March 31, 2006

Church sex abuse audit points to lack of background checks

The Union Leader

Union Leader Staff

Concord – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester still has not fully implemented child protection policies it promised to enact under the agreement it struck with the state in 2002 to avoid criminal prosecution for child endangerment, an independent auditor’s report released yesterday revealed.

Auditors found instances where church personnel who work directly with children had not received required training in child sexual abuse policies and had not even had their names checked against on-line sexual offender registries or undergone other criminal background checks.

“That’s basic information that I would expect that parents would want to make sure gets done for anyone who works with children,” state Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte said at a news conference.

“Overall, this audit demonstrates that, while the diocese has taken some important steps by establishing policies and programs to protect children, there is still significant work that remains for the diocese to do. And, in some respects, the level of compliance is disappointing,” Ayotte continued.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2006 07:30 AM