Office of Youth Protection

Safe Environment Program

Our Safe Environment Program safeguards children and other vulnerable persons, assures members and their families that we maintain a safe environment, protects members from awkward situations, misunderstandings, and appearances of impropriety, builds trust with arch/dioceses and parishes, and protects the good name of the Knights of Columbus.

Internationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of prevention of child abuse, Dr. Monica Applewhite provides an informative overview of the sophisticated "grooming techniques" used by sexual predators to deceive victims, their families, and their communities. For more about Dr. Applewhite, visit her website at http://monicaapplewhite.com/

Our policy requires that members complete applicable arch/diocesan background checks and any other requirements that may be required by the local arch/bishop and/or pastor to serve as a volunteer on parish property. Our own program is operated in conjunction with our strategic partner in youth protection and safe environments –PRAESIDIUM, Inc. Praesidium specializes in preventing sexual abuse in organizations that serve youth and vulnerable adults. Having trained more than one million people online and hundreds of thousands in person, Praesidium is the largest and most comprehensive sexual abuse risk management firm globally. To learn more about Praesidium, go to https://www.praesidiuminc.com/

Three training modules are required for members serving in youth leader and certain officer roles: “Meet Sam,”addressing the issue of sexual abuse awareness, “Duty to Report,”covering legal reporting obligations, and “Know Your Policies,”a review of Knights of Columbus safe environment policies. We also maintain a youth leader screening process, including background checks, specifically for members who lead Knights of Columbus youth activities.

Anyone suspecting abuse should (1) report suspected abuse to law enforcement; (2) notify the local diocese of the suspected abuse; and (3) notify the Knights of Columbus of the suspected abuse at 1-844-KOFC-SAFE (1-844-563-2723)