Child Safety Committee
The mission of the Child Safety Committee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is to reduce and, where possible, eliminate potential risks to youth within the parishes, schools, offices, and agencies of the archdiocese. The committee works in partnership with parents, teachers, schools, parishes, and all others persons and institutions having responsibility for the safety of children in the archdiocese.
The Child Safety Committee helps oversee the development of policies and procedures used by parishes and elementary and secondary parochial schools to deal with emergencies of all kinds, including, but not limited to, accidents resulting in injury, fires, bomb threats, unauthorized entry on a school campus, utility failures and natural disasters.
The Child Safety Committee also assists in the establishment of appropriate actions and responses for archdiocesan personnel in identifying and dealing with child neglect, child abuse, child custody and child privacy issues. The committee has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Code of Ethical Conduct for Clergy, Employees and Volunteers working with Minors; background checks; the Safe Touch Program; and Protecting God's Children workshops.
Established under its present name in 2001, the Child Safety Committee has its origins in a smaller committee that was created in the early 1990s to address child abuse prevention. The committee is chaired by Deacon Phil Hengen, Director, Office of Child and Youth Protection, and reports to Archbishop Robert Carlson. The membership of the committee is multi-disciplinary and is comprised of representatives of several fields of expertise, including education, risk management, mental health, law, family counseling, and child safety.