Diocesan Safe Environment Program

Parish Safe Environment Coordinator

  1. The chief administrator of each parish, each diocesan high school, and all other diocesan entities whose mission entails service and/or ministry involving minors will designate a Safe Environment Coordinator to oversee local safe environment programs and the proper implementation of diocesan safe environment polices and procedures. Specific duties and responsibilities of the Safe Environment Coordinator include the following.
  2. Cooperation with employees, volunteers, parents, civil authorities, educators, community organizations, and the Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator to provide education and training for children, youth, parents, ministers, educators, volunteers and others about ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children, specifically regarding the prevention, identification, and reporting of sexual abuse of minors.
  3. Maintenance of references and available training programs in order to provide for and maintain a local safe environment within all subsidiary ministries and organizations.
  4. Implementation and coordination of the various policies, programs, and procedures mandated within the Nashville Diocese regarding the creation and maintenance of a safe environment, including the evaluation and background checks of all employees and of all volunteers who have regular contact with minors, specifically, the process of background checks and profile screening set forth in Section 12 of the Diocesan Administrator's Manual and through Kroll Background America.
  5. Providing education and familiarization regarding the various policies and procedures of the Diocese of Nashville relative to creating safe environments, including the policy statements of the Diocese: Code of Conduct for Church personnel, Response to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, and Response to Allegations of Abuse of a Professional Relationship.
  6. Familiarization with the mandatory reporting requirements both under Tennessee State Law and pursuant to Diocesan policies.
  7. Cooperation with the Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator regarding the implementation of the diocesan programs and policies as they relate to creating and maintaining a safe environment for the children and young people.
  8. The Safe Environment Coordinator shall report directly to the chief administrator of the local entity, e.g., pastor, high school principal, etc.

Diocesan Safe Environment Committee

The Diocesan Safe Environment Committee (hereafter, DSEC) is a committee constituted by the Bishop of the Nashville Diocese whose mission is to be a service resource to the Diocese, the Diocesan Review Board, and the designated Safe Environment Coordinators regarding the various aspects related to the promotion of safe environments for children and young people within the diocese and whose members shall include the following:

  • The Vicar General
  • The Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator
  • The Superintendent of Catholic Schools
  • The Diocesan Director of Communications
  • The Diocesan Director of Human Resources
  • The Director of Social Services Department of Catholic Charities of Tennessee
  • The Diocesan Attorney

Specific duties and responsibilities of the DSEC include the following.

  1. Routine review and update of the diocesan safe environment instructions and forms found in Section 12 of the Diocesan Administrator's Manual.
  2. Identify, research, and review training/educational programs including video tapes, course materials, etc., for use by entities within the diocese.
  3. Recommend to the Bishop and the Diocesan Review Board changes in diocesan training, policies, or procedures related to maintaining a safe environment.
  4. Quarterly obtaining updated lists of all new employees and volunteers within the Diocese obligated by the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Church Personnel for the purpose of confirming that required background checks through Kroll Background America have been successfully completed.
  5. Quarterly obtaining and retaining Affirmation Forms from chief administrators regarding all new employees and volunteers within the Diocese obligated by the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Church Personnel.
  6. Communication with Safe Environment Coordinators to review
    • local safe environment education and training programs and timetables regarding the prevention, identification, and reporting of sexual abuse of minors
    • local implementation of mandatory screenings through Kroll Background America
    • local education efforts to make familiar the three diocesan safe environment policy statements
    • local education efforts to make familiar the reporting requirements both under Tennessee State Law and the Nashville Diocesan policies

Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator

The Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator is a diocesan staff person appointed by the Bishop of Nashville to serve as the Chairperson of the DSEC and charged with oversight and coordination of the duties and the responsibilities of DSEC.