Shield the Vulnerable
St. Joseph Parish, a parish of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is wholly committed to providing a safe environment for children and youth.
By following the comprehensive policies established by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and local and state law enforcement, we will ensure a healthy and nurturing environment for our children and youth. We will strive to make our Church a safe environment for them. We will exclude from ministry, employment and volunteer service anyone against whom there is a credible allegation of child abuse. We will ensure that victims are offered quality pastoral care and counseling. We will affirm the efforts of people who provide appropriate and loving outreach to the children and youth of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
We believe that God’s people have the right to healthy ministry and to quality pastoral care.
We believe that at the heart of this ministry is a relationship with God, a desire for holiness, and a commitment to live in right relationship with God’s people.
We believe that the protection of those children and youth entrusted to the church’s care is of paramount interest.
We believe that those who work in the church have grace influenced power to do great good for children and youth.
We believe that when a representative of the church commits child abuse, emotional, spiritual, physical and/or psychological damage occurs.
We believe that the Church must continue to reach out to those who are victims of child abuse with the very compassion of Christ.
We recognize our responsibility to provide avenues of healing for those who are victims and for their families.
We recognize our responsibility to observe the requirements of civil law regarding prompt reporting of suspected child abuse and to continue cooperating with civil authorities.
We recognize there are instances where the state may not prosecute even though a credible allegation has been made. Regardless of criminal proceedings, when a credible allegation has been made we take appropriate action to promote the safety of children and youth.
We recognize our responsibilities as an employer: Church personnel are entitled to fair treatment under the church and civil law.
We comply with Maryland laws requiring reporting suspected child abuse to civil authorities. Under Maryland law any person who has reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse must report the suspected abuse to civil authorities, even if the potential victim is now over 18 years old and even in cases where the alleged perpetrator is deceased. If someone associated with the Church, including clergy, employees, or volunteers of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is suspected of abuse, then the suspected abuse must also be reported to the Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection at 410-547-5348 or the Victims Assistance Hotline at 1-866-417-7469.
Resources for Shield the Vulnerable
Our Parish Contact for Volunteer Certification
Mrs. Karen Osborne
(410) 683 – 0600 x2502
Archdiocesan Contact Information
320 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 547 – 5348