Protecting Our Children Programs, Support & Information

promisetoprotectAbout Safeguard the Children

Safeguard the Children is a comprehensive program designed to promote a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults and prevent child sexual abuse. The program was initiated in all dioceses in the United States at the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). There is a Safeguard the Children (STC) Committee in each parish which helps to implement the objectives of the USCCB “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” To learn more about the Virtus program, see www.virtus.org.

Making a Report of Misconduct

You may make a report of suspected sexual misconduct at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ sexual misconduct reporting line: 1-800-355-2545.

This toll-free telephone number has been established as part of our effort to protect children, young people and other vulnerable people in our schools, parishes and ministries.  This line is for reporting suspected sexual misconduct or child abuse within our institutions and ministries only.  If you have some other type of complaint, please call the appropriate Archdiocesan school, parish or office directly.

Unless your call involves a report of suspected sexual misconduct, it will receive no action by leaving a message on the hotline.

If you wish to make a report of “child abuse” but it does not involve suspected misconduct by one of our Archdiocesan or parish/parish school ministers, employees or volunteers, please make your report to the appropriate child protection agency.  You can call your local police department or the “child abuse hotline” number can be found in the front of your phone book.

Safeguard the Children Committee

St. Lawrence Martyr has an active STC Committee chaired by a parishioner. Other members include the Director of Religious Education, the school principal,the Business Manager,the Director of Faith Formation, the Director of Youth Ministry and a Deacon.  Meetings are held quarterly or more often as needed.

Goals

  • To provide education and mandated training for all staff and volunteers to promote a heightened awareness of their role and responsibility regarding the safety of children, youth and vulnerable adults.
  • To provide training to all children in the school and Religious Education Programs to help them know how to help them know how to respect their bodies, trust their self-protective instincts and learn when and how to seek adult help.
  • To provide an annual parish-wide educational event during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
  • To perform an annual self-assessment of the compliance of the parish to the regulations of the Safeguard the Children Program of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Requirements for Parish Clergy, Staff and Volunteers

In accord with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the St. Lawrence Martyr parish leadership and Safeguard the Children Committee have developed Policies and Procedures for all volunteers at St. Lawrence.

All St. Lawrence Martyr volunteers must read and agree to follow the “Archdiocese of Los Angeles Guidelines for Adults Interacting With Minors at Parish or School Activities or Events.

All minors volunteering at St.Lawrence must read and agree to follow the “Boundary Guidelines for Junior High and High School Youth Working or Volunteering With Children or Youth.

All volunteers who work with or around children in any way are required to attend a VIRTUS session, “Protecting God’s Children” adult awareness training session.

Anyone who supervises or is perceived to supervise children in any way is required to submit to a background check in the form of fingerprinting by the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Sign up for free archdiocesan LiveScan fingerprinting or sources for local LiveScan locations.  Please contact the pastoral center for the address of our local LiveScan location.

All St. Lawrence Martyr School and Religious Education students will take part annually in the ”Teaching Touching Safety” or other approved safe environment education program.

 

Statement on Christopher Cunningham

As you may be aware from press reports, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has reached a settlement in a case of past alleged abuse concerning Fr. Christopher Cunningham while he served at St. Louise de Marillac Parish.  The Archdiocese did not know of any allegation of sexual misconduct by Fr. Cunningham until 2015, when the initial claim was filed, and was not aware of the additional claims until recently advised by plaintiffs’ counsel.  He has been inactive and out of ministry since 2005 after the Archdiocese received allegations of improper boundary violations in August 2005.  According to Archdiocesan policy, the matter was investigated and an announcement concerning the allegations was made at Fr. Cunningham’s parish informing the parish community.  He has consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.The Archdiocese has now received three allegations of potential misconduct involving Fr. Cunningham from approximately 1998 to 2001 involving persons in our parish who were then minor males.  Fr. Cunningham served as Associate Pastor at St. Lawrence Martyr Parish from July 1998 to January 2001.  There are other allegations involving Fr. Cunningham, but these three involve our parish.The Archdiocese of Los Angeles continues our longstanding commitment to the support and healing of victim-survivors of abuse and reaffirms our commitment to protect our children and young people from harm.  For more information on the Archdiocese’s policies and protocols concerning abuse prevention and the protection of children and young people, visit The Archdiocese of Los Angeles

 

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles commitment to the protection of young people

 

Letter from Archbishop Gomez