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Frequently Asked Questions

Child, Youth and Adult Protection

To report a concern please contact Bob Fontaine (208) 350-7555 or

Veronica Childers (208) 350-7556.



Frequently Asked Questions-Safe Environment Training and Background Issues



Revised 1/29/2014

The Catholic Church in Idaho welcomes the opportunity to

listen and effectively respond to your concerns.


Justice and compassion call us to respond to the harm you or someone you know has experienced from someone who represents the Church. The Church wants to listen and appropriately address the hurt that may have occurred when pastoral care was exercised improperly. Bringing a serious complaint (of sexual misconduct) to the Church can be frightening. Be assured that the Church wants to help you and is committed to providing you with a safe and confidential process so that additional harm does not occur and justice is served. The Church is sorry for the pain you or someone you know has experienced, and will do everything possible to help bring about healing.  


What do we mean by sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct includes all forms of exploitation and molestation as well as behavior by which a person who represents the Church uses another person as an object of sexual gratification. The term sexual "abuse" refers to the exploitation, molestation and sexually inappropriate behavior directed toward a minor child. Sexual abuse is a crime and must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

For more complete information regarding the Diocese of Boise's policy on misconduct, please click here.



What if the misconduct happened many years ago?

Although time can help heal past wounds, the effects of sexual misconduct are not always cured with time. Many times it takes years for people to realize that they may have been inappropriately treated by someone of trust. Don't let the fact that years have passed stop you from seeking help. Act now, and ask for help.

(208) 350-7555



What if the misconduct happened outside the Diocese of Boise?

The Catholic Church of Idaho stands ready to help you deal with issues of misconduct, wherever they may have taken place. Call us for more information.

(208) 350-7555



How does the diocese handle complaints of sexual misconduct?

Working closely with Church officials, initial information regarding complaints of misconduct is gathered by the Director of HR/CYAP, Vicar General for Clergy or the Bishop.  An appropriate course of action is taken and may include further investigation culminating in a recommendation to the Bishop. 

In matters dealing with sexual abuse of minors recommendations are reviewed by the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse.  The Review Board is made up of a majority of qualified lay people who advise the Bishop on matters of sexual abuse which involve priests or deacons.  The Bishop may also ask the Review Board for recommendations concerning other matters of sexual misconduct which may not involve minors.


Are you unsure that your complaint meets this definition?

If you are unsure or wary about making a complaint, please call the Director of Child, Youth and Adult Protection, Bob Fontaine, (208) 350-7555. He will help you find answers to your questions.



How to notify the Church about your concerns

Contact the Coordinator of Child, Youth and Adult Protection for the Diocese of Boise.


Coordinator of Child, Youth

and Adult Protection

Dr. Bob Fontaine

(208) 350-7555


Frequently Asked Questions

Safe Environment Training and Background Check Issues

How often does the Diocese require safe environment training for employees and volunteers?

Employees and volunteers currently satisfy diocesan and audit requirements with one training.  However, the diocese supports and encourages parishes and schools who provide additional training for greater awareness of safe environment issues.



Will the Diocese of Boise honor safe environment training provided in other dioceses?

Yes.  However, the individual must provide proof of training verified through a certificate of completion or other written verification.  In addition, the parish or school must provide the employee/volunteer information relevant to Idaho Code and reporting guidelines.  This information is provided in the “Care Enough to Call” brochure provided in the diocesan training.



How often should parishes provide training to minors? 

Training should be provided every fall for youth in grades K-12.  Additional training should be provided later in the school year for youth who have never been trained.  The audit requires a single training for youth during years K-12.  However, the diocese encourages training to be available each year for all youth; especially for those who have not had previous training. Circle of Grace is the approved curriculum to be used in our diocese. Circle of Grace is age appropriate and should be offered every year to all youth. Training materials are available at every parish and school.



Many public schools provide training in safe environment.  Is it necessary for us to provide training if there is training in our local public schools?

Yes.  The Bishop, following a recommendation from the Review Board, has required that all parishes and schools provide training in safe environment.  This training should be offered at the beginning of the academic year in September or October when religious education classes begin and again in the spring for those who have not had training.



How often should background checks be conducted for employees and/or volunteers?  If an employee or volunteer working with youth has had a recent background check is it necessary for them to obtain another prior to working or volunteering for the Diocese of Boise?

A recommendation from the most recent USCCB audit stated that our diocese should consider a recheck cycle for individual background checks.  Consequently, background checks which are more than 10 years old should be renewed prior to June 30, 2014 while those which are more than seven years old renewed by June 30, 2015. Most of these checks will not exceed $13.00 per check unless there are added court costs assessed by certain states and counties outside of Idaho as noted in the Price Guide for Background Checks.  Parishes and schools are encouraged to contact the Office of Child, Youth and Adult Protection if there are any questions or concerns in meeting these guidelines. 


An additional background check would be required if the individual were to leave a parish/school community and/or ministry and then return at a later date.  However, another background check may not be necessary if the individual is transferring to or participating in other parish/school communities within the same metropolitan area and/or school district.


An employee or volunteer working with youth who has had a recent background check will normally need to have a diocesan check prior to working or volunteering for the Diocese of Boise. 



Who is responsible for doing background checks for those employees in our parishes and all volunteers in parishes or schools?

At the present time all background checks for parish employees and volunteers in parishes or schools are conducted through CICS Employment Services, Inc. The base price for each background check will be $13.00. However, there will be additional fees for those background checks that require “out of state” inquiries for accurate data reporting. Although some background checks will be well over the $30.00 we are accustomed to paying, the majority of the background checks should be at the base price thus reducing the over-all out of pocket expense.  A price list for the additional expenses can be located on the Diocesan website, or can be obtain by calling the Office of Child, Youth and Adult Protection. This will help eliminate any surprises for those background checks that are over the base price. Background checks are cleared through the Office of Human Resources and Child, Youth and Adult Protection at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.  Parishes and schools are notified in regards to whether background checks have been passed by parish employees and parish or school volunteers. 

At times, a Catholic school may utilize a non-certified teacher to substitute in their school.  In these situations the individual may have already been cleared through the diocesan system if he/she had been volunteering for the parish or school. In these rare instances it would not be necessary to have an additional clearance through the State of Idaho. You should contact the Office of Child, Youth and Adult Protection to verify the person’s background check status.


Who is responsible for completing background checks for school employees, day care providers and certified substitute teachers?


School employees, including certified substitute teachers, have background checks completed through the State of Idaho at a cost of $40 which they normally pay for themselves. Daycare providers are required by Idaho State Law to obtain a license which allows them to work in a daycare facility. This license includes a background check. However, daycare providers must still have a State Department of Education background check to remain compliant, regardless of age (including minors). If you need further clarification, please contact the office of CYAP. We are obliged to follow State and Federal laws.



It can be costly to a parish or school to pay for the cost of background checks.  How can we alleviate those costs?

There are several scenarios happening in our parishes and schools related to covering the costs. The base price for each background check will be $13.00. However, there will be additional fees for those background checks that require “out of state” inquiries for accurate data reporting. Costs per background check for all volunteers and all employees working in parishes and at the Pastoral Center.   Employees of Catholic Schools have background checks completed through the State of Idaho at a cost of $40 which they normally pay for themselves.  If the parish or school pays for all costs it can be expensive.  Parishes and schools often plan ahead with a separate line item in the budget to cover the cost of background checks.   However, such expense to the parish and school can be alleviated by sharing the cost with the volunteer or employee.  Some of our Catholic schools include costs in the form of school fees.



How thorough are our background checks?

CICS does it's very best with the resources available to provide as thorough a check as possible. This includes searching records by State, City and County, as well as Federal sources, Sex Offender Databases and the Commercial 'Nation Wide Index'. CICS uses extended screening retrieving records in all 50 states for felony, misdemeanor and sexual predator offences. 



Can we complete background checks for those individuals who are unable to provide a social security number so that a thorough background check can be provided?  Can the individual work with youth based on a background check without a social security number being provided?

We can still do a background check. However, if an individual passes this type of check then he/she can only work with youth if accompanied by someone who has completed a thorough background check which can only be completed with a social security number.


What are the expectations for training and background checks for youth (under 18) who also serve as volunteers working with youth?

Youth who might also be working with other youth as volunteers in their parish (example: high school students working with elementary students in a classroom situation) should first receive the safe environment training appropriate to their age level.  Additional appropriate training may also be provided.  Background checks are not available for those under 18. 



Is it necessary for a young adult who had safe environment adult training as a minor to again have training?

This situation will occur sometimes when a parent has training with his/her older high school student who is a minor. It is necessary for each person to sign in on the roster sheet so that the Diocese has verification that training has been completed. Training will be necessary if there is no verification of earlier training.



What happens when the youth volunteer turns 19 and continues to volunteer?

At that point the regular safe environment training course for volunteers and employees must be taken and a background check completed.



How do we address safe environment concerns which might not be found in a criminal background check?  For example, an individual who has not done anything criminal but who has been divorced several times with allegations of child abuse directed against him/her.  This may not appear on a criminal record check since there is neither a formal charge nor conviction.


Further investigations can be done to address allegations which may be discovered only in Civil Court.


Individuals may volunteer representing organizations outside the parish (St. Vincent de Paul, Boys Scouts, Knights of Columbus, etc.) What is the responsibility of the parish/school relevant to background checks and safe environment training if these individuals are working with youth?

“Every regular volunteer in programs involving children or youth is a person who has “regular contract with minors” and thus would require a criminal background check and attendance at a safe environment workshop.” (1.7, Sexual Misconduct Policies, revised March 26, 2007). Background checks are normally completed by the sponsoring organizations. However, if the parish/school wishes to utilize volunteers from a sponsoring organization who have not had a background check then it is the responsibility of the parish/school to pay for and provide the background check. Safe Environment training would be the responsibility of the parish/school.




Dr. Bob Fontaine



(208) 350-7555 phone

(208) 489-7475 fax


Veronica Childers

CYAP Coordinator/HR Assistant


(208) 350-7556 phone

(208) 489-7475 fax



Veronica Childers

Victim's Assistance Coordinator


(208) 350-7556 phone

(208) 489-7475 fax



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