For those wanting to Volunteer with youth at St. Mark Church and School please complete the following steps. All information should be turned into the rectory or to Mary Althage in the school office. If you have questions please contact Mary at (314) 743-8641 or firstname.lastname@example.org:
Coaching and Scout volunteers, parent volunteers and anyone who volunteers with children 3 days a year or more, are required by the Archdiocese to complete the following:
1. Background Check
Download a copy of the Worker Registration form below and submit it to Mary Althage with copy of your Social Security Card. The state will not accept it without SSN.
Click here for the Worker Registration Form.
2, Read the Code of Ethics Book
Click on the link at the right for the booklet in printable format.
Sign the last page and turn in to the rectory. The book gives excellent advice for adults on protecting children.
Print a copy of the Comitment to Ethical Conduct for Working with Minors
3. Attend the Workshop
"Protecting God's Children"
or on the link to the right for a list of parishes
hosting the workshop along with dates and times.
It is so very important for us in the Catholic Church to provide a safe environment for our children. The following is from a pamphlet that the Archdiocese of St. Louis has put together about 5 key steps in creating a good and holy place for children to learn about their faith.
Five Steps to Creating and Maintaining a Safe Environment for Children
Step 1: Know the Warning Signs
Knowing the warning signs means that we can recognize the early signs of an inappropriate relationship with a child. If we know the warning signs, then we can identify potential abuse before it happens. If we know the warning signs, we do not have to rely on a child to report an incident.
An individual who:
Step 2: Control Access
- Discourages other adults from participating or monitoring.
- Always wants to be alone with children.
- More excited to be with children than with adults.
- Gives gifts to kids, often without permission.
- Goes overboard touching.
- Always wants to wrestle or tickle.
- Thinks the rules do not apply to them.
- Allows children to engage in activities their parents would not allow.
- Uses bad language or tells dirty jokes to children.
- Shows children pornography.
Controlling access means that we are careful about whom we allow to work with our children. It also sends a message to potential child molesters that we are alert about child sexual abuse.
Step 3: Monitor All Programs
- Communicate the Church’s commitment to keeping children safe.
- Use written standard applications.
- Require criminal background checks.
- Complete face to face interviews.
- Check references.
Child molesters look for ways to spend time alone with children. If they know someone is watching, they have more trouble finding opportunities to abuse without getting caught.
Step 4: Be Aware
- Identify secluded areas, lock empty rooms.
- Develop policies regarding use of secluded areas. For example, staff should check bathrooms before sending children in alone.
- Do not permit children to enter staff-only areas.
- Only meet with children where other adults can pass by.
- Supervisors should look in on activities.
- Make sure enough adults are involved in programs.
- Allow parents to drop in on programs.
- Make sure that new programs are approved by the appropriate administration (school, religious education, and parish).
Being aware means that parents should know what is going on in the lives of their own children and pay attention to subtle signs of a problem. Parents should talk to their children, listen to them, and observe them. When we observe and communicate with our children, we are more likely to detect the signs if they are in danger. We can notice a sudden change in behavior, if they get moody or aggressive, lose interest in school, or stop taking care of their personal hygiene.
Step 5: Communicate Your Concerns
- Talk to your children.
- Listen to your children.
- Observe your children.
- Let your children know they can tell you anything.
- Teach your children where their private parts are.
- Talk to your children often about protecting themselves.
- Teach your children often about protecting themselves.
- Teach your children what to do if someone tries to touch them.
- Teach your children what to do if someone makes them uncomfortable.
Communicating concerns means telling someone when you are uncomfortable with a situation or if you suspect abuse. It means paying attention to your own feelings and not waiting until it is too late. Only by communicating concerns can we use our knowledge to protect children. Even if abuse is not occurring, it is still important to let others know when you have concerns.
- Talk to the person who concerns you.
- Speak to their supervisor.
- Notify a Church official.
- Call the child abuse hot-line.
- Call the police.
Victims of sexual abuse, in addition to contacting civil authoriteis, are asked to come forward in order to receive pastoral assistance. Reports of abuse may be made to any Pastor or to:
Deacon Phil Hengen, Director
Office of Child and Youth Protectio
Missouri Department of Social Services
Children's Division Hotline Reporting Number