Reporting Abuse to the Diocese
Pastoral care and compassion for victims, as well as the protection of children and vulnerable adults, is a top priority of the Diocese of Erie. The diocese encourages anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy or any employee or volunteer of the church, to contact law enforcement. To report abuse to the independent investigators retained by the Diocese of Erie, email ErieRCD@KLGates.com. Victims or concerned individuals are also welcome to contact the diocese directly to report abuse at 814.451.1543. In addition, anyone can directly report suspected abuse of minors by anyone to PA ChildLine by calling 800.932.0313. The line is open 24/7, and callers may choose to remain anonymous. Victims also are welcome to contact the diocese directly to report abuse at 814.451.1543. Counseling assistance is available for victims and/or their families through the diocesan victim assistance coordinator, Dr. Gerard Tobin, who can be reached at 814.451.1521.
Protecting Through Clearances
Safe Environment Screening of Personnel –
The Diocese of Erie policy requires all diocesan, parish, Catholic school and affiliated agency personnel, including any individual 14 years of age or older who have direct contact and responsibility with minors to complete the PA State Police Criminal Record Check, the PA Dept. of Human Services Child Abuse History Certification and the Federal Criminal History Record Information – FBI Report. Additionally, any volunteer (unpaid) who has direct contact and responsibility with minors must also complete the clearances listed above.
Protecting Through Education
Safe Environment Training –
The Diocese of Erie requires all diocesan, parish, Catholic school, and agency personnel and volunteers to complete the Diocesan “Creating a Safe Environment” training before working with minors. The diocese also mandates all parishes and Catholic schools to provide age appropriate training and education on safe environments/personal safety for all children. In addition, parishes and Catholic schools are required to share the diocesan provided information regarding child abuse and safe environments to all parents/guardians of minors in their parishes/schools.
Protecting Through Compliance
Compliance Audits –
The Office for the Protection of Children and Youth conducts annual audits through on-site visits and annual reports of all parishes and Catholic schools to ensure that all individuals working with minors are in compliance with the policies of the Diocese of Erie.
During the most recent on-site audit, conducted by Stonebridge Business Partners, for the 2018/2019 audit period the Diocese of Erie was found compliant with all audited Articles within the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young. The Diocese was found compliant in the 2019-2020 data collection audit.
For more information, see https://www.eriercd.org/childprotection/ .