware of it or not. Our actions influence children in positive – and negative ways. The ability to make good choices is one of the most effective ways to be successful – and safe – in the world. Are we modeling what we want our children to learn?

Access the English and Spanish versions of the June 2016 Child Safety Information Series document on how you can model what you want your children to learn.

Three Steps for Choosing a Child Safe Organization

When choosing an organization for your child to attend (such as a sports facility, school or child care facility) it is important to know the policies that are in place to protect your child from sexual abuse. The following documents will guide you through a process to help you choose a safe organization for your child to attend.  

Access the English and Spanish versions of the April 2016 Child Safety Information Series document on how  you can choose a child safe organization.

Can You Spot a Vulnerable Child?

We all know that babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable, but experts say that limiting our assessment of vulnerability to age is a mistake. If we consider vulnerable to mean a child’s capacity for self-protection, we grow to be more skilled at identifying children who may be at a higher risk for harm.

Access the English and Spanish versions of the March 2016 Child Safety Information Series document on how you can ask yourself a few questions to begin to assess a child’s vulnerability.

Take a Safety Break

Child safety training is not a one or two time exercise. Bringing up the subject regularly lets children know that the information is important. You may be surprised that, despite your best efforts, children may not have understood previous safety lessons adequately, and the information needs to be reinforced. Opportunities to include safety conversations present themselves often. These can be on a variety of topics such as fire safety, sports safety, summer vacation safety, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Click here for for some ways to include safety conversations and reinforce information previously presented to children.

Safety Training Need Not Be Scary

It's an adult's job to keep children safe. Sometimes an adult's fear, though, can be conveyed along with the good safety information that's being shared with kids.

The Bishop's Charter defines a minor as one who has not attained the age of 18. The definition also includes those who habitually lack the use of reason regardless of their age. Canon law designated the age of reason to be seven years old; even an adult whose capacity to reason is below that of a seven-year-old is to be protected by the provisions of the Charter. Sharing age-appropriate safety tips is the key to helping our minors keep themselves safe. 

Click here for some ways we can empower our children without imparting anxiety or diminishing their confidence.

USCCB Resources

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced the following resources to highlight the Church's response to clergy sexual abuse. We want to share the good news of the Church's work to foster safe environments for all people, especially children.  These resources are:

Key Milestones in Strengthening Child and Youth Protection Within the Church

Promise to Protect - Pledge To Heal

Pope Francis' image Overlaid with Quote of His Remarks in Philadelphia