Reporting Protocols Relating to Allegations of Abuse or Neglect

Policy of the Diocese of Jefferson City

Updated 9 October 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

This policy delineates clearly the expectation of the Diocese regarding reporting allegations of abuse, involving minors or vulnerable adults.  For reference purposes, there is a “Frequently Asked Questions” section which, among other things, contains key definitions regarding what is meant when referring to “abuse,” “neglect,” and “vulnerable adult.”  Additionally, for purposes of clarification, this reporting responsibility, as it pertains to allegations involving priests and brothers, applies equally to religious order priests and brothers.

1. Allegations of Abuse or Neglect Involving Current Minor Against a Priest, Brother, Deacon, Religious Sister, Employee or Volunteer

If an allegation of abuse or neglect involves a person who is currently a minor (under 18) and the person accused of the abuse or neglect is a priest, deacon, religious sister, employee of the Diocese/parish/school or a volunteer of the Diocese/parish/school, then the diocesan/parish/school representative receiving the information about the allegation and who has reasonable cause to suspect that abuse or neglect may have occurred, shall immediately make a hotline call to the Missouri Children’s Division Child Abuse Hotline and shall then notify his/her supervisor.  Thereafter, the supervisor shall notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.  Thereafter, the Diocese, or its agents, shall notify the local police and the appropriate county prosecuting attorney.  If the person receiving information about an allegation of abuse believes there is not reasonable cause to suspect that abuse has occurred, he or she shall notify his/her supervisor in order to ensure the supervisor is aware of the reported situation, as well as the determination.  If the person accused is the supervisor, then the person receiving the report shall directly notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.

2. Allegations of Abuse or Neglect Involving Current Minor Against a Person Who Is Not a Priest, Brother, Deacon, Religious Sister, Employee or Volunteer

If an allegation of abuse or neglect involves a person who is currently a minor (under 18) and the person accused is not a priest, brother, deacon, religious sister, employee of the Diocese/parish/school or a volunteer of the Diocese/parish/school, then the diocesan/parish/school representative receiving the information about the allegation and who has reasonable cause to suspect that abuse or neglect may have occurred, shall immediately make a hotline call to the Missouri Children’s Division Child Abuse Hotline and shall then notify his/her supervisor.  Thereafter, the supervisor shall notify the Superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Diocese.  If the person receiving information about an allegation of abuse believes there is not reasonable cause to suspect that abuse has occurred, he or she shall notify his/her supervisor in order to ensure the supervisor is aware of the reported situation, as well as the determination.  If the person accused is the supervisor, then the person receiving the report shall directly notify the Superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Diocese.

3. Allegations of Abuse Involving a Person Who Is Not a Minor Against a Priest, Brother, Deacon, Religious Sister, Employee or Volunteer

If an allegation of abuse does not involve a current minor (the person is 18 years old or older) and the person accused is a priest, brother, deacon, religious sister, employee of the Diocese/parish/school or a volunteer of the Diocese/parish/school, then the person receiving the allegation shall inform his/her supervisor of the allegation.  Thereafter, the supervisor shall remind the person making the allegation of his/her right to contact law enforcement and shall offer the assistance of the parish or the Diocese in contacting law enforcement.  The supervisor shall also notify the Chancellor of the Diocese. If the person accused is the supervisor, then the person receiving the report shall directly notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.

4. Allegations of Abuse Involving a Person Who Is Not a Minor Against a Person Who Is Not a Priest, Brother, Deacon, Religious Sister, Employee or Volunteer

If an allegation of abuse does not involve a current minor (the person is 18 years old or older) and the person accused is not a priest, brother, deacon, religious sister, employee of the Diocese/parish/school or a volunteer of the Diocese/parish/school, then the person receiving the allegation shall inform his/her supervisor of the allegation.  Thereafter, the supervisor shall remind the person making the allegation of his/her right to contact law enforcement and shall offer the assistance of the parish or the Diocese in contacting law enforcement.  If the person accused is the supervisor, then the person receiving the report shall directly notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.

5. Allegations of Abuse Involving a Person Who Is a Vulnerable Adult Against a Priest, Brother, Deacon, Religious Sister, Employee or Volunteer

If an allegation of abuse involves a vulnerable adult and the person accused is a priest, brother, deacon, religious sister, employee of the Diocese/parish/school or a volunteer of the Diocese/parish/school, then the person receiving the allegation shall inform his/her supervisor of the allegation.  Thereafter, the supervisor shall remind the person making the allegation of his/her right to contact law enforcement and shall offer the assistance of the parish or the Diocese in contacting law enforcement.  The supervisor shall also notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.  If the person accused is the supervisor, then the person receiving the report shall directly notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.

6. Allegations of Abuse Involving a Person Who Is a Vulnerable Adult Against a Person Who Is Not a Priest, Brother, Deacon, Religious Sister, Employee or Volunteer

If an allegation of abuse involves a vulnerable adult and the person accused is not a priest, brother, deacon, religious sister, employee of the Diocese/parish/school or a volunteer of the Diocese/parish/school, then the person receiving the allegation shall inform his/her supervisor of the allegation.  Thereafter, the supervisor shall remind the person making the allegation of his/her right to contact law enforcement and shall offer the assistance of the parish or the Diocese in contacting law enforcement.  The supervisor shall also notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.  If the person accused is the supervisor, then the person receiving the report shall directly notify the Chancellor of the Diocese.