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Safety notices

To learn more about Protecting Our Children, visit us here.

Five Steps to Safer Environments

The Archdiocese of Boston mandates that all people who work with children and youth in our parishes and schools must undergo child abuse prevention training through the VIRTUS program. The training details five steps to prevent child sexual abuse:

1. Know the warning signs of an inappropriate relationship with a child.

2. Control access to children by carefully selecting the adults who work with children and youth.

3. Monitor all programs for the safety of children and youth.

4. Be aware of and sensitive to what is going on in the lives of children.

5. Communicate concerns to the appropriate person in authority.

Our next training session for Protecting God’s Children will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. If you are interested in attending please contact the Parish Office. For particular help please call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, at 617-746-5994.

Tips for summer camp safety

Summer is almost here. School is almost out, and a whole host of new opportunities for recreation and relaxation await. Maybe you are sending your children to a music or sports camp. Or maybe they have been invited by their friends to go camping in the mountains or at the beach. Whatever the situation, it is important to remember that parents still have the responsibility of controlling access that new people will have to their children. If your children are attending a summer camp, insist that every counselor or anyone else who might have access to your children has undergone an application process that includes a criminal background check and reference checks.

For particular help please call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, at 617-746-5994.

Source:  Sharon Womack Doty, “Summer Safety – Monitor All Programs!”, VIRTUS, July 17, 2006.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month.  It is most appropriate that Child Abuse Prevention Month is held during the Easter season.  There is no better time than Easter to celebrate the protection of our most valuable gift from God – our children.  For information on how you can become more informed and involved in keeping our children safe, please call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, at 617-746-5994.

Source:  childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth

The Prevalence of Abuse in Society

In a survey of adults, one out of every 10 males and one out of every five females reported that they were sexually abused by the time they were 18 years old. For most female victims, those incidents occurred before the child was 9 years old.  Studies estimate that 11 percent of abuse is committed by strangers, 29 percent by relatives, and 60 percent by others known to the victim.*

Most experts agree that child sexual abuse is seriously underreported.  The price of this abuse—the devastation of innocence and the theft of virtue and wholesomeness—is too high. It is essential that each of us becomes a protector of children to prevent the abuse from ever occurring. Become more aware and keep a watchful eye on all children. They are entrusted to our care. Remember, protecting God’s children is everyone’s job.

For particular help you may call the Archdiocese Office of Child Advocacy at 617-746-5994.

*Source: Russell, D.E.H., Bolen, R.M., (2000) The Epidemic of Rape and Child Sexual Abuse in the United States, Sage Publications, 149-50.

Take the Child Safety Quiz

Parents, guardians, and adults who care for children face constant challenges when trying to help keep children safe in today’s fast-paced and high-tech world. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) offers easy-to-use safety resources to help address these challenges.  NCMEC’s web site offers a range of practical information for parents and guardians that will help keep children safe from harm.  The site also features an interactive quiz on child safety designed for both adults and children.  To take the quiz, visit the NCMEC web site, www.missingkids.com, and click on “Child Safety” under Topics of Focus on the left. For particular help you may call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, at 617-746-5994.

Get involved in Parish programs

Parents and guardians play a key role in the success of parish programs for young people. Parents and guardians who are involved in parish programs and events will be in the best position to protect their own children as well as all the children in the parish community. Involvement and communication are important factors in helping to ensure safe environments for all of our children. Contact the parish office for more information on how you can become actively involved in the safe environment training programs and other activities in our parish.

Where do kids go after school?

You can help keep your children safe by knowing where they spend their time.

Get to know the adults who show up at the various locations in the community where children gather and where they play together. Be wary of any adult who seems more interested in creating a relationship with a child than with other adults.  Pay attention when an adult seems to single out a particular child for a relationship or for special attention. Warning signs include treats, gifts, vacations, or other special favors offered only to one specific child.

For particular help you may call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, at 617-746-5994.

Source:  Know the Rules:  After-School Safety Tips for Children Who Are Home Alone

www.missingkids.com

An Autumn message about child protection

Autumn means back to school for children and back to work for those who have been on vacation.  Amidst the hustle and bustle of this season, let us all keep sight of the importance of keeping our children and young people safe from danger.  Committees to safeguard children have been established in parishes throughout the Archdiocese.  These committees help ensure that all children and youth experience safe environments in all parish activities and events.  For more information, contact the parish office.

For particular help you may call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, at 617-746-5994.

Listen to your children

This summer, when your children are out of school and on different schedules, meeting new people and going to new places, make sure that you talk to them often about their experiences and the people they’ve met.  Listen carefully to your children.  If possible, observe and get to know the other children and adults who are part of your children’s summertime fun. Above all, communicate your safety concerns to your children.  Make sure they know that they can come to you with any concerns they may have about the people they interact with.  And if you hear of or observe behaviors that may be inappropriate, make sure to communicate your feelings to people who are in a position to intervene.  Communication is key to creating and maintaining a safe environment all year round.

For particular help you may call the Office of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston at 617-746-5994.

Source: www.kidsafe.com