Safe Environment Information for Adult Volunteers

On this page:

Sexual Misconduct Administrative Policies and Procedures

The Diocese’s formal policy is available in both English and Spanish:

Code of Pastoral Conduct

The Diocese of Sacramento's Code of Pastoral Conduct applies to all priests, deacons, pastoral ministers, spiritual directors, administrators, staff and volunteers who work in ministry in the Diocese.

Safe Haven Training

All diocesan employees, and all volunteers who work with children, are required to complete a child abuse prevention and diocesan policy training program once every three years. Our on-line training program, Safe Haven, is offered through Catholic Mutual Group.  Safe Haven is a 3 part video series, which identifies real-life abuse and neglect situations that volunteers and employees may encounter.  The training addresses important topics such as pornography, grooming techniques, social media interaction, and boundary violations.  The training also covers the different types of abuse and neglect.  Each video segment is followed by a short quiz that emphasizes the key learning points of the video. 

This training is designed for adults and contains sensitive information.  The video vignettes are real-life scenarios.  Please be prudent when watching the videos and ensure no children are present.

This training is available in both English and Spanish.  Please click on the appropriate link below based on where you are volunteering/employed.  Please contact the Safe Environment office if you need your training to be affiliated with multiple sites. 

Guidelines for Adults Working with Children

Fingerprinting/Background Checks

A thorough and formal process of fingerprinting and background checks occurs for all employees and volunteers who have regular contact with children. The request for live scan service form is available at your parish or school office.

To find where Live Scan fingerprinting services are available in your county go to: Questions may be directed to (916) 733-0237.

Personal Safety Education Training for Children and Youth

The Diocese of Sacramento’s programs respond to the U.S. Bishops mandate in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that all dioceses implement safe environment programs. Program content instructs and helps children and their parents with matters of personal safety so that they are confident in self-protection skills and capable of identifying potential harm, avoiding vulnerable situations and communicating effectively.

  • For Children Grades K-8: Circle of Grace
  • For Youth Grades 9-12:   Circle of Grace

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Parent Education and Support Materials

Enhanced Screening of All Seminarian Candidates

The Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Sacramento follows a 12-point process in assessing and screening applications of persons who wish to become candidates for diocesan priesthood and attend the seminary. A formal application and documentation is required, including written statements and recommendations. The process takes several months, and at any time during this process, the Office of Vocations reserves the right to deny an applicant.

The screening is thorough and includes several interviews during the “discernment phase” to assist the applicant as he considers the significance of this decision to answer God’s call to serve in this way. In addition to several personal interviews with standardized protocol, the candidate is asked to complete psychological testing. If the candidate completes these components favorably, recommendations are made to the Diocesan Bishop and the applicant is approved to proceed with an additional admissions process for the selected seminary.

The candidate must agree to these enhanced screening measures at the onset of his inquiry to further ensure full understanding of the expectations and requirements of the priesthood:

  • Acknowledge, sign and accept the Diocese of Sacramento’s Administrative Policies and Procedures for Sexual Misconduct.
  • Acknowledge, sign and accept the Seminarian Policy Booklet.
  • Submit to fingerprinting that will be provided to state and Federal authorities for background clearance.

Throughout inquiry, discernment, interviewing, testing and seminary, although accepted by the Diocese as a candidate for priesthood, the Diocese has the responsibility to continue challenging the authenticity of the candidate’s vocation during the formation period.

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How to Report a Formal Complaint

If anyone has witnessed, or has reason to believe, or might suspect, there is or has been abuse involving clergy, employees or volunteers at any of our Catholic schools, parish religious education programs or other church-related events, those suspicions or allegations are to be reported first to civil authorities (law enforcement, child protective services, or adult protective services) and then to the Diocese via the toll-free line at 866-777-9133. You may also reach the Pastoral Care Coordinator at 916-733-0142. Reports can be made in English and Spanish