Archdiocese of Omaha in compliance with U.S. bishops’ child protection policies  


Archdiocese of Omaha in compliance with U.S. bishops’ child protection policies 

December 14, 2023 (OMAHA, NE) – The Archdiocese of Omaha’s child protection policies and procedures comply with the comprehensive action plan adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to protect children and young people and to deal pastorally and effectively with allegations of sexual abuse.

StoneBridge Business Partners, an independent auditing firm retained by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), completed an independent on-site audit of the archdiocese’s compliance with the provisions of the Charter from 2020-2023. This marks 19 consecutive years that the archdiocese has complied with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter).

“We are pleased that our child protection training procedures, policies and programs comply with the Charter,” said Mary Beth Hanus, director of victim outreach and prevention. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to the safety of children and upholding the tenets of the Charter.”

From 2020-2023, 50,261 children, priests, deacons and laity have participated in safe environment requirements, which include a background check and a code of conduct acknowledgement.

The Charter includes procedures in addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors, as well as guidelines “for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of further acts of abuse.”

After the approval of the Charter in 2002, the USCCB established the Office of Child and Youth Protection. The Archdiocese of Omaha’s safe environment efforts began in 2003.

From 2020-2023, 14,500 people from across the archdiocese were newly safe-environment certified. During that same time, an average of 12,500 safe-environment-trained adults interacted with minors in archdiocesan parishes and schools. This includes archdiocesan clergy, employees, volunteers, parents and anyone else who works with children.

For the 2020-2023 audit period, archdiocesan parishes and schools report that 26,000 minors were trained in the Circle of Grace safety curriculum, which covers various aspects of safe environments, personal safety and abuse prevention.

The audit evaluated the archdiocese’s efforts to satisfy requirements relating to effective reporting and responses to allegations of sexual abuse; promoting healing and reconciliation with survivors and those harmed by clergy sexual abuse; ensuring that archdiocesan and religious priests, deacons, educators, volunteers and other personnel are properly screened through background evaluations; and the archdiocese’s efforts to conduct safe environment training for children and adults who work with children.

To learn more about the archdiocese’s safe environment policies and programs or to report an allegation of sexual abuse by church personnel and volunteers, contact Mary Beth Hanus, director of victim outreach and prevention, at 402-827-3798.