St. Thomas the Apostle is committed to protecting children and has implemented the following:
• Protecting God’s Children Workshops are required for employee or volunteer who is involved with minors on a regular, recurring basis and those who may have an opportunity to be alone with children during parish, school or religious education sponsored events.
• Background checks (through an approved licensed agency) on volunteers working with children
• Safe Touch Program, a sensitive, developmentally appropriate approach to providing children with knowledge and skills needed to avoid becoming victims of sexual abuse. Presented in Grades K – 8th in our Religious Education Program and at All Saints Catholic Academy
• Parent Session presented each fall with award winning Video: “What Do I Say Now”. Poignant vignettes and practical examples show parents how to teach children key touching safety rules and how to respond to a child’s disclosure of abuse.
• Diocesan Policies and Standards of Behavior for Those Working with Minors distributed to parents yearly
As a precaution, parents should escort their children while in the church or ministry center, as well as in any public place, especially in public restrooms.
Reporting Sexual Abuse
Anyone who has reasonable cause to suspect the sexual abuse of a minor by a member of the clergy or other Church personnel is urged to report the matter immediately. To inform the Diocese of Joliet, call Sr. Mary Frances Seeley, OSF (Victim Assistance Coordinator)at 815-263-6467 or write the Diocese of Joliet, 425 Summit Street, Joliet IL 60435. Contact DCFS at 1-800-252-2873 or call the office of the local County States Attorney.