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Creating a Safe Environment Through Knowledge and Action. Designed and Developed by: Pat Earley, Coordinator of Religious Education, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Vincennes, Indiana Mary Jo Sampson, Director of Religious Education, St. John the Baptist Parish, Vincennes, Indiana.

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Creating a Safe Environment Through Knowledge and Action

  • Designed and Developed by:

    • Pat Earley, Coordinator of Religious Education, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Vincennes, Indiana

    • Mary Jo Sampson, Director of Religious Education, St. John the Baptist Parish, Vincennes, Indiana


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What is Child Abuse?

The physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, exploitation, negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under the age of 18 (except in the case of sexual abuse, where age is specified by the child protection law of the State) by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare.


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Physical Indicators

Bruises

Lacerations

Welts, lumps, bumps

Unexplained fractures

Burns-cigarette, immersion

Emotional Indicators

Child verbalizes abuse

Fear of going home/punishment

Unusually neat

Overly mature

withdrawn

Physical Abuse: Adult inflicts or allows infliction of physical injury by other than accidental means


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Seems unconcerned about the child.

Sees the child as “bad,” “evil,” a “monster,” or “witch.”

Offers illogical, unconvincing, contradictory explanations or have no explanation of the child’s injury.

Attempts to conceal the child’s injury or to protect the identity of the person responsible.

Routinely employs harsh, unreasonable discipline which is inappropriate to the child’s age, transgression, and condition.

Were often abused as children.

Were expected to meet high demands of their parents.

Were unable to depend on their parents for love and nurturing.

Cannot provide emotionally for themselves as adults.

Expect their children to fill their emotional void.

Have poor impulse control.

Expect rejection.

Have low self-esteem.

Are emotionally immature.

Are isolated, have no support system.

Characteristics of Abusers


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When discipline becomes Abusive

A physical injury which is the result of discipline and is non-accidental


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Striking with a hand, fist, or instrument

Throwing

Shaking

Burning

Suffocating

Drowning

Disciplinary Physical Abuse includes but is not limited to:



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Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

  • Is a term that is used to describe a condition in which the child’s mother fabricates illnesses in the child in order to get attention. This condition often involves chronic and recurrent physical problems that do not respond to treatment. When the child is hospitalized the abusing parent may attempt to sabotage medical treatment.


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What is Neglect?

  • Child Neglect – is the Chronic Failure to meet the basic needs of a child in regards to:

    • Food

    • Clothing

    • Shelter

    • Medical Care

    • Education

    • Supervision


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Physical Indicators

Lack of supervision

Lack of adequate clothing and hygiene

Lack of medical or dental care

Lack of adequate nutrition

Behavioral Indicators

Development lags

Unresponsiveness

Constant fatigue

Apathetic

Substance abuse

Abandonment

Begging

School absences

Flat bald spot on infant’s head

Consistent hunger

Dirty, smelly

Torn, dirty or inappropriate clothing

Underweight

Recognizing Neglect


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Characteristics of Neglectful Adults

  • May have a chaotic home life.

  • May live in unsafe conditions (no food; garbage and excrement in living areas; exposed wiring; drugs and poisons kept within the reach of children).

  • May abuse drugs or alcohol.

  • May be mentally challenged, have low IQ or have a flat personality.


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Characteristics of Neglectful Adults Continued

  • May be motivated and employed, but unable to find or afford child care.

  • Generally have not experienced success.

  • Had emotional needs which were not met by parents.

  • Have low self-esteem.

  • Have little motivation or skills to effect changes in their lives.

  • Tend to be passive.


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Emotional Abuse

  • Mental/Emotional harm inflicted by a constant pattern of verbal harassment, threats, and systematic destruction of a child’s self-esteem.


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Behavioral Indicators

Hyperactivity

Severely withdrawn

Fire setting

Psychosomatic illness/hypochondria

Overly submissive/apathetic

Unable to make decisions

Obesity

Behavioral Indicators

Destructive

Daydreams/prefers fantasy over reality

Sado masochistic behaviors toward animals and other children

Speech disorders (stammers/stutters)

Habits (head banging/hair pulling/rocking)

Emotional Abuse: Mental/emotional harm inflicted by verbal harassment, threats, and systematic destruction of child’s self esteem


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Physical Indicators

Eating disorders

Elimination problems

Speech disorders

Behavioral Indicators

Habit disorders

Poor relationships

Behavioral extremes

Sleep problems

Sadistic, masochistic

Developmental lags

Apathetic

Suicidal

Withdrawal

Anxiety

Fears

Recognizing Child Emotional Maltreatment


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Characteristics of Emotional Abusers

  • Belittling/criticizing

  • Little or no interest in child

  • Threatening child or child’s possessions

  • Cutting off child from normal social expression

  • Teaching deviant patterns of behavior


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Sexual Abuse

  • Utilization of a child for sexual gratification by an adult or older child in which the child is being used for the sexual stimulation of the adult or older child.


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Behavioral Indicators

Seductive behavior

Artwork depicts sexual themes

Self destructive behavior (suicide, cutting)

Sleep disorders

Running away

Prostitution

Physical Indicators

Any venereal disease

Pregnancy

Foreign matter in genitals

Bruised or dilated genitals

Recurrent urinary tract infection

Difficulty /painful walking

Sexual Abuse: Utilizing a child for sexual gratification by an adult (or older child in a position of power) or permitting another person to utilize a child for sexual gratification


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Looks Are Deceiving

There are 10 psychological deceptions used by predators

on the internet, over the phone or face to face.

Good Knight Organization

Child Sexual Predators can be anyone. Look for the deceptions not the stranger.


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Criminal Predators Definition

  • The criminal predator is any individual, man, woman or child who victimizes, plunders, or destroys, especially for one's own gain.

  • Criminal predators gain the trust of their intended victims by using one or a combination of ten basic psychological deceptions.

  • These deceptions have successfully been used on the internet, telephone and face to face to manipulate innocent children and adults into abusive situations, gangs, drug use and crime and violence.

  • SOLUTION—teach everyone these ten basic deceptions and you expose the modus operandi of all predators.

  • Good Knight Organization


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Characteristics of Sex Abusers

  • Have low self-esteem.

  • Had emotional needs which were not met by their parents.

  • Have inadequate coping skills.

  • May have experienced the loss of their spouse through death or divorce.

  • May be experiencing overcrowding of their homes.

  • May have marital problems causing one spouse to seek physical affection from a child rather than the other spouse.

  • May abuse alcohol or drugs.

  • Lack social and emotional contacts outside the family.

  • Are geographically isolated.

  • Have cultural standards which determine the degree of acceptable body contact.

  • Good Knight Organization


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Understanding Predator Psychology

  • Child sexual offenders try to control their victims through the following psychological deceptions: Authority, Bribes, Crisis, Danger, Ego, False Caring, Games, Help, Idol, Jobs.

  • Child sexual abuse is not a result of a sudden impulse, but is usually planned - this provides an opportunity for intervention and education.

  • Predators seek opportunity and vulnerability. An unaware child is an easy target.

  • Good Knight Organization


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U.S. Dept. of Justice Statistics

  • 7 out of 10 girls and 3 out of 7 boys will be victimized before they reach age 18

  • 551,000 sexual offenders have been released and are registered throughout America.

  • Only 10% of sexual offenders are ever caught and convicted.

  • 90% of sexual offenders are never caught which means that over 7 million avoid detection and are seeking unaware victims.

  • Two out three violent sex offenders in jail victimized someone under 18 years of age

  • 44% of all rape victims are under 18 years of age

  • Within 3 years of release, 8% of rapists are re-arrested for rape and 27% re-arrested for another violent offense

  • Crimes against children have gone up 444% since 1986

  • Good Knight Organization



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EDUCATING CHILDRENAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation

Good Knight Organization


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EDUCATING CHILDRENAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation

Good Knight Organization


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EDUCATING CHILDRENAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation

Good Knight Organization


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EDUCATING CHILDRENAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation

Good Knight Organization


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Keep the Lines of Communication Open

  • Teach all children the Good Knight “ABC’s of Protection” and that anyone can be a “stranger.” Even someone you know.

  • Stranger = judge a person by his/her behavior, not their appearance.

  • Discourage secrets.

  • Good touch, bad touch, no touch where a bathing suit covers.

  • We can’t be with our children 24/7 but what we teach kids will protect them forever.

Good Knight Organization


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Develop a Safety Plan

  • Question your children about activities that occur when you are not present

  • It’s OK to say “NO”

  • Talk to your children everyday and keep the lines of communication open

  • Be suspicious of unusually attentive adults

  • If something does not seem right about a situation - trust your instincts

Good Knight Organization


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Develop a Safety Plan

  • Screen sitters, childcare providers, and acquaintances

  • Understand the statistics and use them to make good decisions regarding family safety

  • Use all tools available – registry website for neighborhood awareness and the Good Knight Film reviewed together as a family every 6 months

Good Knight Organization


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If Abuse Occurs

  • Face the issue

  • Take charge of the situation

  • Discuss the problem with your pediatrician who can provide support and counseling

  • Report abuse to your local child protection service agency

Good Knight Organization


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Resources

  • All information in this presentation was provided by the Evansville Diocese and information provided by the Good Knight Organization.


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Catholic Diocese of Evansville

Safe Environment Program

Framework For Youth Protection

Catechist Training Program


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Vision Statement

  • Youth are to be recognized and valued by all as true gifts from God.

  • Education and training to recognize the signs of violation of children and young people shall be provided to all paid staff members, volunteers engaged in ministry to and for children, and parents.

  • Education shall be provided for children about the potential for abuse, especially sexual abuse, and ways to respond should they be victims of it.


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  • Paid staff members and volunteers shall accept responsibility to report immediately any suspected acts of abuse of children and young people in their charge to appropriate civil and church authorities without concern for retribution from the accused or employers/institutions in whose name they minister.


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  • The expectation is that all who are willing to engage in ministry to children and young people as representatives of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville are also willing to agree to background checks and educational programs designed to stem this heinous crime against children and young people.


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  • Primary components of a framework to accomplish this task include the items listed below. At the outset, we recognize that we are on a difficult and ambitious journey, hence this is a living document.

    • Diocesan Policies

    • Best Practices for Adults working with children and youth

    • Directives for supervisors engaged in ministry to children and young people


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Report and Inform for children, young people, families and ministers

  • In the event of al allegation of sexual abuse of a minor (a person under 18) by diocesan personnel, report the allegation to authorities and inform the Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese.

    • Toll free: (866) 200-3004

    • Local: (812) 490-9565


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Best Practices for Adults Who Work With Youth for children, young people, families and ministers


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Two-Deep Leadership for children, young people, families and ministers

Two approved adult leaders or one approved leader and a parent of a participant, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required for all parish approved youth activities. The parish is responsible ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.

  • “Approved” means that the Pastor knows the person and approves him or her AND the person has submitted to a criminal history background check.


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No one-on-one contact for children, young people, families and ministers

  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth is not permitted. In the rare situations that require personal conferences, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths.


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Note for children, young people, families and ministers

  • Professional Mental Health Counselors, who are required to follow the Ethical Code of their professional discipline, State licensing requirements, and State legislation regulating professional conduct, may conduct one-on-one private counseling.


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  • The term “professional mental health counselor”, as used herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.


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Respect of privacy herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.


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Separate accommodations herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • When staying overnight, no youth is permitted to sleep in the room of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian.


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Proper preparation for high adventure activities herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • Activities with elements of risk should never be undertaken without proper preparation, equipment, clothing, competent supervision, and safety measures.


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No secret organizations herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • The Catholic Diocese of Evansville does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the youth program are open to observation by pastors, parents, and leaders. Even in cases of closed membership (i. e. TEC, Knights of Columbus Squire Circles, etc.) parents and pastors MUST be admitted at any time to observe the program.


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Appropriate attire herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • Proper clothing for activities is required. Modest dress is always required. Guidelines for appropriate attire for a given activity should be written and stated before all youth functions.


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Constructive discipline herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • Discipline used in youth ministry, educational, and catechetical ministry should be constructive and reflect the Church’s values. Corporal punishment is never permitted.


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Hazing is prohibited herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

  • Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any activity. Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by youth leaders and ensure that diocesan policies are followed.


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Catholic Diocese of Evansville herein, means a person with a master’s degree in a recognized mental health discipline, who is licensed or supervised by a licensed professional, and is employed by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville or is officially approved by the Catholic Education Office to provide services on school premises.

Best Practices for Pastoral Conduct

(for Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers, Administrators, Staff and Volunteers)


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I will: to us. As one who works with children in any capacity, I promise to follow these best practices as a condition of my providing services to the children and youth of our diocese.

  • Treat everyone with respect, loyalty, patience, integrity, courtesy, dignity, and consideration.

  • Report any suspected abuse and neglect to the local Child Protection Services agency or civil authorities, then inform the appropriate supervisor.


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  • Report suspected sexual abuse to the local Child Protection Services agency or civil authorities, then inform the bishop’s office.

  • Cooperate fully in any investigation of abuse of children and/or youth.

  • Participate fully in the required training sessions for adults working with children/ youth.


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  • Refrain from smoking or using tobacco products at any time while serving children and/or youth in parish or diocesan sponsored events.

  • Refrain from using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at any time while serving children and/or youth in parish or diocesan sponsored programs.