WHITE PAPERS & OTHER REPORTS

CHILD USA’s Social Science team conducts evidence based research and data analysis to provide information to better protect children in the United States.

Analysis of the Written Policies of the 32 U.S. Archdioceses on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

 

The Catholic Church in the U.S. has been under concerted public pressure to improve its child protection policies. However, development of these policies has largely been left to the discretion of local dioceses with little central oversight. To determine the scope of current abuse prevention policies, we analyzed all 32 U.S. archdioceses’ policies and practices for developing a safe environment and preventing child sexual abuse. Using a tool developed from a list of unique components selected from the policies of all 32 archdioceses, we compared policies and procedures across archdioceses. On a group level, we found policies to be inadequate. The average score for archdioceses in the general area of prevention was 40.7 (SD = 9.3) out of 102 possible points (40% of possible points) with few prevention policies conforming to basic best practices that would be expected of a youth-serving organization. The variation and inconsistencies across archdioceses reveal the need for the Catholic Church to establish more uniform standards for preventing sexual abuse. These standards should be grounded in evidence-based practices and expert guidance. We also discuss some key areas which warrant immediate attention in future policy-making.

Survey of the Written Child Protection Policies of the 32 U.S. Archdioceses

 

Amid considerable public scrutiny, Roman Catholic institutions in the United States have been called upon to address underlying organizational conditions that may facilitate child sex abuse and establish effective policies for early intervention and prevention. The development of child protection policies has largely been left to the discretion of local dioceses with little in the way of central oversight. This study examined the 32 U.S. archdioceses’ written policies on child protection and maintaining a safe environment. We found 14 distinct policies spread across the archdioceses which fit into four general categories or domains: (1) Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse; (2) Detection and Reporting of Abuse; (3) Response to Victims; and (4) Investigational Process and Response to Allegations of Abuse. Using a tool developed from a list of unique components selected from the better policies of all 32 archdioceses, we compared policies across archdioceses. On a group level, we found current policies to be inadequate. The average score for all 32 archdioceses was 100.9 out of 250 possible points or 40%. The range was 61 to 137 (SD 20.4). The variation and inconsistencies across multiple archdioceses within the U.S. reveal the need for the Catholic Church to establish evidence-based standards on appropriately and effectively addressing child sexual abuse within its dioceses. These standards should be based on empirically supported best practices and emerging consensus of experts on better practices for youth-serving organizations in relation to child abuse. This article points to parameters for consideration in developing such standards.

CHILD USA’s Gold Standard Policies for Youth Serving Organizations

 

CHILD USA’s Gold Standard Policy is an evidence-based and expert-vetted set of policies that can be used by any Youth Serving Organization to protect the children they serve from abuse.  It includes tools for prevention, training recommendations, reporting procedures, and much more to assist and advise organizations working with children.

**This comprehensive summary document contains the most critical components of CHILD USA’s more detailed and extensive version of the Gold Standard Policy. For the full policy framework, contact CHILD USA at info@childusa.org.

 

Five Key Findings of the Elite Athlete Survey

 

By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq., CEO

       Carter E. Timon, MBDS, Lead Social Science Researcher

 

**This data is in preparation for submission to a scientific journal and has not yet undergone formal peer review.**

WATCH School Survey Results

 

By: Carter E. Timon, MBDS, Lead Social Scientist
Elizabeth Allen, MS

Analysis of Victims of Abuse in Scouting, Part I

 

By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq., CEO
Carter E. Timon, MBDS, Lead Social Scientist

Survey and Analysis of the Written Child Protection Policies of the 32 U.S. Roman Catholic Archdioceses

 

By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq, CEO
Stephanie Dallam, Ph.D., lead investigator
Sabine Glocker, Esq.

COMPARISON OF THE WRITTEN CHILD PROTECTION POLICIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SAINT PAUL & MINNEAPOLIS TO THOSE OF OTHER U.S. ARCHDIOCESES WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

 

By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq, CEO
Stephanie Dallam, Ph.D., principal investigator
Sabine Glocker, Esq., co-investigator
CONTACT US

info@childusa.org

215.539.1906

3508 Market Street

Suite 202

Philadelphia, PA 19104

 

 

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