Church Increased Spending For Child Protection By More Than 50 Percent, Annual Audit Finds

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

March 28, 2014

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WASHINGTON—U.S. dioceses and religious orders in 2013 increased what they spent on child protection by more than 50 percent over what they spent the year before, according to the 2013 report from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). In 2013, dioceses and religious orders spent $41,721,675 for child protection efforts, an increase of more than $15 million over the previous year, when they spent $26,583,087.

The numbers were reported in the “2013 Survey of Allegations and Costs: A Summary Report for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.” The Georgetown University-based research organization has gathered information since 2004, as part of an annual report required by the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The full report can be found at

The survey also found that in 2013 the total number of new allegations and victims decreased to its lowest level since CARA began collecting the data. The number of offenders decreased by six percent, and the number of allegations and victims decreased by one percent.

Deacon Bernard Nojadera, director of the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection, said one reason for increased costs on child protection was “the rechecks of background for a majority of diocesan personnel. This year, for instance, in many dioceses it was time for the every-five-year background check renewal. There was also an increase in the number of roles that required background checks.” He noted that “some dioceses realized that the system that was used 10 years ago is no longer adequate to the task at hand and bought more sophisticated programs to help keep track of training, background checks, risk management, payroll, etc.” He added that “it is encouraging to see dioceses putting the necessary resources into ensuring the safety of children in its parishes and schools.”

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