The Safe Environment Program (previously called "Protecting God's Children") is a screening process (implemented by Archbishop Miller in 2009) designed to create, maintain and promote a safe church environment for all those to whom we serve. It is to ensure that we fulfill our duty and obligations as a caring faith community to place appropriate persons in ministries involving minors and vulnerable persons.
This program assists parishes in carrying out the Safe Environment Policy by providing training and support to pastors and screening coordinators, and seeks to protect and preserve the integrity and reputation of the employees and volunteers.
"Insofar as the lay faithful assist their pastors in directing parish activities, certain policies and procedures must be set up so that all concerned will understand their respective responsibilities. Clear boundaries must be in place for the protection of the clergy, the lay Christian faithful-employees and volunteers -and especially of our young people and vulnerable adults, including the elderly and people who are disabled." - Archbishop Miller
Because this program is designed to be preventive, it will involve police record checks and training regarding a "code of conduct for all employees and volunteers."
As well as screening, the Archdiocese has introduced an awareness DVD session named "Called to Protect". This program provides parishioners with the tools for best practices in ministering safely to the young and vulnerable. Although it is not yet mandatory in the Vancouver Archdiocese, in other areas of Canada it is and as such speaks to the importance of this training.