Promulgated August 22, 2003
Revised December 15, 2008
We believe that safety of children and young people is
primarily the responsibility of adults. One of the most effective ways to
ensure the safety of this vulnerable population is through consistent
application of these supervision guidelines for all personnel including
volunteers (referred to as “worker(s)” in this document) who have regular
contact with children and youth.
1. At least two adults should be present when
working with children and youth. This would minimize the
opportunity for anyone to have private, isolated contact with a minor,
something that child predators need in order to perpetrate. This would serve
to keep our children safe from those who would do them harm and, at the same
time, reduce the chance of a false allegation being made against one of the
2. An adult eighteen years of age and older who
- completed high school
- been active in the parish
- had the foundational Safe Environment training
- had adequate reference checks completed and
- had a criminal background investigation run
may serve as the second adult in a classroom with children in elementary
and middle school grades, up to and including eighth grade. The other adult,
in these cases, should be over 21 years of age.
3. Church leaders should randomly visit
classrooms and other areas of church buildings that are isolated from
view. Supervisory visits and occasional drop-in visits need not
be announced. When possible, classroom doors should be kept open when
children and youth are in the room.
4. Provide an adequate number of adults (21 years
of age and older) to supervise high school events, especially all overnight
activities. Be sure to involve both male and female workers in
programs that include overnight activities.
5. Workers should be required to actively
participate in the parish for a minimum of six months prior to working with
children and youth. This enables the parish and specifically
the supervisors of parish programs to get to know the volunteer.
6. Workers should have read and understood the
Diocesan Guidelines for Those Working with Children and Youth.
Supervisors should review these guidelines to ensure that the worker
understands their practical applications.
7. Corporal punishment (hitting or spanking) and
other forms of punishment involving physical pain are not appropriate in
church activities. This rule holds true even if parents have
implied or explicitly given permission for corporal punishment. Workers
should consult their supervisor and/or pastoral leader if they need help with
misbehaving children or youth, or with disciplinary techniques.
8. Notify the parent(s) before a planned
one-to-one encounter between a worker and a child or youth.
When time and circumstances allow, obtain permission for this meeting from
9. Workers should not give gifts to children or
youth, since these could easily be misinterpreted.
Exceptions to this guideline would include church-sponsored,