Safeguarding Our Children

Safeguarding Our Children: A Top Priority at Saint Maria de Paredes

Hello, Saint Maria de Paredes family!

As a community deeply devoted to the safety and wellbeing of our children, we are committed to creating a safe, nurturing environment for them. The Church, alongside the State of California and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has established robust policies and programs to safeguard our precious young ones.

Our Ongoing Commitment to Child Safety

  • Education and Training: Through the Safeguard the Children Program, we offer continuous support, training, and resources. Our goal is to prevent child sexual abuse and promote safety in all areas of our children’s lives – at church, school, home, and beyond.
  • Fingerprinting: All clergy, staff, and volunteers in supervisory roles with children or youth undergo fingerprinting. Monthly schedules and locations for fingerprinting are available at the Parish Office.
  • Victims Assistance Ministry: We provide assistance for reporting sexual misconduct and obtaining support for victims/survivors and their families. If you or someone you know has been affected, please reach out to the Victims Assistance Ministry at (800) 355-2545.


Empowering Our Children and Young People

  • Weekly Insights: Our Parish Bulletin features the “DID YOU KNOW?” section in both English and Spanish. These articles offer invaluable information on child safety. Your awareness and engagement can make a significant difference.
  • Annual Safety Program: The Empowering God’s Children and Young People Safety Program is mandatory for all participants in religious education, Catholic schools, and youth activities in our diocese.


What’s New for 2023 – 2024?

  • Focus on Body Safety: This year, we emphasize ‘The Five Body Safety Rule’ in our Safe Environment Training. These resources, available on the Safeguard the Children website, are designed for educators and parents to engage and educate our young ones.
  • A Comprehensive Approach: The new K-12 “Empowering God’s Children” Safety Program includes easy-to-use lesson plans, classroom activities, and take-home exercises. This program replaces the previous VIRTUS© Teaching Touching Safety Program.
  • Three-Year Cycle: The program covers essential topics over a three-year period, starting with Safe and Unsafe Touching Rules for 2023-2024. Future topics include Boundaries & Bullying and Internet & Technology Safety.


Join Us in This Mission

Together, let’s ensure the safety and wellbeing of every child in our community. For more information or to access the lesson plans, please visit Safeguard the Children website and VIRTUS® Online.

Your vigilance, care, and participation are vital in safeguarding our children. Thank you for being an essential part of this mission.

With gratitude and commitment,

Your Saint Maria de Paredes Parish Team