WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I REPORT?
ADULT VICTIM/SURVIVOR REPORT
If you are an adult survivor of childhood abuse by a Diocesan employee, such as a member of the clergy, religious, teacher, principal, etc., your intial contact will be with our Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC).
After you share the information with the VAC, the allegation wiill be shared with the Bishop's Delegate per the procedures of the Bishop's Review Board. The Bishop's Delegate will investigate the allegations, including meeting with you, and will notify the accused of the allegations. Throughout the process, you will have support of the VAC and any other sources as needed, such as counseling. Should you choose not to have any professional supports, your wishes will be respected. At the conclusion of the investigation, you will be informed of the outcome. If you choose supports such as counseling, those supports will continue for as long as it is deemed necessary by the professionals providing the services.
CHILD VICTIM SURVIVOR SUPPORT
If a minor is the reported victim of abuse or neglect by a Diocesan employee, such as a member of the clergy, religious, teacher, principal, etc., the information will be reported to CSS immediately. CSS will provide an intial screening of the allegation and will inform the nessecary authorities per the specific situation. All CSS employees are mandated reporters, which means that if they are made aware of credible allegations of child abuse or neglect, they are required by law to report it to The Massachusetts Department of Child and Familes (DCF). DCF, the proper legal authorities, and possibly the Catholic Education Center would need to be informed of the allegations. CSS professionals will work with the other entities to provide supportive services to the child and family, including information, referrals, and counseling. CSS child protective staff will help the child and family deal with issues such as safe planning, family stress, and navigating the child welfare system.
It is important to remember that whether serving a child or adult, we are here to support and serve you during a difficult time in your life. If you are a victim or know of someone who has been a victim of abuse or neglect, please contact:
ARLENE MCNAMEE, L.C.S.W.
Los Servicios Sociales Catolicos
Fall River MA
Your privacy and confidentiality is of utmost importance to us.