April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month-long observance reminds us of our responsibility to make positive choices that impact the safety and well-being of children. As we continue our commitment to ensuring the safety of children and preventing child abuse, we give thanks for the many members of our community who join in the mission to stop abuse and create positive, healthy environments for all children.

Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, we are committed to protecting children and adults from harm. Our work with young people and vulnerable adults is directed by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a comprehensive set of procedures established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 and revised in 2005, 2011 and 2018.

The Charter directs action for:

  • Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
  • Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
  • Responding promptly and effectively to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy;
  • Cooperating with civil authorities;
  • Disciplining offenders;
  • Providing means of accountability for the future to ensure issues continue to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.

Sharing about Child Abuse Prevention Month on social? Use #PromisetoProtect

Protecting children and youth in our diocese (click thumbnail below to view full screen):

Resources
Learn about Child & Youth Protection in our diocese: Reporting abuseSafe environment trainingCompliance and audits | Additional resources
Safe environment policies and procedures in the diocese (English | Español)
Watch a video message from Bishop Walkowiak on the clergy abuse scandal (Feb. 7)
Prayer for healing of victims of abuse (USCCB)

Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): includes information on child abuse prevention month, print materials, information about child abuse and human trafficking, and resources from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

So there is No Doubt: The Catholic Church’s Solution to End the Abuse of Children
Blue Sunday (Child Abuse Prevention Initiative | Prayer resources)