Protecting God's Children for Adults is training conducted by certified facilitators on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The training makes participants aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five easy steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse. Two videos are the centerpiece of the training: A Time to Protect God's Children™ and A Plan to Protect God's Children™. The facilitators incorporate Archdiocesan policies and procedures into the training defining child sexual abuse, addressing the reporting of child sexual abuse, the screening and selection of employees and volunteers. “The Virtus training program implements safety mechanisms that send a message to all abusers and potential abusers: Child Abuse is not tolerated. Children are vigilantly protected. Victims are listened to, heard, and shielded from further abuse. And offenders are identified and punished.” – Virtus Website
All employees and all volunteers who work with children and young people must fulfill this compliance requirement. [Book II The People of God, Part I, Policy 603.3] Anyone employed two months or longer who has not attended Protecting God’s Children cannot continue to work or volunteer in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Participants must be present for the entire training session to receive credit for attendance.
All Archdiocese employees and all volunteers who work with children create and maintain an online account with Virtus when they register online to take the training. After attending Protecting God’s Children for Adults training (must attend within 60 days of being hired) submit the certificate of attendance to the location you work/volunteer at, and continue the monthly ongoing education through online training bulletins posted to their online account.
In keeping with archdiocesan policy [Book II The People of God, Part I, Policy 603.6], the Office for the Protection of Children & Youth continues to offer Mandated Reporter training to all Archdiocesan employees and volunteers who are mandated by state law and archdiocesan policy to report suspected child abuse and neglect. This training provides adults with the knowledge of how to recognize and report child abuse and neglect. State law recognizes the following groups as Mandated Reporters: school personnel, medical personnel, social service and mental health personnel, law enforcement personnel, coroner/medical examiner personnel, child care personnel, and clergy. Further, in keeping with archdiocesan policies, catechists, youth ministers, coaches, and pastoral center employees who work directly with children are also to attend this training. Seminarians must complete this while at the seminary. The training is offered to deacons during their formation. All clergy must attend Mandated Reporter Training. Training must be completed within 60 days of hire. This training is available in two forms: live and online.
A Site Administrator is an on-site employee designated by the pastor or principal at their parish or school, respectively, whose qualifications and duties include but are not limited to the management of compliance data for their site’s employees and volunteers. Each parish and school needs a Site Administrator.
A Site Administrator plays an important role by insuring compliance in their location and assuring parents and caregivers that their children and young people will be in a safe environment. The Site Administrator has specific expectations and responsibilities to make certain that each adult that is employed or volunteers at their location have complied with the requirements for working with children and young people. These expectations and responsibilities include but are not limited to: maintaining and updating the online database for Criminal Background Screening and Protecting God’s Children for Adults Virtus training, collecting CANTS & Code of Conduct forms, filing Virtus and Mandated Reporter certificates, submitting CANTS forms to DCFS, keeping the pastor/principal informed, and paying invoices for Fingerprinting and the eApps system.
Each parish and/or school should have a trained, certified Virtus Facilitator to provide the Protecting God’s Children for Adults training for their site. Applications to attend facilitator training are available through the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. Facilitator training is a two day process. Facilitators are trained by the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth staff.