January 12, 2006

Audit finds diocese fully compliant with charter

Catholic Explorer


ROMEOVILLE—The Gavin Group, Inc., recently notified the Joliet Diocese that it was found to be in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People during its 2005 audit. The independent auditing firm commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops found the diocese to be in compliance with the bishops’ document in 2004 and 2003 as well.

In June 2002, the U.S. bishops approved the charter, a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse. The charter also contained mandates for an audit and annual report in order to form a two-fold process of accountability for the implementation of the charter in each diocese, explained Teresa Kettelkamp, executive director of the USCCB Office of Child Protection.

The process involves auditors asking a series of questions that ascertain what structures, procedures or processes are in place within the diocese to fulfill the charter. The auditors request materials that demonstrate compliance such as examples of publicized standards of ministerial behavior.

“The charter has not changed from year-to-year, but the information requested has changed to correlate with the maturing of the charter-related programs within the diocese,” commented Kettelkamp. She offered an example of the safe environment programs mandated in the charter. Prior audits asked only if the diocese had safe environment programs and now they are collecting information on how many children have had safe environment training.

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2006 09:57 PM