Report Abuse


If you or someone you know has been abused or victimized by someone representing the Catholic Church, believe in the possibility for Hope, Help and Healing. Please contact:

  • The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1.800.392.3738
  • The Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1.800.392.0210
  • Your local civil authorities
  • Diocese of Jefferson City Victim assistance coordinator: Nancy Hoey at 573.694.3199

Click here to visit the State of Missouri's website for more information regarding reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.

Click here to report sexual abuse or related misconduct by a bishop.

Safe Environment Key Contacts

Office of Child and Youth Protection
Director
Connie Schepers
573.635.9127, ext. 224

Victim Support Coordinator
Nancy Hoey
573.694.3199


Alphonse J. Schwartze
Memorial Catholic Center

2207 West Main St
Jefferson City, MO 65109-0914

Quick-Reference VIRTUS Resources available for download

Creating a Safe Environment

“Let me be clear: we must understand sexual abuse, whether by clergy or others, is still a present reality in society. This requires a proper vigilance and the necessity to follow through with safe environment protocols to ensure our children and youth grow and flourish in a healthy Church environment and a societal culture that protects the vulnerable.”

— Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

The Office of Child and Youth Protection in the Diocese of Jefferson City is here to help protect and heal. In our diocese, we are preventing the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults in these four ways:

Creating safe environments

Every person who works or volunteers for the Church in a setting with children must undergo a background check and receive training on "Safe Environment."

This means nearly 18,000 people in our diocese know the warning signs of predatory behavior, know the Diocese’s code of conduct, and know how to report suspicious activity of anyone who might want to harm children. 

Reporting abuses

If you or someone you know has been abused or victimized by someone representing the Catholic Church, believe in the possibility for hope, help, and healing.

Please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Nancy Hoey, at 573-694-3199 or reportabuse@diojeffcity.org.

Also contact the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 1-800-392-3738 or the Missouri Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 1-800-392-0210.

Thoroughly investigating reports of abuse

Every allegation of abuse by someone representing the Catholic Church, whether it concerns a minor or an adult, is reviewed by an independent group of professionals.

The bishop has used a confidential consultative body, or Review Board, since 1991. The bishop relies on their recommendations to determine how to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse.

Improving standards for clergy

Every candidate for the priesthood and diaconate undergoes a thorough investigation and formation. Seminarians and diaconal candidates for the Diocese of Jefferson City are required to undergo psychological screening, receive safe environment training and criminal record checks, and receive formation in psychosexual development.

Improved Safe Environment Policies

In the fall of 2020, safe environment policies were updated to strengthen how our diocese is protecting the vulnerable among us by training employees, priests, deacons, and religious, adults, youth, and volunteers in our parishes, including our schools.

Click here to download the updated Safe Environment Policies, enacted Nov. 1, 2020.

Haga clic aquí para descargar las Políticas de entorno seguro actualizadas, promulgadas el 1 de noviembre de 2020.

New definitions of volunteer roles and responsibilities

In the Safe Environment Policies, the definition of "volunteer" is anyone who serves the mission of the Church with no expectation of being paid.

We categorize three types of volunteers:

Volunteers whose duties involve contact with minors:

All volunteers whose duties involve contact with minors must accomplish the following prior to volunteering:

  • Complete a Protecting God’s Children (Virtus) workshop in person or online
  • Complete a check through the National Sex Offender Registry
  • Complete the Child Abuse or Neglect Registry background check form
  • Read and consent to the Code of Pastoral Conduct.

If the person wishing to volunteer does not have a Social Security Number, a copy of the individual’s passport or visa must accompany the Child Abuse or Neglect Registry background check form. If the individual does not have a passport or visa, then the Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection must be informed of the individual’s non-citizenship status. This information will accompany the form when submitted to the State of Missouri.

Effective July 1, 2021, all Catholic school parents will be required to complete these requirements. In some instances, parents may be exempt from some requirements. These instances must be approved through the Catholic Schools Office and the Office of Child and Youth Protection.

Citation: Section 1.2 of the Safe Environment Policy, p. 6

Volunteers whose duties do not involve contact with minors

All volunteers whose duties do not involve contact with minors must accomplish the following prior to volunteering in any church related activities:

  • Complete a Protecting God’s Children (Virtus) workshop in person or online
  • Complete a check through the National Sex Offender Registry
  • Read and consent to the Code of Pastoral Conduct.

1.3.1. This category of Volunteer must be accompanied at all times by someone who has completed all requirements for volunteers who work with minors (group 1.2)

- Citation: Section 1.3 of Safe Environment Policy, p. 6

Volunteers whose duties do not involve contact with minors, and who volunteer no more than ONCE per calendar year

Volunteers who do not work with minors may be members of a council or committee (e.g., parish and finance councils, or stewardship committee), the officers of a parish organization (e.g., Altar Society or Men’s group), or certain volunteers for an event (e.g., at a parish picnic or fish fry when there is no involvement with minors during their service in the kitchen).

All volunteers whose duties do not involve contact with minors and who volunteer no more than one time per calendar year must accomplish the following prior to volunteering in any church related activities:

  • Complete a check through the National Sex Offender Registry
  • Read and consent to the single-use coded Code of Pastoral Conduct to indicate single occasion volunteer

1.4.1. This category of Volunteer must be accompanied at all times by someone who has completed all requirements for volunteers who work with minors (group 1.2)

- Citation: Safe Environment Policy, p. 6

Complete the Single-Occasion Volunteer Form

This easy-to-use form streamlines your Safe Environment compliance: Please click here to fill out the Single Occasion Volunteer Form.

Effective July 1, 2021, all Catholic school parents will be required to complete these requirements. In some instances, parents may be exempt from some requirements. These instances must be approved through the Catholic Schools Office and the Office of Child and Youth Protection.

Please keep in mind that involvement in church-related activities is not defined as volunteering (e.g., participating in a quilting group, altar society meetings, or attending Mass or devotions). These forms of participation may be contributing to the mission of the church, but they are not strictly forms of volunteering.

For single-occasion volunteers, we have an easy-to-use form to help streamline your Safe Environment compliance. Please click here to fill out the Single Occasion Volunteer Form.

Downloadable Resources

Please see the PDFs below, and contact our office if you have questions on any of these documents.

Safe Environment Training


General Steps to Certification:

Step 1: Complete a VIRTUS training session (in person or online).

Step 2: Read and consent to the Pastoral Code of Conduct. This step is included in your online VIRTUS certification.

Step 3: Prompted by your VIRTUS registration and with your permission, our office will run a check through the National Sex Offender Registry on your behalf.

Step 4: Lastly, download, complete and return the Child Abuse or Neglect Registry background check form to our office

Note that some volunteer roles may not require all four of these components for compliance. Please read the Safe Environment Policy carefully to determine the level of certification you need to complete.

Resources for Parishes

Downloadable Graphics

Accountability Reporting

List of Credibly Abused Clergy

A list of clergy and religious brothers who have served in the Diocese of Jefferson City and who have been credibly accused of actions which were in violation of the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People (“Charter”), or which would have constituted a violation of the Charter if the Charter had been in effect, was first published on Nov. 8, 2018.

The list has been updated on Dec. 16, 2018,  Aug. 1, 2019, July 2, 2020, and October 12, 2020.

DOWNLOAD THE CURRENT LIST →

Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service

The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service has been established to receive reports of sexual abuse and related misconduct by bishops and to relay those reports to proper Church authorities for investigation. Where a report includes a crime, such as the sexual abuse of a minor, it will also be reported to civil authorities. Otherwise, reports will be kept confidential.

If you have any other kind of complaint about a bishop—such as parish assignments, church closings, or homily contents—please address those directly to your diocesan or eparchial bishop instead. Sexual abuse by a priest, deacon or a staff member or volunteer of the Catholic Church should be reported to the Victim Assistance Coordinator in your local diocese/eparchy.

Call 800-276-1562 or visit ReportBishopAbuse.org.

If you are the victim of sexual abuse (or any other crime), please contact local law enforcement.

2018 Listening Session Transcripts

In late 2018 Bishop McKnight held six listening sessions across the diocese. A summary of what he heard is here.

READ THE SUMMARY OF RESPONSES →