Protecting God’s Children

The Safe Environment Program for the Diocese of St. Augustine has been in place in one form or another since 1998. All elements of our program are required by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and the essential norms deriving from the Charter. The essential norms, having received the recognitio of the Holy See, are particular law in the dioceses of the United States.

The diocesan Safe Environment Program consists of the following components:

  • A Criminal Background Check for clergy, religious, lay employees, educators and covered volunteers. It is diocesan policy that background checks and screening be completed before a person assumes his or her position or begins volunteer service; there can be no compromises or exceptions regarding this aspect of our Safe Environment Program.  For instructions on how to register online and complete a Criminal Background Check to be a covered volunteer, please click here. For the Fieldprint Florida website, please click here.
  • The Protecting God’s Children program is designed to educate clergy, religious, employees, educators and volunteers in ways and means to establish and maintain a safe environment for children and youth.  To see which classes are available in the Diocese and to register, please click here.
  • The Children & Youth Personal Safety class is designed to provide children and youth the tools they need to overcome the advances of someone who intends to do them harm. This program is designed to assist parents and teachers in this important task. It is of vital importance that every child and every youth in our Catholic schools, religious education programs and parish youth programs be given the opportunity to take part in this critical element of our Safe Environment Program. Here again, there can be no compromises or short-cuts taken.
All of the above components of our diocesan program are in full compliance with the requirements of the USCCB’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. Bishop Felipe J. Estévez has directed that the program be fully implemented and continue to be fully implemented in each parish, school and agency of the diocese.