All members of the Church are called upon to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults in our parishes, schools, families, and local communities. In an effort to respond to this responsibility, the Diocese of Sioux Falls requires all adults and minors who are active in a diocesan organization to complete a safe environment program that teaches how to recognize and report abuse, and how to maintain proper boundaries.
The safe environment program follows the guidelines and policies outlined in the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Diocese of Sioux Falls Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
The Safe Environment Program (SEP) is the result of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter is available to read online and “includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. It was revised in 2005, 2011, and 2018” (per USCCB website).
Sexual Misconduct Policy
The Diocese of Sioux Falls incorporated the Charter into the Diocese of Sioux Falls Misconduct Policy. The misconduct policy is available online and is referenced in the annual awareness curriculum and vulnerable adult curriculum in CMG Connect.
Diocesan Review Board
The Diocesan Review Board is the panel appointed by the Bishop to advise him on matters concerning the implementation of the Charter and Diocese of Sioux Falls Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Review Board consists of six members who serve five-year terms and represent a variety of relevant fields of expertise including law, counseling, and education.
All complaints of misconduct and recommended courses of action for alleged victims and offenders will be in accordance with diocesan policies and applicable state, federal, and canon laws.