ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, March 8, 2005 - As part of the continuing effort to protect children through preventive measures, over 60,000 copies of “Because We Care…” an educational newsletter from the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People, will be distributed to parishioners through churches and schools throughout the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
The first of three planned publications geared towards parents and volunteers, the purpose of the four-page newsletter is to help educate adults about the signs of sexual abuse and potentially dangerous situations for children.
“We’re constantly looking at new ways of reaching out to parents and adults to inform them about child abuse and neglect,” said Eileen F. Puglisi, director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People. “Parents and other adults need this information so they can help children,” said Mrs. Puglisi.
The first issue contains information about some of the warning signs of possible abuse, a “Myth or Truth Quiz”, as well an update about diocesan programs. The next two issues are expected to be released by the end of the school year.
“The Diocese of Rockville Centre is unwavering in its commitment to training for all church personnel, volunteers, parents, and children in order to create a safe environment. This newsletter is an additional way of doing that," she added.
The newsletter can be found at the diocesan website www.drvc.org by clicking on the “Protecting Our Children and Young People” box and then scrolling down to the newsletter link under, “Education.”
“Because We Care...” is part of a multi-faceted approach by the Diocese of Rockville Centre to correct the errors of the past and to develop the necessary means to protect children and minors in the future. Recently, the diocese announced the formation of a pastoral care team of priests and religious women to provide trained spiritual support to victims of sexual abuse by clergy. In August, a Safe Environment program called, “Talk 2 Us” was provided to all parishes, schools and religious education programs. This program encourages high school young people to take an active role in preventing abuse by becoming active, involved and informed members of their school.
The diocese now has a fully-functioning satellite office for the Protection of Children and Young People. Located at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary parish, Southampton, N.Y., the office serves as an additional point of contact when it comes to matters of abuse. In addition, the diocese also has available a support group for survivors of sexual abuse in the Church. Additional support groups are under consideration for the North and South Forks of Long Island.
The Office for the Protection of Children and Young People oversees, among other things, criminal background investigations of all personnel and volunteers in the diocese, the “Protecting God’s Children” workshops to train all those working in the Church to recognize the warning signs of potential problems and the writing and distribution of publications, including the diocesan Child Protection Policy manual detailing reporting procedures of allegations and ministering to survivors of abuse.
For the second consecutive year the Diocese of Rockville Centre was found by independent auditors from the Gavin Group to be in full compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to download newsletter: http://www.drvc.org/abuse/2005/Newsletter_Because_We_Care_010505.pdf
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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3 million). There are 134 parishes in 119 towns. Last year over 21,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 21,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,622 students in kindergarten, 26,738 in primary or elementary school, 11,979 in secondary school and 9,310 in higher institutions. There are 77 Catholic elementary schools, high schools and colleges/universities in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. These facilities served over 743,000 people last year. For more information visit www.drvc.org
For more information:
Sean P. Dolan
516-678-5800, ext. 625