Social media and digital communication has become part of how our parishes, schools, and ministries communicate, market, and minister. It is important for us to be responsible users of technology and work to maintain safe environments in our digital and virtual interactions with children and youth.
Effective July 1, 2020, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Social Media and Digital Communication Policy has been updated to provide current guidelines and requirements to help create respectful and safe virtual and digital environments for our parishes and schools. This policy applies to social media apps, electronic and digital communication, social networking websites, and websites.
Additional Resources for Social Media & Digital Communication are available.
Tips for Keeping Children Safe Online ( English) (Spanish)
Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is committed to maintaining safe environments for children to learn, pray, and grow. Our Safe Environment Office supports our archdiocese, parishes, and schools in maintaining compliance with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People. The Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal explains some of the ways in which our archdiocese supports compliance with the articles of the Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People.
Every priest, deacon, parish or school staff member, teacher and lay minister that is employed by a parish or school and any volunteer working with minors in our archdiocese is required to meet three requirements:
1-Attend a Safe Environment Education Session. This is a child abuse and maltreatment prevention program that must be attended in person. The current curriculum taught in this session utilizes the Safe Haven series from Catholic Mutual Group.
2-Pass a Criminal Background Check. This check is done at the start of employment or beginning volunteering with minors and must be done every five (5) years subsequently. The criminal background check is conducted through the CMG Connect portal. The criminal background check reports are reviewed and certified through the collaboration of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Safe Environment Office and parish/school Safe Environment coordinators.
3-Sign the Code of Ethical Standards. This code of conduct provides clergy, volunteers, and employees with expectations and guidelines for how they interact with and conduct themselves in ministry. This code must be signed prior to beginning volunteering or working in a parish or school and is reviewed every five (5) years subsequently.
As Catholics, we are all tasked with participating in ensuring that every child is able to feel safe in our parishes and schools. In addition to our safe environment requirements for adults, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee requires all parish religious education programs and Catholic schools to provide instruction on personal safety and abuse prevention in age-appropriate lessons for all children in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade enrolled in their programs. Parishes and schools are required to annually report their compliance with this requirement.
We invite you to explore what we are doing at the archdiocesan level, at the parish/school level, and what we ask of every adult in our parishes to do to help us maintain a Safe Environment to remember our past, protect our present and hope for our future.
The Charter is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the USCCB in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
Available in English and Spanish
Information for pastors, principals, and Safe Environment coordinators relating to policies, requirements and compliance.
Recommended concepts and safe environment curriculum for principals, religious education directors, teachers and catechists.
In the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, all clergy, staff, and volunteers working with children are trained in how recognize the signs of abuse and where to report abuse.
The Code contains standards that help to delineate boundaries by which ethical questions can be evaluated.
When using these technologies, every effort must be made to create and maintain safe and secure environments.
Parishes and/or schools are responsible for the safety of the young people participating in overnight trips. Please use these policies to ensure safe environments when planning any overnight events involving minors.
During April, we highlight one week as Safe Environment Week so that everyone can simultaneously focus on abuse prevention, including the archdiocesan initiatives that are already underway.
Additional prayers, letters, instructions, requirements and flyers from the Safe Environment Office.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has partnered with Convercent, a third-party company, to administer an online service to report misconduct.
If you or someone you know is being abused or you suspect abuse is occurring, contact your local law enforcement department immediately. Any instance of abuse involving a person currently under 18 years of age (minor) should immediately be reported to the civil authorities. Locate the civil authorities in the 10 counties of the archdiocese.
If you or someone you know was abused as a minor by clergy or church personnel, call your local police, sheriff or district attorney’s office to file a criminal report.
Reports can also be made to the Victim Assistance Coordinator who is available to support abuse survivors. A formal complaint of abuse can be made to the archdiocese by calling the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 414-758-2232.
An alternative way to make a formal report regarding sexual abuse for those not wanting to contact the archdiocese is available to you 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the Healing Center website or by calling 414-219-5555.