Auditors have again found that the Diocese of Beaumont is doing all in its power to help prevent child abuse in Southeast Texas. According to an on-site audit conducted August 9-13, 2010 by The Gavin Group, Inc., an independent auditor based in Boston, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont continues to be in full compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” This was the 4th on-site audit conducted in the diocese since 2003. In each of the previous audits the diocese was found to have met and exceeded the Charter’s requirements.

William Gavin, president of The Gavin Group, Inc., stated, “Based on the analysis of the results of the 2010 Full Audit of the Diocese of Beaumont, you have been found to be in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The conclusions reached as to the compliance of your Diocese with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are based on the completeness and accuracy of the information furnished by the Diocese to The Gavin Group, Inc. during the course of this audit.”

Each of the two auditors, former FBI agents, who were assigned to the diocese, had a different focus: one focused on the internal issues to the overall diocese, and the other focused on external matters–the parishes and schools. The audit of the parishes/schools was to determine whether the mandates of the Charter are being carried out on the local levels (e.g. safe environment training of adults and children/youth, background checks of employees and volunteers who have access to children/youth). Seven parishes/schools received an on-site visit, and another five parishes were interviewed by phone.

One of the auditors noted that an applicant who was a sex offender was prevented from being hired by one of our schools because the results of the background check revealed the criminal history. Thus, the procedures in place are working well.

The diocese continues to provide safe environment training for adults, children, and youth. Background checks are conducted before an applicant is hired or a volunteer is accepted for service with children. The diocese continues to exercise diligence in the selection of persons who will minister in the name of the Church.

Procedures for filing complaints of child sexual abuse, both to civil and church authorities, are clearly and readily available on the diocesan website under the Safe Environment link. In this same location is information about Victim Outreach and Assistance and about contacting our Victim Assistance Coordinator. Any person who has been sexually abused by church personnel, no matter how long ago, is encouraged to make contact.

For more information about the diocese’s implementation of the USCCB Charter, go to the diocesan website (www.dioceseofbmt.org) under the “Safe Environment” tab.