In 1999, the Government of Ontario initiated a project known as the Ontario Screening Initiative. This Project was directed at all organizations within the Province, which work in any way with volunteers. The Government, through an organization called Volunteer Canada, the national voice for volunteerism in Canada, initiated this project in an effort to establish procedures designed to protect, as much as possible, those who are vulnerable among us.
All Church groups within the Province as well as all sports groups and other community organizations were invited to participate in this initiative. Along with the Anglican, the United, and the Unitarian Churches within the Province, the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to participate. Thus, this project was mandated within the Archdiocese of Toronto in 2001. Through this initiative, we, as a Church, have committed ourselves to carry out a formalized process of screening all volunteers who assist in our parishes.
Within the Archdiocese of Toronto, we are focusing on the idea of "Strengthening the Caring Community". The program has been initiated by this title to help parishioners recognize and understand the positive side of screening and the benefit to both the vulnerable and the volunteers within the communities.
At all times, our goal, which is the protection and safety of our vulnerable people, our volunteers, and our Church, will guide our intentions and actions as we fulfill this initiative in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Stephanie NargozDirector, Human Resources