Since the clergy sex scandal of the early 2000s, the Church has put into place numerous policies and practices to protect children from sexual abuse, including the USCCB's Charter for Child and Youth Protection.
The charter, implemented in 2002, obligates all compliant dioceses and eparchies to provide resources both for victims of abuse and resources for abuse prevention. Each year, the USCCB releases an extensive annual report on the dioceses and eparchies, including an audit of all abuse cases and allegations, and recommended policy guidelines for dioceses.
Kelly Venegas is the bishop's delegate for sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Gary, which is one of the pilot dioceses for the new HRO training program.
She said that the new training was divided into two sections, with the first focused on anticipating and diagnosing near-misses.
"We're making sure that near-misses don't indicate a symptom of a worse problem," Venegas told CNA.
"So rather than just looking and saying, wow, that really could have been a big issue, good thing it didn't cause any harm - instead we say wait a minute, this was a near-miss, could there be worse problems? Let's dive into this deeper."
The second section of the training focused on containment of harm in the case that an incident does occur, Venegas said.
"That means we're making sure that we learn from our mistakes, that we focus on how we can make things stronger, and making sure that we have decisions with input from multiple people involved in the process," she said.
While some of the concrete details of the application of the new program are still being worked out, Venegas said she was excited that the Church was learning from the best practices of other successful industries.
"I think that in the business world there's been quality assurance programs (in existence) for years, and this is really a way of taking some of the expertise that's been learned in the secular world and applying it to something that's very important and close to our hearts," she said.