United States Conference of Catholic Bishops-Charter and Resources
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the USCCB in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse.
The Charter directs action in all the following matters:
- Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
- Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
- Making a prompt and effective response to allegations;
- Cooperating with civil authorities;
- Disciplining offenders;
- Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.
Parents have the right to insist their parishes and schools are in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People . All parishes and schools should be able to show parents that the clergy, employees, and volunteers who work with children are familiar with the warning signs of offenders, what to do if they have a concern about someone, and how to report suspected abuse. Employees and volunteers who work with children also need to have their backgrounds evaluated so parents can have a reasonable assurance that known offenders are not around their children.