Glossary of Terms

Child Protection Office - The diocesan office responsible for overseeing Safe Environment Programming and Victim Assistance Ministry in the Diocese of Grand Island.

Safe Environment Program - Policies, procedures, and programs implemented to prevent the occurrence of sexual abuse of minors and foster the development of right relationships in the Diocese of Grand Island.

Safe Environment Training - An educational program, focused on the prevention of child sexual abuse.  Safe Environment Training is mandatory for all personnel working with children and youth in the Diocese of Grand Island.  Safe Environment Training includes the initial training, "Creating Safe Faith Environments for Our Children"  followed by annual continuing education programs.

Victim Assistance Ministry - The primary point of contact between the Church and victims reporting allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.  Victim Assistance Ministry in the Diocese of Grand Island is provided by five volunteer Victim Assistance Coordinators with backgrounds in the provision of mental health services, who serve as a resource to individuals seeking guidance in reporting abuse or obtaining therapy services.  

Victim Assistance Coordinator – Person(s) responsible for initial pastoral response and subsequent pastoral care in the name of the Diocese to victims of sexual abuse by church personnel.

Safe Environment Coordinator – Person(s) responsible for safe environment programming at the parish / school / program level.  Duties include implementation of diocesan and parish policy, documentation of training and screening of personnel, and education and training of personnel, parents and children / youth.

Diocesan Review Board – A panel including the Chancellor and eight other persons of whom a minimum of four are practicing Catholics.  This panel serves as the consultative body to the Bishop regarding the implementation and application of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, review of particular allegations or cases, review of Diocesan policies, practices and procedures for the creation of safe environments, proactive protection of minors and prevention of the abuse of minors by personnel of the Diocese.  (Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Article 2; Essential Norms, Article 5).

Child / Youth Personnel – All ordained priests and deacons, all seminarians, all employees of Diocesan departments, agencies, parishes, and Catholic school and lay volunteers who have contact with minors in the name of the Catholic Church.

Regular contact – Having a defined role of involvement with minors in the name of the Church, in which the individual has multiple contacts within a given year or is responsible for the supervision of minors.  Such roles may include, but are not limited to pastoral care or ministry, full-time or part-time teaching, training of minors as altar servers or youth volunteers, accompanying or directing youth choir or similar groups, sponsoring recreational or social activities for minors, supervising minors in nursery or day care assignments, etc.

Youth volunteer – Any individual under the age of 21 who assists in the supervision of minors or provides volunteer services for youth activities and programs.  Young adults between the ages of 19 – 21 may assist in the supervision of minors when in a joint relationship with an adult supervisor age 21 or older.  Minors under the age of 19 should never be expected to have supervisory responsibilities.

Sexual abuse – Any sexual conduct of Diocesan personnel which is  unlawful as described by the laws of the State of Nebraska.

Minor – Under Nebraska law, a person not yet 19 years of age.  Under the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a person not yet 18 years of age.  As defined by the Essential Norms 2011, a person under 18 years of age or an adult who habitually lacks the use of reason.

Vulnerable Adult - Per Nebraska law:  Vulnerable adult shall mean any person eighteen years of age or older who has a substantial mental or functional impairment or for whom a guardian has been appointed under the Nebraska Probate Code.  This term includes, but is not limited to, adults who habitually lack the use of reason.

Child pornography – Any visual depiction of a minor which meets the criteria of child pornography as defined by the Nebraska Law or found in the Child Pornography Prevention Act.

Credible allegation – A claim based upon the identifiable facts, such as specific names, places, or time frames, details of incidents or names of corroborating persons.