Safe Environment Audit Passed!

The Diocese of Shreveport is audited annually for its safe environment policies and procedures. There is a three-year cycle for audits. For the first two years the audit is a “paper” audit. Our diocesan Safe Environment division, which is a part of the diocesan Human Resources department, collects data from our parishes and schools on the number of employees and volunteers who have been trained and background checked. This allows these individuals to be in compliance with our safe environment policies. The data collected is then compared with all our volunteers who are serving where children might be present and for all employees to see the percentage of those who are considered to be compliant with our Safe Environment Program.

Every third year is our “on-site” audit. The auditors from Stonebridge Business Partners, a CPA firm appointed by the USCCB, audit over a three year period all the dioceses in the country. During the on-site audit they perform record checks, interviews with certain staff and support members, and even do a handful of visits to some of our parish and school locations. The audits are concluded with a visit with the bishop to communicate their findings and give recommendations to improve our work to keep children safe through our Safe Environment Program. Approximately two weeks later the bishop receives a determination letter from the auditors stating our status as being compliant or not. As of September of this year we received confirmation of the findings from this on-site audit that the Diocese of Shreveport is compliant with its policies and procedures.

Safe environment training is a continual process and more individuals each month become trained in how to keep children safe. If you wish to attend a session please go to our VIRTUS™ website (www.virtus.org) and register to attend one of our sessions and make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable.

by Deacon Michael Straub, Safe Environment Coordinator

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