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State Advocate 2019 - 2020

Picture of State Advocate

Tom Williams

September 2019

Brother Knights,

Happy Labor Day and welcome to the new school year! I hope that you will have had a relaxing weekend as we come to the end of summer and the children head back to school.

I want to provide an overview about Safe Environment training, and why it is so important for you to meet these requirements. Supreme tracks this information and the state receives a monthly update for all Councils and all positions that require. This should be a review for most of you, but it is important that we are all on the same page.

First of all, Supreme is dependent upon the timely submittal of Form 185 Report of Officers Chosen for the term (due June 30th) and Form 365 Service Personnel Report (due August 1st) to identify the members of each Council who are required to take the training and/or background checks. There are four Councils who have not yet submitted Form 185 and 24 Councils who have not yet submitted Form 365. Gentlemen, this is not acceptable – let’s get ‘er done!

Starting next month, I will be posting the Safe Environment tracking statistics in the monthly bulletin and reaching out to Councils who are not yet certified. Please note that Councils who do not meet the training requirements are not eligible for Star Council, and they are unable to host events primary for children (soccer challenge, free throw competition, etc.). There is no wiggle room on the Safe Environment training requirements.

Safe Environment Training Link:

Training is required for the following positions:

State Deputies
State Advocates
State Program Directors
State Youth Directors
State Community Directors
State Family Directors
State Squire Chairmen
Grand Knights
Program Directors
Community Directors
Family Directors
Chief Counselors (Squires)
Counsellors (Squires)

In partnership with Praesidium, an organization that has worked to provide knowledge and tools that safeguard against sexual predators for more than 20 years, Knights of Columbus continues its strong tradition of maintaining the highest standards regarding the protection of children and other vulnerable persons. Through this partnership, Knights of Columbus provides fraternal leader and youth leaders with current best practices and resources to keep children safe, including Praesidium’s Armatus® training, background checks, and an exclusive hotline to report child safety concerns (1-844–KOFC–SAFE (1-844–563–2723)). 

State deputies, grand knights, and faithful navigators (if their assembly sponsors a circle) must complete youth protection and safe environment training, but are NOT required to undergo background checks UNLESS they also hold a youth leader position. 

A Knights of Columbus “youth activity” is an activity whose principal subjects are minor children, e.g., Columbian Squires, Basketball Free Throw, etc.

As it is the policy of the Knights of Columbus that all council Youth Directors are required to be background checked and trained in accordance with the Knights of Columbus Safe Environment Program, the Order expects the council Youth Director to be present at all youth activities sponsored by the council.

Please note that the Knights of Columbus Safe Environment training will not fulfill any diocesan training requirements, or fill the requirements for any other group such as Boy Scouts. Each organization has its own unique requirements and you must remain informed and compliant with their requirements and training.

Knights of Columbus Reporting Protocol

1. Report suspected abuse to law enforcement;

2. Notify the local diocese of the suspected abuse; and

3. Notify the Knights of Columbus of the suspected abuse at 1-844-KOFC-SAFE


If you have specific questions about Safe Environment Training, please reach out to me at the email address below, and I will be happy to work with you.

Vivat Jesus!



Thomas C. Williams

State Advocate