Safe Environment

Safe Environment

Introduction

The Safe Environment Program has been adopted by the Diocese of Dallas and St. Mark the Evangelist Parish to provide a safe and secure environment for the minors and vulnerable adults in our faith community; to reduce the possibility of false accusations against clergy, employees, and volunteers; to provide a structure for evaluating a person’s suitability to work with minors or vulnerable adults; and to provide a system to respond to a victim and his/her family as well as the accused.

As a new staff member, minister, or volunteer you must complete the English or Spanish online screening form.

Once cleared you must complete an annual update training.

For information contact Linda Sartor at 972-423-5600 ext. 226 or lsartor@stmarkplano.org

New Staff and Volunteers

The Safe Environment Program requires that all New staff or volunteers who work with minors or vulnerable adults participate in training. This training will consist of viewing a video and a presentation titled Recongizing, Responding, and Reporting Abuse. This training helps all of us maintain a high level of awareness and vigilance regarding the risks that may occur in our parish.

COVID-19 UPDATE:

Due to the ongoing pandemic, in-person trainings have been indefinitely suspended. Please complete the screening form on https://dallas.setanet.org//obligations.php and our Safe Environment Coordinator, Linda Sartor, will contact you with further instructions.

St. Mark Catholic School Parents

If you plan on accompanying your child on field trips throughout the year, you have to be screened and cleared through the safe environment program – No Exceptions!

To become a cleared adult, you must do all of the following:

  1. Complete the screening form on https://dallas.setanet.org//obligations.php
  2. Contact Alison Hughes, the St. Mark Catholic School Safe Environment coordinator, at alison.hughes@stmcs.net for further instructions.

Annual/Updated Training

This must be completed each year.

We will accept new and annual training from other parishes in the Diocese of Dallas as long as documentation is provided. Occasionally we also offer special presentations that will also count toward annual/updated training. Watch the bulletin and website for these opportunities.

Learn more at cathdal.org.

COVID-19 Update:

No annual in-person trainings are being held at the moment. Annual training can be completed online using the following link: https://dallas.setanet.org//obligations.php.

The Need for a Safe Environment Program

Abuse strikes every age and social background. Often it occurs in settings where children or youth completely trust adults – in homes, schools, camps, athletic and park programs, and most sadly the Church.

Abuse can happen anywhere. We have a profound moral obligation to reduce the possiblity to abuse ever occuring here at St. Mark the Evangelist.

In order to protect and safeguard the children, youth, and vulnerable adults of our parish and school, the Community of St. Mark has taken positive steps to provide a safer and more secure environment for our children.

What does this Program Mean to You?

Programs such as these are a normal part of our school system. Teachers in the PISD and the Diocese of Dallas are screened on a regular basis prior to working with children. St. Mark has initiated a program to reduce the risk and liability of child abuse.

All screening will remain confidential and the final decision whether or not you, as an applicant, will be accepted to work with our children, youth, and vulnerable adults, shall be based on information from the criminal background history, interview process and reference checks.

All volunteers will be trained to recognize possible signs of child abuse, and how to report potential abuse.

Please remember that this process is for the protection of everyone in our parish. We need your help in ensuring their safety.

In addition, this process will protect church staff and volunteer workers from potential allegations of abuse.

“Diocese of Dallas Safe Environment Program for Schools and Parishes” and “Diocese of Dallas Policy on Sexual Misconduct” must be read and understood by each volunteer and the Acknowledgement Form must be signed and returned to the office. The acknowledgment form is the last page of the “Diocese of Dallas Safe Environment Program for Schools and Parishes” document and is also available below. Only one signed Acknowledgement Form document should be returned.