praesidiumPraesidium is the national leader in abuse risk management. Its mission is to create safe environments that protect the children, the elderly, or vulnerable adults from abuse, and also environments that protect employees, volunteers, religious and clergy from false allegations of abuse. In 2015, Praesidium, an independent organization, audited the Midwest District and found that it is in compliance with the highest national standards for protecting children. The new accreditation lasts until 2018.

Part I. Policies for maintaining ethical ministry with minors

Section 1. Standards of Conduct for ministry with minors

The following policies and practices are intended to assist Brothers in making decisions about interactions with minors. This policy, while directed to public ministry, also applies to personal relationships such as those involving family and friends. Brothers are expected to adhere to the following ethical standards and specific behavioral guidelines in all aspects of their personal and ministerial lives.

A Brother may be a professed religious of the District, a novice or a postulant.

A minor is anyone under the age of 18. Adults with developmental disabilities or limitations may be considered “vulnerable adults,” and may be seen in certain situations as the same as a minor.

Abuse and neglect of minors are contrary to the teachings of the Church and are prohibited. Brothers have a responsibility to protect minors from all forms of abuse and neglect.

1. Prohibited behaviors

a. Using, possessing, or being under the influence of illegal drugs while in the presence of minors.
b. Using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol while supervising minors.
c. Providing or allowing minors to consume alcohol or use illegal drugs.
d. Swearing in the presence of minors.
e. Speaking to minors in a way that is or could be construed by any observer as harsh, threatening, intimidating, shaming, derogatory, demeaning, or humiliating.
f. Discussing sexual activities with minors unless it is a specific job requirement and the Brother is trained to discuss these matters.
g. Engaging in any sexually oriented conversations with minors unless the conversations are part of a legitimate lesson and discussion for teenagers regarding human sexuality issues. On suchoccasions, the lessons will convey to youth the Church’s teachings on these topics. If youth have further questions not answered or addressed by their individual teachers they should be referred to their parents or guardians for clarification or counseling.
h. Being nude in the presence of minors.
i. Sharing changing and showering facilities with minors. Arrangements for Brothers must be separate from the facilities or arrangements for minors.
j. Possessing, or knowingly allowing minors to possess, sexually oriented or morally inappropriate.
k. Sleeping in the same beds, sleeping bags or small tents with minors.
l. Engaging in sexual contact with minors. For the purposes of this policy, sexual contact is defined as vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral intercourse or the touching of an erogenous zone of another (including but not limited to the thighs, genitals, buttocks, pubic region or chest) for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.
m. Possession, distribution, downloading, and/or intentional viewing of real or virtual child pornography.
n. Establishing a relationship with a minor via internet, mail, phone, text message or similar means without prior parental permission.

2. Off-site events

a. Brothers are prohibited from transporting minors without written permission of their parent or guardian.
b. Brothers are prohibited from unnecessary and/or inappropriate physical contact with minors while in vehicles.
c. Minors should be transported directly to their destination. No unplanned stops should be made.
d. Brothers are prohibited from having minors stay at their residence. Requests for exceptions should be submitted to the Visitor in writing two weeks prior to the visit, and such requests require the approval of the Visitor.
e. Changing and showering facilities or arrangements for Brothers must be separate from facilities or arrangements for minors.

3. Physical contact and ethical boundaries

a. Brothers are prohibited from using physical discipline in any way for behavior management of minors. No form of physical discipline is acceptable. This prohibition includes spanking, slapping, pinching, hitting, or any other physical force as retaliation or correction for inappropriate behaviors by minors or for any reason whatsoever.
b. Brothers trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention or other forms of therapeutic safety holding protocols as part of their ministry and shall abide by those protocols and local guidelines, only using those techniques while engaged in assigned ministerial responsibilities within that organization.
c. Appropriate affection between Brothers and minors constitutes a positive part of Church life and ministry. The following forms of affection are regarded as appropriate examples for Brothers in ministry roles with minors:
* Hugs.
* Pats on the shoulder or back.
* Hand-shakes.
* “High-fives” and hand slapping.
* Verbal praise.
* Touching hands, faces, shoulders and arms of minors.
* Arms around shoulders.
* Holding hands while walking with small children.
* Sitting beside small children.
* Kneeling or bending down for hugs with small children.
* Holding hands during prayer.
* Pats on the head when culturally appropriate. (For example, this gesture should typically be avoided in some Asian communities).
Note: Appropriate physical contact happens within the context of a relationship. No physical contact, even those listed above, should be made when/if it makes the minor or other individual feel uncomfortable in any way.
Expressions of affection between a Brother and a member of his family must also reflect these guidelines, socially appropriate norms, and family traditions.d. Some forms of physical affection have been used by adults to initiate inappropriate contact with minors. In order to maintain the safest possible environment for minors, the following are examples of affection that are not to be used by Brothers in ministry roles with minors:
* Inappropriate or lengthy embraces.
* Kissing on the mouth.
* Holding minors over four years old on the lap.
* Touching buttocks, chests or genital areas.
* Showing affection in isolated areas such as bedrooms, bathrooms/ restrooms, closets, staff-only areas or other private rooms.
* Being in bed with a minor.
* Touching knees or legs of minors.
* Wrestling with minors.
* Tickling minors.
* Piggyback rides.
* Any type of massage given by minor to adult.
* Any form of unwanted affection.
* Compliments that relate to physique or body development.

Boundary issues may also be violated through unprofessional or unethical use of internet social networking sites with minors or former students. Brothers have an obligation to report known or suspected boundary violations and/or inappropriate forms of physical affection toward minors.
It is the policy of the District to interrupt and intervene in boundary violations immediately upon awareness. The District offers assistance to Brothers who struggle with boundary violations with minors.
e. The Brother Visitor determines if a boundary violation with a minor has occurred.

4. Training for Brothers who work with minors

a. The District will educate its Brothers regarding the prevalence, identification, and prevention of sexual abuse of minors, giving special attention to topics which are of unique relevance to Religious.
b. All Brothers who serve in public ministry, even those who do so only occasionally, must participate in a minimum of three hours of education over a three year period. This training must include the following:
i. Information about both preferential and situational type sexual offenders. Warning signs of both types of offenders must be clearly stated in the materials provided for the Brothers.
ii. Information regarding self-protection from false allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, including what to do if one is concerned about being falsely accused.
iii. Both canon and civil law indicate child pornography is a crime.
c. Educational programs may be provided by the organizations in which Brothers are employed, such as a diocese, hospital or school. If so, Brothers are expected to participate in such programs and abide by the regulations set forth for their local ministry.
d. On-going educational programs may be provided at the local, District, or national level for all Brothers. No program or presentation may be repeated over two consecutive years. Such programs must include a variety of topics, supporting, in as broad a scope as possible, the prevention of sexual abuse of minors.
e. Only the Brother Visitor may excuse a Brother due to physical or mental difficulties from attending educational programs addressing the sexual abuse of a minor. This exception may be made only in the case of a Brother who is not/will not be involved in public ministry.
f. Brothers shall review the Midwest District Policies for Maintaining Ethical Ministry with Minors and agree in writing to comply with the District policies.
g. Religious who are not Brothers of the Midwest District, or who belong to a different religious community, will be given a copy of these policies and practices. Each Religious in residence will sign a document indicating that he has received, reviewed, understands, and will abide by these requirements/policies while residing in a house of that District.
h. Non-Religious community members will be given a copy of these policies and practices and be expected to abide by them so long as they reside in a community of the Midwest District. Each person in residence at a District Community will sign a document indicating that he/she has received, reviewed, understands, and will abide by these requirements/policies while residing in a house of that District.

5. Supervision of programs that involve minors

a. Ministry and Professional obligations may require a Brother to be alone with minors. In those situations, a Brother must follow appropriate local and professional guidelines for the situation as well as these policies and standards. However, as much as possible, programs for minors in which Brothers are involved should be supervised by at least two adults.
b. The local ministry or employer of a Brother shall be made aware of the District’s standards and policies regarding the role of each Brother involved in all programs and activities sponsored by that ministry. Local leadership, thus aware, shall make reasonable and appropriate attempts to design, implement, and supervise programs and activities, insuring that these standards will, to the best of their ability, be met.
c. During his annual visit or communication with local ministry leadership, the Brother Visitor or his Auxiliary will review with the local leaders (heads of ministry and community Directors) any issues related to any Brother’s involvement in programs or activities sponsored by that ministry.

6. Assistance to Brothers who disclose unhealthy attraction to minors

a. A Brother who discloses to any other Brother an unhealthy attraction to minors or an inability to respect boundaries with minors will be offered professional assistance by the District.
b. The Director and Visitor are to be informed of the matter in each case.

7. Required procedures for those seeking admission into the Institute

a. Individuals who wish to join the ministry of The District as part of the postulancy
shall be required, prior to any indication of acceptance, to:

i. provide personal information and history so as to allow for a criminal background check, including specific screening for the sexual abuse of minors.
ii. provide the District with three (3) documented personal references, including at least one from a family member.
iii. provide the District with two (2) professional references. These references shall include, when experience indicates, any professional experiences involving work with minors.
iv. submit to a face to face interview(s) with at least two different members of the Institute.

The above four requirements must be completed prior to involvement in any public ministry as a Candidate of the District.

participate in a psychological evaluation, including psycho-sexual history, by an appropriate licensed psychologist who understands the candidate is entering Catholic religious life that includes celibate chastity. The Candidate must allow the Psychologist to discuss the findings of the evaluation with the initial formation Director. (1R2)

All five requirements must be met prior to entry into the novitiate.

b. A Candidate cannot be permitted to continue when he:

i. has an established allegation of sexually abusing a minor,
ii. sexually abuses a minor while in formation,
iii. has acquired or intentionally viewed child pornography, or
iv. is unable to maintain appropriate boundaries with minors despite guidelines and instruction.

c. Vocation Directors and Formation Directors shall receive adequate training to identify candidates who may be at risk for sexually abusing a minor.
d. Initial formation programs will assist Candidates in their ongoing growth toward healthy sexuality as part of their formation for celibate chastity.

8. Systems of support within the District for the Brothers

The District and its leadership will provide support to and contact with all of its members on a regular basis. District and local leadership will make themselves as available as possible to hear the needs and requests of their Brothers.
In order that this is accomplished, the following will take place:

a. Brother Visitor or his Auxiliary Visitor will annually visit with each Brother in the District and document that interview according to District practice.
b. Brother Visitor, his Auxiliary, and local community Directors shall work together to maintain standards as established in The Rule and District legislation for the support and care of the Brothers.
c. Brothers who live outside the specific community structures of the District shall be visited at least annually by Brother Visitor or his delegate. The current and future status of any such Brother will be reviewed by the Brother Visitor and his Auxiliary Visitor as part of their regular pastoral reviews.

Section 2. Procedures for reporting abuse of minors or vulnerable adults

1. Any Brother shall report known or suspected current abuse of minors or vulnerable adults to civil authorities within 48 hours or according to state mandatory reporting laws, whichever comes first.
2. In addition to reporting to the civil authorities, Brothers shall report any suspected or known abuse of minors or vulnerable adults that may have been perpetrated by Brothers directly to the Visitor. Reports of suspected or known abuse may also be made confidentially (unless otherwise required to be disclosed by canon law) to either of the following:

a. The Chair of the Review Board
b. The Director

3. An anonymous, specific and verifiable letter of concern may be sent to any of the above.  Anonymous concerns will be investigated to the extent that is feasible based on known information.

4. A situation may arise in which a Brother observes inappropriate behavior or boundary violations that are improper but which are not properly classified as abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.  While the action in and of itself does not warrant civil authorities be notified, observing such behavior mandates that notification be made to the Visitor, Chair of the Review Board, or the Director, and that precautionary action be taken.

5. Vigilance regarding the maintenance of proper boundaries must include a system of accountability based on the standards of conduct as explained in Part 1, Section I above.  It is essential that, in our communities and the places where we work and minister, a transparent and effective system of monitoring and reporting is in place:

a. On the local level, each Brother and Director is responsible for identifying warning signs and responding to those signs.
b. A Brother has an obligation to disclose to the Director his observation that a Brother has violated boundaries as established in these policies.  The Brother observing the situation is also free to contact the Visitor or Chair of the Review Board.

6. If the Director confirms to his own satisfaction that boundaries have been violated by a Brother, he will immediately inform the Visitor.  It is advisable that the Visitor personally notify the Brother about whom there is a concern.

7. The Visitor shall document all reports and subsequent interventions, remedial actions taken, plans for continued observation, and conditions, if any, placed on the Brother.

8. Such documentation shall be included in files maintained by the District.  In all cases the Brother about whom there is cause for concern must be informed of the contents of permanent documentation.

9. While these policies apply principally to the conduct of Brothers, a Brother who observes inappropriate behavior or boundary violations committed by an employee, volunteer, guest, visitor, teacher, student or client at a place where Brothers live, work or minister must report this matter to the appropriate authority.

10. All new allegations of sexual abuse that may have been committed by a Brother or other agent of the District shall be promptly reported to civil authorities in the jurisdiction in which the alleged incident occurred.

a. Allegations of sexual abuse will be reported to civil authorities regardless of whether the person making the accusation is a minor or an adult at the time the allegation is received.
b. Allegations of sexual abuse will be reported to civil authorities regardless of whether the accused Brother is living or dead, or whether he is a current or former Brother of the District.
c. Allegations of sexual abuse will be reported to civil authorities regardless of whether the alleged victim’s identity is known.
d. Allegations of sexual abuse will be reported to civil authorities regardless of whether the allegations are believed to be credible at the time they are received.
11. If abuse of a minor is confirmed through investigation, civil authorities shall be re-contacted and a follow-up report will be submitted, if requested.  If further investigation indicates the allegation is not credible, civil authorities will be contacted to provide the additional information.

12. If the alleged victim is a minor at the time the allegation is received, his or her identity will be provided to the civil authorities.  If the alleged victim is an adult at the time the allegation is received and consents, his or her identity will be provided to the civil authorities.  If the alleged victim is an adult at the time the allegation is received and does not consent to having his or her identity revealed, the alleged victim’s identify will not be disclosed.

13. Files of allegations will be created at the time the allegation is received and will contain information about how the allegation was handled.

14. The District will cooperate fully with investigations by civil authorities.

Section 3.  Responding to incidents and allegations of sexual abuse
Allegations of sexual abuse may come from a variety of sources, including alleged victims or their family members, diocesan offices, Brothers of the community, a colleague in the workplace or from an alleged perpetrator.  Because each case is distinct, the following is a general outline of the response system for allegations of abuse but is not necessarily a procedure that is to be followed in the same way for each unique case.  The process is to be modified according to the nature of the allegation, the needs of the alleged victim and the circumstances of the accused Brother.  In every case, the District commits itself to dealing pastorally with, and protecting the rights of, all those involved.

A.  Initial response

1. The Visitor (or his delegate) shall receive allegations of sexual abuse and coordinate assistance to anyone who brings an allegation of abuse by a Brother of the District.

2. When an allegation of abuse is first received, the Visitor shall attempt to gather sufficient information to complete a preliminary report.  The information would include the following:

a. Name of the alleged victim;
b. Age of alleged victim;
c. Address and phone number of alleged victim;
d. Name of alleged perpetrator;
e. Approximate dates of alleged abuse;
f. Nature, type and location of alleged abuse;
g. Any additional relevant details.

3. Upon receipt of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, the Visitor will promptly follow District reporting procedures and report the allegation to civil authorities (see Reporting Procedures).

4. The Visitor and the District will cooperate fully with any investigation by civil authorities.

5. The Visitor will offer to meet in person with the alleged victim if he or she so desires.  The Visitor will maintain a compassionate and pastoral manner regardless of the demeanor of alleged victim, recognizing that the experience of abuse and difficulty of coming forward may bring out strong emotions during the disclosure process.

6. The Visitor may be involved, but often his delegate or outside agency will be assigned to assist with the immediate and ongoing needs of individuals who have experienced abuse as well as the needs of their families.

7. The Visitor will notify the accused Brother of the allegation and its substantial details.  He will take steps to ensure that the accused Brother receives the support and assistance he needs while the allegation is being investigated.  Support could be in the form of professional counseling, spiritual counseling, legal counseling and or canonical counseling, and assigning a mentor for the accused.

8. The Visitor will inform the accused Brother of his right to seek canonical and civil counsel before any further conversation into the matter.  The District recognizes that the Brother may need assistance to engage such counsel. The Brother will:

a. Be advised of the nature of the allegation.
b. Be advised of his right to obtain both canonical and civil counsel, and be encouraged to do so at once.
c. Be advised of his right not to incriminate himself in any manner whatsoever. He will not be compelled to testify against himself.
d. Be advised that he will be given the opportunity of responding to the allegation(s). He may do so directly to the Visitor or through his civil or canonical counsel.
e. Be asked to sign a statement acknowledging that he has been informed of the allegation(s) being made against him; and
f. Be advised that he is not to contact the complainant(s) or any possible witnesses in any possible future proceedings, wither civil or canonical.
g. During investigations by civil authorities or by the District, the Brother who is the subject of the investigation will be temporarily removed from ministry responsibilities and duties.

9. The Brother may be asked to relocate to another residence specified by the Visitor.

10. An allegation against a man who is no longer a member of the District will be processed in the same manner as any other allegation.  The process will determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that while ministering as a member of the District he engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor.  The same care for outreach will be extended to those affected in this case.  The preliminary review, however, will focus on whether the former religious is still ministering or employed in an ecclesiastical setting where minors may be at risk, and the necessity for reporting such an allegation to appropriate law enforcement agencies as required by law. If the whereabouts of the former member of the District against whom an allegation is made are known or can reasonably be determined, he will be contacted and requested to respond to the allegation.

12. An allegation against a Brother of the District who has died will be processed in the same manner as any other allegation to the extent necessary to make a determination about whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the Brother of the District engaged in sexual abuse of a minor during the time he was serving as a Brother of the District, and to facilitate outreach to those who may have been affected as described in these policies.

B.  Internal investigation

1. During investigations by civil authorities or by the District, the Brother who is the subject of the investigation will be temporarily removed from ministry responsibilities and duties.

2. The Visitor will designate an Investigator to gather information independently regarding the allegations.  In the cases of verified or undisputed allegations, an investigation will be conducted to identify any other potential victims and to obtain information to inform the on-going supervision plans for the Brother who has abused.

3. In order to fulfill his responsibilities, the Visitor will consult with the Review Board at each juncture of the process and will attempt to convene the Board as soon as possible after receiving the final report from the Investigator.

4. Should an allegation of sexual misconduct against a Brother be substantiated, the District will provide for the pastoral care of the victim and the victim’s family.

5. Should an allegation of sexual misconduct against a Brother be substantiated, the District will also provide for the pastoral care and treatment of the Brother, offering him fraternal support in whatever penalties are imposed upon him by the legal system or restrictions imposed upon him by the District.

6. Should an allegation prove to be unsubstantiated, the District will reinstate the accused Brother to ministry and will work towards the restitution of his good name.

7. District investigations will be documented.  Documentation of District investigations will be stored in the office of the Visitor.  A summary of the investigation findings will be stored in a separate, locked personnel file of the Brother who is the subject of the investigation.

8. Documentation of investigations is the property of the District and shall remain with the office of the Visitor following appointment of a new Visitor.

9. The Visitor will usually assign an Investigator to review the allegations, question the parties involved, and act as the representative of the District.

a. The Investigator will advise any parties that he/she sees that he/she represents the District and that conversations with the Investigator are not subject to any attorney/client privilege.
b. The Investigator will advise the parties that, although pastoral care is available, the Investigator will not be the one to provide that care.
c. The Investigator, who shall obtain statements from the parties and any witnesses, will keep the Visitor informed regarding the status of the investigation.

10. The Visitor will maintain contact with the accused Brother throughout the entire process.

11. When he has received the completed investigation report, the Visitor will present the results of the investigation to the Brother for response.

C.  Decision-making

1. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the Visitor will exercise his judgment in delivering an appropriate response. If the accused Brother has admitted to the substance of the allegation, or in those cases where the allegation has been substantiated, the Visitor’s response could include any of the following:
* psychological and medical assessment and intervention;
* restrictions on community life and personal activities;
* limitations imposed on ministerial activities, including total removal from public ministry.

2. In cases where the allegation has been substantiated, the Visitor will contact the appropriate diocesan offices to communicate the nature of the allegation and to inform the diocese of the procedure followed and the response of the Visitor to the allegation.

3. In cases where an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is substantiated, the Brother cannot return to public ministry.

4. If an allegation is deemed to be without merit, the Visitor will coordinate communication with all appropriate parties so that reconciliation can take place where possible and repair of damage to reputations can be undertaken.

5. In all instances, the final disposition of the matter rests with the Visitor, always recognizing
* The Brother’s right to appeal to the Superior General.
* The Visitor’s responsibility to communicate his decision to the person who made the complaint, to the Brother involved, to the Review Board, and to other parties, including the Superior General, as necessary and appropriate.

6. If at any time during the course of implementing these procedures, civil or criminal proceedings are initiated against the accused Brother, these procedures may be suspended immediately, to be resumed, if deemed necessary, only after the completion of the civil or criminal proceedings. In such a case, the Visitor or his delegate shall recommend to the Visitor a possible course of action with respect to the accused Brother, in keeping with the intention of these procedures and in the interests of justice.

Section 4.  Review Boards

A.  Establishment and purpose

1. The Visitor, with approval of the District Council, establishes a District Review Board or is part of a CMSM Regional Review Board for the purpose of providing advice to the Visitor on the implementation and administration of District Policies for Maintaining Ethics in Ministry with Minors.  The Review Board exists solely to provide such advice and has no independent power or authority.

2. The Review Board shall consist of 5 to 7 Members, including at least one Brother of the District and other individuals who are not Brothers.

3. The Review Board shall include representation from the following groups: religious, professionals from the social sciences, (psychologists, counselors, victims’ advocates and/or social workers), representatives from the legal or law enforcement profession or state protective services, and laity, preferably parents.

4. While it may occasionally be acceptable for a Review Board Member to also be an employee of the District, it is preferable for the Review Board Members not to be employees of the District.  At no time may the majority of Review Board members be employed by the District.

B.  Appointment and removal of Board members

1. The Visitor shall appoint members of the Review Board by letter of appointment signed by the Visitor.  A member of the Review Board may be removed at the discretion of the Visitor in consultation with the Chair of the Review Board.  Members shall be removed by a letter of removal signed by the Visitor.

2. Review Board Members shall serve a term of three years. Terms are renewable.

3. It is preferable for the Review Board to have no more than two new Review Board Members in one year.  When possible, terms should be staggered to provide continuity for the Board.

4. While it may occasionally be acceptable for a Review Board Member to also be an employee of the District, it is preferable for the Review Board Members not to be employees of the District.  At no time may the majority of Review Board members be employed by the District.

B.  Appointment and removal of Board members

1. The Visitor shall appoint members of the Review Board by letter of appointment signed by the Visitor.  A member of the Review Board may be removed at the discretion of the Visitor in consultation with the Chair of the Review Board.  Members shall be removed by a letter of removal signed by the Visitor.

2. Review Board Members shall serve a term of three years. Terms are renewable.

3. It is preferable for the Review Board to have no more than two new Review Board Members in one year.  When possible, terms should be staggered to provide continuity for the Board.

4. The Visitor may invite other persons who have specific information to share with the Review Board to attend the meeting with the consent of the majority of the members of the Review Board. Examples of such people may include but are not limited to, a recording secretary and the Investigator of the specific case.

5. Vacancies created by the departure of Review Board Members during their term shall be filled by appointment by the Visitor.  Review Board Members appointed to fill a vacancy before the expiration of a term shall serve for the remainder of the unfinished term and may then be reappointed to a full term at the discretion of the Visitor.

C.  Officers

1. The Review Board Members shall elect a Chair who shall serve for a term of one year and may be re-elected at the will of the Review Board.  The Chair shall call and chair meetings of the Review Board, ensure that the work of the Review Board is properly documented and communicated to the Visitor and appoint other ad hoc officers and assistants from among the other Board Members as may be required to accomplish the work of the Review Board.

2. At the beginning of each meeting of the Review Board, the Chair shall appoint a recording secretary to record the decisions and other relevant actions of the Review Board during that meeting.

D.  Record keeping

The files of the Review Board are the property of the District.  The Visitor and all current Review Board Members shall have access to the Review Board’s files.  The Review Board’s files shall be stored at a place designated by the Visitor.
The Review Board shall create a file on each case or matter it considers.  Each file shall contain a written description of the matter presented to the Review Board, a written summary of the advice given by the Review Board, a written summary of the action ultimately taken by the Visitor in light of the Review Board’s advice, and such other information as the Review Board determines to be relevant to any future consideration of the case or matter by the Review Board or the District.

E.  Confidentiality

1. Review Board Members shall sign a confidentiality agreement and undergo a criminal records check.

2. The records and other information received by the Review Board shall be treated as confidential, subject to the requirements of law and the Policies of the District.

3. The Review Board’s advice to the Visitor regarding particular cases shall be confidential provided, however, that the Visitor may, at his discretion, disclose the advice he received from the Review Board.  The advice or positions taken by particular Review Board Members shall not be disclosed and need not be recorded in the Review Board files.

4. The District recognizes that the Review Board may receive confidential and sensitive information that could be used to injure the reputations of individuals.  At the same time, the District recognizes that the Review Board’s records may contain information relevant to civil and criminal law investigations.

5. It is the policy of the District to cooperate fully with all legal requirements and law enforcement agencies while, at the same time, respecting any applicable civil and canon law rights and requirements of confidentiality and privacy.

6. The law of certain states and of the United States prohibits the disclosure of certain information, such as mental health communications, substance abuse and alcohol treatment records, and HIV testing and AIDS treatment records.  The Review Board shall protect the confidentiality of such information, which it may receive by way of appropriate releases of information, to the fullest extent of the law.

F.  Reporting
All allegations of child sexual abuse committed by a Brother or other agent of the District shall be promptly reported by the Visitor or, if not previously reported, by the Chair of the Review Board to the appropriate civil authorities in the jurisdiction in which the alleged incidents occurred. (See Section 2, “Procedures for Reporting Abuse of Minors or Vulnerable Adults”).

G.  Operating procedures

1. The Visitor shall convene the Review Board at each step of the investigation and processing of an allegation of sexual misconduct in which the Review Board is to participate.  The process is outlined in Section 4 of the Policies for Maintaining Ethical Ministry with Minors.  The Visitor or the Chair of the Review Board may choose to convene the Review Board at other times he or she deems advisable.

2. The Visitor shall convene the Review Board by notifying the Chair.  The Chair will direct the Visitor to contact the Members of the Review Board and schedule a meeting as soon as practical.

3. The Review Board may meet in person or by telephone or other electronic means.  The Chair shall call the meeting to order and introduce the Visitor, his representative or Investigator to present the matter(s) brought before the Review Board.

4. The Visitor shall provide the Review Board with information relevant to the matter under consideration, subject to the requirements of civil or canon law which may prohibit disclosure of such information.  Where possible, the Visitor shall obtain the necessary consents to release all such information.  The Review Board shall maintain the information with great respect to its confidentiality.

5. The Visitor or his representative may present information in any form, oral, written, graphic or recording for the Review Board’s consideration.  After the presentation, the Review Board Members may ask questions, request additional information, or discuss the matter with the Visitor or his representative.

6. After the question and answer period or discussion is completed, the Members shall deliberate and formulate their advice outside the presence of an outside investigator.  Deliberations may take place in the presence of the Visitor or his representative, at the discretion of the Review Board.

7. After the Review Board receives the presentation and information from the Visitor or representative, the Board shall carefully consider and deliberate over the information.

8. The Review Board shall make recommendations on the matters and at the times provided for in the Policies for Maintaining Ethical Ministry with Minors.

9. The recommendations of the Review Board shall be summarized in writing for presentation to the Visitor and a document shall be signed by the Chair on behalf of the full committee.  The original written recommendation shall be presented to the Visitor.

10. The Visitor shall share recommendations of the Review Board with the District Council as needed.

H.  Review of Safety Plans

1. The Review Board is to review each Safety Plan in a timely manner when it is formulated for the first time and again whenever it is subsequently modified.

2. The Review Board is to review each existing Safety Plan annually.

3. The Review Board must receive a report of compliance annually. The report must include the Brother’s overall response to the Safety Plan and information about any violations.

4. The Brother, his Local Superior and the Safety Plan Supervisor must be given timely notice of the Review Board meeting and invited to submit information for consideration and requests for modifications of the Safety Plan.

I. Conflicts of interest

1. Any Review Board Member who is related by blood or marriage to, in any kind of employment, financial or business relationship with, in any kind of professional or spiritual counseling relationship with, or who would have any other conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest with the alleged victim or the accused Brother, shall inform the Chair of the conflict and recuse himself or herself from all deliberations concerning the particular matter in question.

2. Any Review Board Member who determines that he or she has a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest with the District itself or with the work of the Review Board, shall inform the Visitor and the Chair of the conflict and shall resign from the Review Board.

J.  Conditions of membership

1. The Review Board Members may serve as volunteers or as paid professionals.

2. The District shall reimburse all Review Board Members for reasonable expenses incurred in attending meetings of the Review Board or in otherwise performing their duties as Members of the Review Board.

3. The District indemnifies and holds harmless all Review Board Members for any and all claims, lawsuits, damages or other actions, including but not limited to reasonable costs of defense, which may arise from their service on the Review Board.  However, the District does not indemnify Review Board Members for intentional tortuous or criminal acts.

Section 5.  Supervision and Care of Brothers Who Have Abused Minors or Vulnerable Adults

These procedures describe the elements of a pastoral care framework which will be developed for each Brother of the District about whom a substantiated accusation of sexual abuse has been made. Most of these procedures address cases where the accusation is that of abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.

The purpose of this framework is to:
* assure the Church and the public, especially children and minors, of all reasonable measures to prevent any future occurrence;
* provide a structure within which the Brother can continue his life in the Institute as a vowed Brother of a religious community;
* provide appropriate care for the Brother and the opportunity for such personal conversion and rehabilitation as may be needed;
* guide superiors, the Brother, and others in determining work, place of residence, and other activities;
* encourage Brothers’ communities in welcoming and supporting the Brother in his desire to continue his life as a Brother within this framework; and
* assure Brothers’ communities of both proper care and appropriate limits with respect to their Brothers in the District.

It is intended that all of the elements below be adapted in a Personal Safety Plan for each Brother, depending on such factors as severity of the accusation(s), notoriety, age and health of the Brother, and the recommendations of the District’s Review Board. The framework, however, sets out the elements to be developed in writing for each Brother, reviewed by the Visitor and Review Board, shared with the Brother, Monitor, Extended Monitor, Director, and, as appropriate, Brothers of his local community. The Personal Safety Plan shall be signed by the Brother and the Visitor.

A.  Evaluation and therapy

1. A Brother about whom a substantiated accusation has been made will be asked to submit to a professional evaluation as to his psychological condition and proclivity to harmful behavior in the future. If the Brother agrees to undergo an evaluation, the Visitor or his delegate will arrange for the evaluation.

2. The Brother is free not to undergo an evaluation. If he does not agree to be evaluated, he may be placed under a higher degree of supervision.

3. Subsequent to that evaluation, the Brother may be asked to participate in such in-patient and/or out-patient treatment as recommended by the evaluating professionals, as well as such other physical, psychological, and spiritual rehabilitation as may be recommended by such professionals or the Review Board, as well as the terms of his Personal Safety Plan.

4. The Brother may be required to report to the Visitor in writing periodically (e.g., monthly, quarterly or annually, as appropriate to the situation), describing his progress in terms of work, therapy, spiritual direction, community life, and such other matters as may be appropriate.

5. Information resulting from such evaluation, treatment and correspondence is the property of the Brother. It is expected that the Brother will agree to make it available to the Visitor. He may agree to make it available to the Visitor or he may decline to do so. Failure to share the information may result in assessing the Brother at a higher degree of risk.

6. A Brother may further agree to have the information available to the Review Board.

7. Any information about a Brother who has been accused of abuse shall be kept confidential by those receiving it, except as required by law to be revealed. Any information subject to privilege, such as mental heath information, about a Brother who has been accused of abuse shall be kept confidential by those receiving it, except as required by law to be revealed.

B.  Public ministry as a Brother

1. A Brother about whom a substantiated accusation has been made shall not be allowed to function publicly in external ministry associated with the District (e.g., school teaching, coaching, administration, etc.)

2. Wearing distinctive religious attire or using the title “Brother” in public would not be allowed for a Brother who has abused a minor, without written permission by the Visitor.

3.  For a Brother credibly charged with sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult, the Visitor will consider the nature and circumstances of the allegation and the advice of the Review Board in determining removal from, suspension from, or restrictions on public ministry.

C.  Appropriate ministry

1. If physically and mentally able, the Brother who has been removed from public ministry should engage in appropriate work in support of the ministries of the District or in other service to people in need.

Such employment might include the following:
* internal work in a community of the District, such as a place of retirement;
* administrative work for the District;
* remunerative non-ministerial work to support the ministries of the District;
* service to people in need such as writing to prisoners, taping books for the sight-impaired;
* telephone reassurance programs for shut-ins, working in a food bank or soup kitchen (if properly supervised), or some other form of supervised social services.

2. Where appropriate, Brothers restricted or removed from public ministry may need vocational assessment and/or occupational counseling to assist in determining meaningful and useful work. The Visitor should consult with the Brother involved to determine his interests and capacities and to promote his initiative in developing work opportunities, where appropriate.
In all cases, the service of prayer for the Institute and the Church would be a valuable contribution to the Institute.

D.  Place of residence

1. Any restricted Brother would be allowed to live only in a Brothers’ community not attached to or adjacent to a school or other appropriate supervised place of residence, as determined by the Visitor.

2. No separate apartment, private home, or other domicile would be allowed as a permanent residence for the Brother.

3. Communities that house “high-risk” members, or members on safety plans, shall be visited annually by outside auditors on an unannounced basis to ensure consistent implementation of Safety Plan protocols. A “high-risk” member is a member who has sexually abused a minor in the past and is likely to sexually abuse a minor again if left untreated and/or unsupervised.

a. Extended Monitors shall document their visits with the appropriate member of District Leadership. If compliance issues are identified, a return visit must be made within 30 days by the monitor to reevaluate compliance.
b. District leadership and Community members shall address compliance issues immediately.

E.  Community support and community roles

1. The local community can and should play an important part in helping a Brother who has been restricted and who wishes to continue his life as a Brother.

2. After a Brother has submitted to evaluation and appropriate treatment, the Brothers community should welcome the restricted Brother as a brother.

3. If the designated Supervisor is not a member of the local community, it may be appropriate for a mentor from the local community to be appointed who would assist and support the Brother in his efforts to maintain his program of care and treatment.

4. A restricted Brother, within the community, would be permitted to lead community prayer and perform community jobs and other responsibilities.

5. A restricted Brother would not be allowed to serve as a Director.

6. The community in which such a Brother shall live will be informed of the fact that a Brother is so restricted and the appropriate specific terms of his Safety Plan, so that the community can assist him in achieving its goals. The method by which a community is informed will be determined by the local Director in consultation with the Visitor.

7. Communities may need the advice and consultation of appropriate professionals to assist the community in readying itself to receive the restricted Brother and to provide him the necessary care and support.

F.  Contact with others
Under no circumstances shall a Brother on a Safety Plan be allowed to be in the presence of minors, unless the Brother is being supervised by an adult who has specific knowledge of the terms and conditions of the Safety Plan.

G.  Travel, vacation, retreat

1. For a Brother with a substantiated allegation of abuse of a minor, vacations alone or with minors, even supervised, would not be permitted. Vacations should be restricted to Brother Communities or travel with other Brothers who then have the responsibility to enforce applicable restrictions.

2. Retreats in locations alone would not be permitted, and retreats would be restricted to Institute/District or other Catholic Retreat facilities, or a Brother’s community.

3. Other travel may be restricted to that related to assigned work or family visits; if appropriate, a Brother companion for travel also may be required.

4. Additional specific permissions for travel may be required from the Visitor.

5. Doubts about specific travel should be referred by the Director to the Visitor. Again, similar prohibitions may be applied to a Brother with a substantiated allegation of abuse of a vulnerable adult.

H.  Driving

1. Restrictions may be placed on driving alone or having use of a personal vehicle.

2. Some restricted Brothers may be required to request specific permissions for use of community cars from the Director, to keep a driving log or to only drive with other Brothers.

I.  Publications and publicity

1. For a Brother who is on a Safety Plan, restrictions on his publishing, including letters to the editor, web page maintenance, internet social networking sites, radio and television appearances, and email usage may be appropriate.

2. Sensitivity for victims would dictate caution with regard to photographs of Brothers displayed in Brother publications and institutions, especially those in service to minors.

3. In some cases a Brother’s use of mail, email, the internet, phone, and credit cards may need to be regulated.

J.  Information for Brothers and others

1. The Visitor, will determine whether and/or how to inform the District—in general terms—of those Brothers who have been restricted.

2. The Visitor, in consultation with the Review Board, will determine whether and/or how to inform others who may have a need to know—in general terms—of those Brothers who have been restricted.

Part II.  Policies for Maintaining Ethical Ministry with Adults

Section 1.  Standards of Conduct for Ministry with Adults
A pastoral relationship is a relationship between a Brother and any person to whom such Brother provides pastoral care which includes counseling, spiritual direction/companion or spiritual guidance and/or when a Brother has received confidential or privileged information.  The following are guidelines for maintaining integrity in pastoral relationships with adults.

1. Boundaries in ministry

a. For the purposes of this policy, sexual contact is defined as vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral intercourse or the touching of an erogenous zone of another (including but not limited to the thighs, genitals, buttocks, pubic region or chest) for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.
b. Sexual exploitation is sexual contact between a Brother and a person with whom the Brother has a pastoral relationship.  Such contact, regardless of who initiates it, is considered sexual exploitation.
c. Brothers must never engage in sexual contact with the persons with whom they have a pastoral relationship. This includes consensual contact, forced physical contact, and sexually explicit conversations not related to counseling issues.
d. Brothers assume the full burden for setting and maintaining clear, appropriate boundaries in all pastoral relationships.
e. Physical contact in pastoral relationships should be respectful and consistent with the intent to provide a safe and comfortable environment.
f. Ministry should be conducted in appropriate settings at appropriate times and should not be held at places or times that would tend to cause confusion about the nature of the relationship for the person being counseled.
g. Ministry should not be conducted in private living quarters or bedrooms.

2. Supervision

a. Brothers who provide pastoral care to others shall be required to have ongoing professional supervision.
b. Brothers practicing formal spiritual direction/companion shall submit that ministry to peer or supervisory review with an advisor.
c. Brothers in pastoral relationships are responsible for seeking the counsel and pastoral guidance of a person of spiritual wisdom should they find themselves at risk of acting on sexual or romantic attraction to a client or counselee.
d. Brothers who provide counseling shall maintain a log of the times and places of sessions with each person being counseled.

3. Confidentiality

a. Information disclosed to a Brother during the course of counseling, advising, or spiritual direction/companion shall be held in confidence whenever possible.
b. A breach of confidentiality occurs when a Brother discloses confidential or privileged information in the absence of compelling professional reasons or as required by law.
c. When a counseling relationship is established, the Brother should discuss the nature of confidentiality and its limitations with each person in counseling.
d. Information obtained in the course of sessions shall be confidential, except for compelling professional reasons or as required by law.
* If there is clear and imminent danger to the client or to others, the Brother is to disclose the information necessary to protect the parties involved and to prevent harm.
* Before disclosure is made, if feasible, the Brother should inform the person being counseled about the disclosure and the potential consequences.
e. The Brother providing pastoral counseling services or spiritual direction/companion should keep a record of the time and place of each session.
f. Knowledge gained from professional contact may be used in teaching or other public presentations.  Measures should be taken to absolutely safeguard both the individual’s identity and the confidentiality of the disclosures.
g. If a Brother discovers that there is a serious threat to the welfare of a minor and that communication of confidential information to a parent or legal guardian is essential to the child’s health and well-being, the pastoral counselor or spiritual director/companion should disclose only the information necessary to protect the health and well-being of the minor.

4. Conflicts of interest

a. Conflicts of interest exist when a Brother takes advantage of a pastoral relationship in order to further his own personal, religious, political, or business interests.
b. A Brother should avoid situations that might present a conflict of interest between a counselor and a person being counseled. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest can call integrity and professional conduct into question.
c. If a conflict of interest exists or arises, the Brother should inform all parties. Resolution of the issues must protect the person being counseled.
d. The Brother must establish clear, appropriate boundaries with anyone with whom there is a business, professional, or social relationship.
e. Brothers shall not step beyond their competence in counseling situations and shall refer to other professionals when appropriate.

5. Responsibilities in ministry

a. Brothers are responsible for recognizing and respecting the power of the ministerial role.
b. Brothers are responsible for giving and accepting feedback from others.
c. Brothers are responsible for developing resources to meet their own spiritual and emotional needs.
d. Brothers are responsible for taking care of their own health in order to avoid the serious impairment of judgment that is associated with sleep deprivation, nutritional deficiencies and excessive work loads.
e. Brothers are responsible for not becoming intimate with those they serve in ministry – regardless of who initiates the contact.
f. Brothers are responsible to avoid swearing or using foul language in the presence of those they serve in ministry.
g. Brothers are responsible to avoid speaking graphically about sexual activities or allowing others to do so.
h. Brothers are responsible to avoid showing pornographic materials to those they serve in ministry.
i. Brothers are responsible at all times for maintaining boundaries with those they serve in ministry.
j. Brothers are responsible to never use their role in ministry to degrade or humiliate another person.
k. Brothers are responsible for communicating to a superior when they have concerns about their own or others’ relationships.
l. Brothers are responsible for recognizing the warning signs of boundary violations.  Some of these warning signs include the following:

* Wearing special clothes when you know you are going to see a certain person.
* Spending extra time grooming yourself when you know you are going to see a certain person.
* Finding ways or reasons to be alone with a certain person.
* Keeping aspects of your relationship with a person secret from others (such as how often you talk on the phone or see each other alone).
* Giving and/or receiving special gifts from a certain person.
* Neglecting to spend time with others because you want to spend more time with a certain person.
* Sharing personal information about others with a certain person.
* Sharing personal information with or seeking help with personal problems from a certain person.
* Excessively looking forward to seeing a certain person.
* Fantasizing or daydreaming about a certain person.

Section 2.  Reporting misconduct with adults

1. Brothers are responsible for ensuring ethical behavior in all ministries.  Communication regarding misconduct by Brothers in ministry with adults is essential for continuing the integrity of these ministries.

2. Brothers shall report misconduct with adults to the Visitor or the Director. Reports of suspected or known misconduct may also be made confidentially (unless otherwise required to be disclosed by canon law) to any of the following:

a. The Director
b. Another Major superior of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

3. An anonymous, specific and verifiable letter of concern may be sent to any of the above.  Anonymous concerns will be investigated to the extent that is feasible based on known information.

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