ANSWER: In short, a “Mandated Reporter” are paid employees (who have regular contact or access to minors and vulnerable adults), and thus are legally obligated to report any suspicion of abuse or awareness of possible abuse.
ANSWER: Although Volunteers (Ethical Reporters) are not legally mandated to report abuse to the authorities, it is the responsibility of Ethical Reporters to comply with the expectation of The Diocese of San Jose, which requires all volunteers to report any and all suspicion, or awareness of abuse to Civil Authorities (Child Protective Services (CPS), Adult Protective Services (APS), and/or the Police Department in the city where the alleged incident occurred); and a Diocesan Mandated Reporter; and the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults immediately (within 24 hours) and assist with the reporting process.
ANSWER: The primary duty of a Mandated Reporter is to report any suspicion of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, psychological, and/or neglect). Mandated Reporters are also expected to contact law enforcement when death threats to a specific and identifiable target have been communicated, (also known as a: “Terasoft Treat”); and Mandated Reporters are expected to contact crisis intervention specialists if someone makes a threat of suicide against their own lives. Please note: The duty of a Mandated Reporter is not to investigate nor verify the validity of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.
ANSWER: Please assist the volunteer in understanding that both training and fingerprints are required if their position requires it and if their role requires having “on-going, unsupervised contact” with children and vulnerable adults. Please refer to page # 12 in this Safe Environment Handbook for additional assistance.
ANSWER: Parents can keep their children home that day as an informal opt-out or parents can sign an ‘Opt-out’ form, but will be offered some ‘take home material’. And if parents refuse those too, they need to fill out a form verifying that ‘take home material’ was offered but denied. However, please note that no volunteer can ‘Opt-out’ of Safe Environment Training.
ANSWER: In regards to frequency of training: Our goal is for students to be trained each year; employees and volunteers (whom have ongoing contact with children and vulnerable adults) need to be trained once every 3 years.
ANSWER: The Diocesan Personnel Office receives results from the Department of Justice, usually between 24 and 72 hours after the fingerprints were submitted. However, for multiple reasons, results can take approximately 30 days or longer to arrive.
ANSWER: An employee or volunteer has the option of choosing one of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Offices listed below (with whom the Diocese has a billing arrangement) or through Verify Group in which they can have their fingerprints done. The employee or volunteer receives a form indicating the fingerprinting appointment date and time, and Live-Scan Forms with OCA information that identifies the appropriate site where the employee or volunteer will be assigned. The Live Scan Form must be taken with you at time of your appointment. These service providers do the actual fingerprinting, and then sends the prints to the Department of Justice for a criminal background check.
San Jose Sheriff’s Office (408) 808-476o 55 W. Younger Ave., San Jose, Ca. 95110 West Valley Sheriff’s Office (408) 868-6614 1601 S. DeAnza Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014 San Martin Sheriff’s Office (408) 686-3651 12431 Monterey Rd., San Martin, Ca. 95046 Stanford Sheriff’s Office (650) 725-2499 711 Serra St., Stanford, Ca. 94305 Verify Group (408)761-2155 161 Curtner Ave., Campbell, CA 95008
ANSWER: The Department of Justice furnishes a clearance or criminal record summary to the Diocesan Personnel Office. This information is strictly confidential and only the Director or Associate of Personnel has access to the clearance or criminal record summary. A criminal record summary provides a record of arrests resulting in conviction and arrests where results are pending. The Director or Associate of Personnel notifies the pastor or principal of the individual’s clearance or lack of clearance to work/serve.
ANSWER: After the volunteer applicant completes the fingerprinting process, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) furnish a “clear” or criminal record summary to the Diocese’s OPCVA. Should the summary contain information regarding a criminal record(s), the applicant may be “restricted” or “denied” volunteer participation. The Director of the OPCVA will make a determination of “restricted” or “denied” volunteer service based on the criminal background results. Candidates are not “restricted” solely on a prior record. Several factors are considered. Depending upon the type of offense and the age at the time of the offense, the Director of the OPCVA will review the background results and advise the pastor, principal or director regarding the service eligibility of a volunteer candidate and/or the termination of a current volunteer. However, criminal record results from either the DOJ and/or the FBI may result in “restricted” or “denied” volunteer service as the OPCVA deems appropriate. Appeals in dispute of “restricted” or “denied” volunteer service will only be granted at the sole discretion of the Bishop of San Jose. The Diocese of San Jose reserves the right to refuse volunteer participation for any reason it deems necessary. Under no circumstances is a person with a conviction record of sexual misconduct with a minor considered for volunteer service in any program serving children, youth or dependent adults.
ANSWER: The data verifying that you have been fingerprinted is kept on file in the Diocesan Personnel Office for employees or, in the case of volunteers, in the Chancellor’s Office. When an employee or volunteer fingerprinted under the Education Code leaves employment or service with the Diocese, the Diocese submits a “No Longer Interested” form to the Department of Justice stating it is no longer interested in receiving subsequent notification service on the person previously fingerprinted for employment, licensing, or certification. However, in either case, an individual who leaves and subsequently returns at a later time must have fingerprints redone.
ANSWER: Our Diocese of San Jose policy mandates that all volunteers and employees whom have ongoing contact through service with minors and/or vulnerable adults must be fingerprinted and trained. Moreover, the Charter mandates in ARTICLE 13: Dioceses/eparchies are to evaluate the background of all incardinated and non-incardinated priests and deacons who are engaged in ecclesiastical ministry in the diocese/eparchy and of all diocesan/eparchial and parish/school or other paid personnel and volunteers whose duties include ongoing, unsupervised contact with minors. Specifically, they are to utilize the resources of law enforcement and other community agencies. In addition, they are to employ adequate screening and evaluative techniques in deciding the fitness of candidates for ordination (cf. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Program of Priestly Formation [Fifth Edition], 2006, no. 39).