St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is committed to providing a safe environment for everyone who comes to the parish and school, and we work diligently to ensure all volunteers, faculty and staff have undergone safe environment training, background and reference checks.
In light of the recent headlines regarding the abuse that has occurred within the Catholic Church, the Archdiocesan Office of Safe Environment has worked diligently to establish some new guidelines and protocols to prevent and report abuse. We have a responsibility to make sure all of our programs - parish, religious education, youth ministry, Catholic schools, scouts, sports, etc... are providing the safest possible environment for our children, young people and vulnerable adults. Teachers, Catechists, Youth Coordinators and all others who work with youth must be trained and reminded repeatedly of their serious obligation to provide adequate supervision for our youth. Some important reminders on Safe Environment include:
* If anyone suspects abuse of a child in any form (emotional, physical, sexual, neglect), they are required to report to the proper authorities at the Department of Human Services: 1-800-522-3511. If the suspected abuser is someone who works for the Church, as an employee or volunteer, they must also call the Archdiocesan Hotline at 405-720-9878.
* No one may volunteer with children until they have completed all aspects of the Safe Environment Protocol. These include an interview, application, background check, 3 reference forms, attendance at a Safe Environment training, Code of Conduct Acknowledgement and Social Media Guidelines Acknowledgement.
* Teen volunteers must be at least 14 years old and complete all parts of the Safe Environment protocol except the background check.
* All employees, no matter what they do, must complete our Safe Environment protocol.
Details on the new procedures from the Archdiocese:
A new Safe Environment DVD was distributed to parishes and the Code of Conduct was revised in May 2014. Anyone who was trained prior to August 2014 must be retrained with the new video and Code of Conduct. We realize this is a challenging task, but we must ensure that all employees and volunteers understand their obligations to recognize abuse and how to report it. The deadline to complete this requirement is August 2019.
If you are unsure what your status is, please contact our Safe Environment Coordinator at the phone number or email address below or click the Active Volunteers Needing Training document.
There are 3 documents that must be completed as part of the Safe Environment process. These forms can either be printed and the information handwritten in, or you may download the form and type the information directly into it.
Electronic signatures are not accepted on any of these documents, therefore all forms must be printed, signed and brought to training with you or submitted to the parish or school office upon completion.
Abuse of Minors Pastoral Response Hotline (405) 720-9878
For the safety of children and the healing of victims, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City provides an Abuse of Minors Pastoral Response Hotline for reporting the abuse of a minor (in the past or presently) by a member of the clergy or other church personnel. Calls to this number will be answered by the Archdiocesan Assistance Coordinator who will offer to meet with the caller in person, if the caller so desires. The Assistance Coordinator will also assist you in making a formal complaint to the Archdiocese, arranging a personal meeting with the Archbishop or his representative and in obtaining support and pastoral counseling.
Calls are confidential with the following exception: Any allegation of sexual or physical abuse or neglect concerning those who currently are minors must be reported to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (1-800-522-3511) as required by Oklahoma laws and Archdiocesan policies.
Any allegation of sexual misconduct must be shared with the proper Archdiocesan authorities.
Local law enforcement agencies may also be contacted.
In addition, there are several thins you may do: Contact the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (1-800-522-3511).
Contacting DHS is mandatory if the victim is a minor.
Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency (for example the local police).
Contact local child protection agencies, a private attorney and or a support group.