PROVIDENCE — Bishop Thomas J. Tobin last week welcomed three new members to the Diocesan Advisory Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Each will serve a five-year term.
The Hon. Stephen Isherwood is an associate judge in Rhode Island District Court. He is a former Probate judge for the City of Warwick and attorney at Schreiber and Schreiber.
Karen Pinch is the town manager of Richmond, R.I. She retired from the Rhode Island State Police in 2016 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer of the Department of Public Safety and Training.
Bishop Jeffrey A. Williams, D. Min., serves as the pastor of Kings Cathedral in Providence.
The other members of the board include former Attorney General Dennis J. Roberts II; Caryl Frink of the Episcopal Diocese of R.I.; Major Michael Quinn, Rhode Island State Police (ret.), director of Campus Safety and Security at Johnson & Wales University (ret.); and Father John Unsworth, pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Wickford.
The board, which was established in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and approved by the Bishops of the United States, has long been tasked with assisting diocesan efforts to help victims of sexual abuse.
The board meets regularly to review the cases of those who have been the victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone acting in the name of the Church, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years ago.
Board members review diocesan policies and procedures and recommend ways they can be strengthened. They evaluate the implementation of these policies throughout the diocese and its ministries in order to deal consistently and fairly with both the victims and those who are accused, and ensure compliance.
The board reviews standards of conduct for those in positions of trust and develops education, training and outreach programs for clergy, staff, educators and others, in addition to creating safe environment programs for children and young people.
It also assesses the effectiveness of victim assistance efforts by the diocese and makes recommendations for improvement.