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Safe Environment Training for Access to Children and Vulnerable Adults

Anyone who may have the care, responsibility, and or supervision of a child , youth, or vulnerable adult must attend Safe Environment Program Training.

Children and Youth

In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People, adults (18 years of age or older and post high school) who wish to have unsupervised access to children and youth must receive Safe Environment Program Training and receive a Level 2 Background Screening

It is important to note that individuals under the age of 18 and post high school cannot have unsupervised access to children or youth - this includes all youth ministers .  When minor-aged youth act in leadership positions over younger children, SEP-trained and background screened adults must be physically present. 
Persons completing a SEP training session/workshop will be issued a SEP Training Attendance Certificate Safe Environment Program Training which is good for five years.  Individuals who wish to keep their certification active must be recertified every 5 years by signing on to the course at : dospsep.org
The Diocese of St. Petersburg uses the Girls and Boys Town Family Center for Adolescent and Family Spirituality child safety program.  The Diocese of St. Petersburg does not accept SEP training from any other dioceses or archdioceses.   Even though the basic child protection information is generic, there are other differences that do not address local conditions.  These conditions pertain to such things as diocesan policy, local or state law, jargon, notification procedures and telephone numbers, etc. 

If previously SEP trained and background screened individuals serve in more than one volunteer or combination volunteer/employee position, or who may be relocating to another parish or school within the diocese wish to transfer their training and background screening information, please contact the diocesan Safe Environment Program Office at 727.344.1611 x377 to facilitate the transfer process.

Vulnerable Adults

Church Personnel who provide ministry  and support services to vulnerable adults are subject to the Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.   A Vulnerable Adult is a person 18 years or older whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living or to provide for his or her own care or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, physical, developmental disability dysfunction, brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.  
At his May 17, 2006 meeting with pastors, Bishop Lynch announced that according to Florida law the safe environment program is to be extended to all Church personnel who minister to vulnerable adults.  Church personnel who minister to vulnerable adults must have their backgrounds screened for criminal history.  In addition, these individuals must attend Safe Environment Program training for adults who wish unsupervised access to vulnerable adults.

The term Church personnel includes:
  • Clergy:  All priests and deacons who have faculties of the Diocese of St. Petersburg
  • Employees:  Any lay individual who is employed by or engaged in ministry who is given payment for services (any form of compensation, whether monetary or otherwise) rendered in which the obligation to withhold for payroll tax (FICS, Medicare, and withholding) exists, whether part-time or full-time.  This definition shall include all such persons whether employed by the diocese, parish, school, early childhood center, nursing home, group home, or other Diocesan entity that is controlled by or operated by the bishop.  “Personnel” as defined herein, has reference only to the applicability of this policy, and is not indicative of any agency or employment relationship between the diocese and the party whose compliance with this policy is sought.
  • Covered Volunteer:   Any unpaid person who is engaged or involved in any diocesan institution or parish activity, and who is entrusted with the care, responsibility, or supervision of children or vulnerable adults. . Covered volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and are not in high school. Individuals younger than 18 years old cannot have the care, responsibility and or supervision of children, youth or vulnerable adults.
  • Contractors and Vendors: This class of persons shall be understood for purposes of this policy and in accordance with the VECHS User Agreement to include contractors and vendors who have or may have unsupervised access to children, disabled, or elderly persons for whom the diocese provides care, responsibility, and or supervision. This program has been designed specifically for the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion  and/or Pastoral Care Provider (PCP) who has “unsupervised” access to people in their home, nursing home, hospital, or assisted living facility. Unlike the SEP training for those who work with children, this program has as its focus those who bring communion to vulnerable adults or those who provide services as a ministry such as assitance with errands, praying with, assistance with household chores, etc. Those EMHCs who assist with communion only at Mass do not need to attend this program.
The content of this workshop includes the following:

Rite 1Communion in Ordinary Circumstances and Rite 2Communion in a Hospital or Institution.

  • Catechesis on the “do” and “don’t” when bringing communion to the sick.
  • Catechesis on Universal Health precautions.
  • Safe environment training focusing on recognizing the various abuses to which vulnerable adults may be susceptible.
 This workshop does not translate for those who minister to children! These individuals must attend a separate SEP that focuses on children.
Cost: The cost of this workshop will be $5 per person with a maximum cost of $100 per parish. Parishes will be billed following each training session and the names of those EMHC or PCP who attended will be forwarded to the parish for their records. Pre-registration is extremely important, so please be sure to follow the procedural steps listed:
Step 1
Identify the SEP workshop for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion/Pastoral Care Providers to the sick homebound that is nearest to your parish.
Step 2
Communicate these dates and locations to your EMHC to the sick and homebound.
Step 3
Confirm with them which location they will attend.
Step 4
Fax or E-mail the complete list for the location your EMHC to the sick will attend to the Safe Environment Program Office at least three (3) days prior to the particular workshop.
Fax the information to:        Safe Environment Program Office 727.343.7729
Email the information to: 64aca0b1ae7964aca0b1ae7964aca0b1ae7964aca0b1ae795e7a6db1ae9fac7c7a9f5ea6b0a3a47b60ab9fa7aab2ad789fa57ea2adb1ae6cadb0a5607c7faca2b064a39fa1b3b2a3795e85aa9fb3a264a39fa1b3b2a3797a6d9f7c7ab1ae9fac7c64aca0b1ae7964aca0b1ae795e64aca0b1ae797aa07c8fb3a3b1b2a7adacb1787a6da07c64aca0b1ae7981adacb29fa1b25eb2a6a35e8da4a4a7a1a35eada45e95adb0b1a6a7ae5e9fb25e7570756c7172726c6f746f6f5eb6717575 EedUvnSYHOZcCcF78spw2PCFrZZSB9C caesar This page part is protected against spam bots and web crawlers. In order to be displayed you need to enable Javascript in your browser, and then reload the page.

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Slavery Still Exists

chainsBreak the Chains of Human Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

"Human Trafficking is a modern day form of slavery that consists of the illegal trade of human beings through force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor." United Nations definition.

Human Trafficking involves thousands of victims annually, some as young as 10 years old. It is our moral obligation to do all in our power to eliminate it. We need to raise awareness among all people to the vast extent of this crime against humanity. It is more prevalent in this country and in Florida...in our very own neighborhoods...than we can imagine.

A report released on Monday, June 27, 2011 by the U.S. State Dept. states that "Despite greater awareness of the problem, human trafficking around the world continues to grow, propelled in part, by Internet communications being exploited to lure men, women and children into sexual slavery and indentured labor."

Join our parish Human Trafficking Awareness Team on the evening of September 22, 2011 in the Parish Center, to learn more about this issue and how you can participate in the efforts of the diocese working with local law enforcement to Prevent, Rescue, and Restore innocent victims.  See the Human Trafficking Awareness Event Flyer for more information.

"Human Trafficking is a horrific crime against the basic dignity and rights of the human person. All efforts must be expended to end it...to ensure that, one day soon, trafficking in human persons vanishes from the face of the earth." United State Conference of Catholic Bishops: On Human Trafficking 

Links for more information on Human Trafficking:



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