Response to Signs of Abuse

 

1. Any cleric, consecrated religious, employee or volunteer of the parish is expected to report reasonable suspicion of abuse        of any minor, consistent with the mandatory reporting law of the State of Arizona.

2. The dual reporting protocol is recommended, in which reports are made both to local law enforcement (by calling 9-1-1)           and to Department of Child Services (888-SOS-CHILD or 888-767-2445). The latter call is especially important if a parent,       guardian or other family member is the suspected perpetrator of abuse.

3. It is also mandatory to make a report of reasonable suspicion of abuse, exploitation or neglect of an elder or an adult                   considered under the law to be vulnerable. Call Adult Protective Services (877-SOS-ADULT or 877-767-2385). In case of               emergency, call law enforcement (9-1-1).

4. The person making the report should write out a succinct summary of what gave rise to the concern and when/to whom           the report was made.

5. The person making the report should inform the pastor and the compliance officer, who should also keep a log of the                 report and of follow up actions taken at the direction of these agencies or otherwise.

6. After a report is made, the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection (OCAAP) of the Diocese of Tucson must be               notified (520-792-3410, ext. 1013) and supplied with a copy of the summary/log created.

7. Suspected abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult or any other criminal behavior is not the only situation in which action is          expected. Any suspected or observed

           a. violation of the norms of appropriate or prudent conduct,

           b. with minors, vulnerable adults or any adult with whom a cleric, religious, employee or volunteer is in a ministerial                      relationship,

           c. as established in the Code of Conduct and/or the Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual                                       Misconduct,

           d. should be reported to the Pastor and/or the Compliance Representative.

8. If an adult reports sexual misconduct when he or she was a minor by a priest, deacon, or any worker in the church, no              matter how long ago it is reported to have occurred, a report will be made to the OCAAP, which will make a report to the          Pima County Attorney’s Office.

9. The person making such a report should be encouraged to report it independently to the Pima County Attorney’s Office or       to local law enforcement. If the individual would like to have counseling assistance, he or she should be instructed to call         the Victim Assistance Program (800-234-0344).

10. An adult making any other kind of report of sexual abuse as a minor should be encouraged to make an independent                    report to law enforcement.

11. All such complaints will be investigated internally and reported to the Department of Human Resources and/or the Office        of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection of the Diocese of Tucson. This aspect of the policy includes any inappropriate            behavior, dress, attitude, language, or improper use of the computer.

12. The purpose of a report is not to summarily judge the person suspected of inappropriate conduct; it is to initiate an                    internal investigation that will make clear what actually happened. Therefore, as much as possible, confidentiality                      (beyond those with a genuine “need to know”) with respect to the person accuse should be maintained.

13. In addition, as much as possible, the identity of the person making the allegation should be protected; however, in the                course of many investigations it is necessary to directly or indirectly reveal the identity of the person making the report            in  order to allow the accused to make a response.

14. The results of the investigation will either clear the individual against whom the allegation has been made or point to                what type of corrective action must be undertaken to prevent harm to those served, to the individual accused and to the            parish.

15. It is a difficult thing to make a report. For that reason, it is important to be clear that any person making a good faith                  report will not be subject to any adverse consequences. No retaliatory action of any kind should be tolerated.

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