As part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Safe Environment Program, all volunteers who work with children must complete a Safe Environment training program and a state and national background check at least every five years. They must also read and sign a form verifying they have read the Code of Ethical Standards for Church Leaders, as well as read a copy of Mandatory Reporting Responsibilities. If you have questions on if your role works with children, please email Sabina Carter at

2024 Safe Environment Awareness Week

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee recognizes April 21-27 as Safe Environment Awareness Week. Each year in the month of April, which is recognized around the country as child abuse prevention month, we dedicate a week to elevating the general awareness of the Church’s efforts to keep our children safe. We want people to know that we are committed to maintaining safe environments in our parishes and schools through adult child abuse prevention training; criminal background checks for all clergy, volunteers working with minors, and employees; safety training for children in each grade level; and adhering to all mandatory reporting requirement laws.

This year join us at Holy Family to mark our support for child abuse prevention by wearing the color blue on Monday, April 22. Wearing blue helps remind us and encourage others to prevent child abuse and support healthy children and families.

To read Archbishop Listecki’s proclamation in English, click here. To read it in Spanish, click here

Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s website for the Safeguarding All God’s Family program

On the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s website for Safeguarding All God’s Family program, you can register for Safe Environment sessions by scrolling down to the boxes near the bottom of the page. In the box titled “Register for Safe Environment Sessions,” click the orange “register” button to be taken to the CMG Connect website, where you will sign up for training.

Safeguarding all God’s Family Training Session Schedule

Instructions for Completeing Initial Safe Environment Certification

Child Abuse Prevention

Keeping your child’s personal information personal: If your children gives out personal information over the Internet, not only is it easy to track, it’s tough to completely remove. Emphasize to them how important it is that they keep personal information private.

  • Make sure that they have a strong (ideally, alphanumeric) username and password that doesn’t reveal anything personal.
  • Encourage them not to give out their e-mail address, if they have one.
  • If your children tell you that they have given out personal information online, contact your Internet service provider or the site where the information is posted to see what you can do to have it removed.

For more information, visit

Parents and Guardians: Get Involved: Parents and guardians play a key role in the success of parish programs for young people. Parents and guardians who are involved in parish programs and events will be in the best position to protect their own children as well as all the children in the parish community. Involvement and communication are important factors in helping to ensure safe environments for all of our children.

Be Vigilant: It is vitally important that we are constantly vigilant—that we always observe the behaviors of those who interact with children. And we must always communicate our concerns to the appropriate parties. Sometimes this means communicating our safety concerns to our children. And sometimes this means communicating our concerns about seemingly inappropriate behavior to those who are in a position to intervene. Parents must also listen carefully to their children and observe both their children’s activities and the behavior of older children and adults who interact with them. When children exhibit dramatic behavioral changes, adults must find out what caused the changes. Being aware of what’s happening with our children means talking to, listening to, and observing them—at every opportunity.

Ensuring Your Child’s School Is Safe: Every teacher, coach and volunteer who works with children in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s parishes and schools must have a background check before he or she is permitted to work in any school or parish-related job or activity that involves contact with children.

Where Do Your Kids Spend Their Time? Child safety tip: You can help keep your children safe by knowing where they spend their time. Get to know the adults who show up at the various locations in the community where children gather and where they play together. Be wary of any adult who seems more interested in creating a relationship with a child than with other adults. Pay attention when an adult seems to single out a particular child for a relationship or for special attention. Warning signs include treats, gifts, vacations, or other special favors offered only to one specific child.
Source: “Know the Rules . . . After-School Safety Tips for Children Who Are Home Alone,”

Know the Warning Signs of Abuse: Child molesters look like everyone else. They don’t look like scary people that anyone should know to avoid. Rather, they live with their families in our neighborhoods. One of the most important ways to ensure the safety of children in our environments is to know the warning signs of adults who present a risk of harm to children. Among these signs are when the person (1) always wants to be alone with children in areas where no one can monitor the interaction, (2) allows children to do things their parents would not permit, (3) is always more excited to be with children than with adults, and (4) discourages others from participating in activities involving kids.
Source: Paul Ashton, “Know the Warning Signs, Part 2,” featured November 19, 2007, at

Safety Rules Bear Repeating: Research reminds us that teaching children how to resist the overtures of a potential molester requires repetition and reinforcement. Children and young people need to know the rules, and they need to hear them over and over and over again so that the rules become part of a thought process. This is done in the same way we teach the rules about looking both ways before crossing the street and the danger of getting too close to an open flame. Empowering children to speak up and resist the overtures of potential molesters can stop a child molester in his or her tracks. Molesters who fear being caught—and being labeled a molester—may decide it is not worth the risk and back off.

Looking for volunteer opportunities?

Visit Holy Family’s “Find Your Gifts” page to see how you can use your talents in your parish.