by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Once again, the child protection program of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has made the grade.
“The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is in compliance with the data collection requirements for the 2013/2014 Charter audit period,” according to a letter sent to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann on Nov. 24 by StoneBridge Business Partners.
StoneBridge is a private auditing firm commissioned by the U.S. bishops to assess compliance by dioceses and eparchies with guidelines first established in Dallas in June 2002 by the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”
“We are very pleased with the results of the audit by StoneBridge,” said Father John Riley, archdiocesan chancellor and safe environment coordinator. “And we are especially grateful to all of our pastors and parish and school employees and volunteers who help us maintain a high level of vigilance.”
Data audits are done annually. Every third year, an on-site audit is conducted. The archdiocese has consistently passed its audits since the charter’s implementation.
Auditors usually interview key personnel at the archdiocesan level, check various records retention systems, and make visits to parishes, schools and other archdiocesan programs. The auditing firm itself chooses the sample for the on-site audits.
The archdiocesan safe environment program has three main components: the Virtus training program, the archdiocesan child protection policy, and the reporting requirement.
The archdiocese also has an independent review board. When a report of abuse is initially received and is investigated, the board chairman is notified within 24 hours. It is the board’s responsibility to review the case file and the results of the investigation when completed.
Who to Call
Any person who believes that a child is being abused or neglected can make a confidential report to the Kansas Department for Children and Families Protection Report Center at (800) 922-5330.
In addition to reporting to the KPRC, call the Archdiocesan Confidential Report Line at (913) 647-3051, or Dr. Dennis Schemmel, victim assistance coordinator, at (913) 909-2740.
Catholic Charities offers access to community counselors through a staff counseling resource line that is monitored by school counselors. Through that, callers can access local community counselors throughout the 21-county area of the archdiocese by calling (913) 433-2100 and indicating the need for crisis counseling.