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Office of Safe Environment




APRIL IS NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH


If you are seeking Victims Assistance, please click here.
  

At that time the disciples* approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,* you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. "Whoever causes one of these little ones* who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. - Matthew 18: 1-6


Mission Statement

The Office of Safe Environment is committed to maintain a safe environment for children and youth. Our mission is to ensure the safety of children and young people who have been entrusted to our care in our parishes, schools, religious education classes, and other programs. We assist parishes and schools in understanding and implementing the USCCB's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This includes criminal background check screening and training in recognizing and reporting child abuse to appropriate civil and church authorities. 

 

Safe Environment Programs

VIRTUS "Protecting God's Children" (PGC) Workshop 

"Protecting God's Children's" is the program selected by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to educate clergy, staff, and volunteers who work with children and youth about child sexual abuse and the ways to create a safe environment for children. The 3-hour live session includes videos and facilitated discussions that focus on the prevention of abuse and the protection of children. Adults learn how to recognize the warning signs of sexual abuse and to respond appropriately. You will learn about steps that the faith community can take to create a safe environment for all God's children and how to respond when adults behave in a way that raises concerns.

To view a list of sessions or begin registration click here

VIRTUS "Keeping the Promise Alive" (KPA) Refresher
"Keeping the Promise Alive" is a mandatory refresher course that went into effect in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 2011. Employees and volunteers are required to attend "Keeping the Promise Alive" after 5 years of attending the "Protecting God's Children"® program. It is a 1.5 hour live session with one video that provides ongoing awareness for the prevention of child sexual abuse. The material covered in "Keeping the Promise Alive" is designed to identify and reinforce the lessons of the original "Protecting God's Children" program by clarifying some of the more challenging aspects of the sessions and strengthening the participants' ability to recognize risky behavior by adults in their environments and take action to intervene in potentially threatening situations.

Sacred and Safe
A sexual abuse prevention program for children and youth in grades K-12. This program continues the effort first begun on September 1, 2011, in compliance with the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Cardinal DiNardo has directed that every parish in the Archdiocese implement Sacred & Safe, a program which provides faith-based safe environment lessons for children and youth in kindergarten through the 12th grades. This annual program provides one grade-specific lesson each year to help children and young people develop the skills to protect themselves from sexual abuse. An essential parent component complements the grade-specific lessons. The Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization oversees the formation process. For more information please click on the link above or contact Mark Ciesielski 713-741-8792.

Jeremiah 1:7
Jeremiah 1:7 is an Archdiocesan safe environment program which provides formation for high school-age youth who assist adults in ministry to children and youth under the age of 18. The program is a collaborative effort between the Offices of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization (formerly Youth Ministry) , Office of Catechesis and Evangelization (formerly CCE), and Office of Safe Environment. The Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization is responsible for the day-to-day operating management of the program. For more information please click on the link above or contact Norma Torok 713-741-8773.



Safe Environment Documents

Victims Assistance Information

USCCB Office of Child & Youth Protection

Parent Page at USCCB Office of Child & Youth Protection

Internet Safety


 

Office of Safe Environment Staff

We are available to assist you. Please feel free to contact us:

Isabel Guerra (English)
Safe Environment Manager
713.652.8294
Email Isabel Guerra

Suzanna Fernandez (English)
Safe Environment Coordinator
713.652.8275

Email Suzanna Fernandez

Karina Herrera-Inzunza (Bilingual)
Safe Environment Coordinator
713.652.4401
Email Karina Herrera-Inzunza