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Diocese passes on-site child protection audit again



Dialog Editor


The Diocese of Wilmington has once again passed a three-year on-site audit of its child protection program that’s mandated by the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.

StoneBridge Business Partners, a CPA firm in Rochester, N.Y, that does compliance auditing, reported to Bishop Malooly Oct. 27 that the results of their “recently performed on-site audit of the Diocese of Wilmington,” finds the diocese “compliant with all audited Articles” within the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for the 2014/15 audit period.

In an Oct. 27 memo, Msgr. Steven P. Hurley, vicar general, thanked members of the diocesan staff and “all of you who were directly involved in the audit process and who interviewed with the auditors” for their participation and help in the process.

He thanked all in the diocese who are “aware and responsive to the mandates and policies of the Charter to safeguard our children.”

Msgr. Hurley told The Dialog that the people who first developed the diocese’s protection program, especially Sister Suzanne Donovan, the former head of the Human Resources office, and Msgr. J. Thomas Cini, the former vicar general, “really did an outstanding job.

“All these years later, the program, with a few modifications, still stands on its own.”

He also thanked Holy Child Sister Carroll Juliano, who is beginning her third year running the diocese’s Safe Environments program, for her work.

“It’s a great thing for us to know we are in compliance and the auditors had not one suggestion for how we can do better.

“But we can always do better,” Msgr. Hurley said. “We need to be vigilant in creating safe environments. We simply won’t tolerate anything else.”

Sister Juliano told The Dialog, “I’m very pleased and grateful the auditors have found us in compliance. People throughout the diocese have worked very hard complying with the policies.”

Sister Juliano said that “For the Sake of God’s Children,” the diocesan safe environments program involves schools, religious education programs, priests, deacons, sisters, employees and volunteers in the diocese.

There are currently more than 14,000 names in the diocesan date bank of people who have had background checks before participating in programs involving children.

The Safe Environment office sends data every year to the auditing firm, Sister Juliano said.

During the on-site review every third year, StoneBridge auditors “review our documentation to see that what we say about ourselves is true.”

The auditors also interview a random pastor, principal and director of religious education about measures taken to protect children.