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ARCHDIOCESAN OFFICE FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH
NAMES DCFS OFFICIAL AS NEW DIRECTOR OF SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Chicago, IL (April 2, 2007) - Womazetta Jones has been named as the new Director of Safe Environment, reporting to Jan Slattery, the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. Jimmy Lago, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago, made the recent announcement.

As Director of Safe Environment, Jones will be responsible for ensuring that all pastoral center groups, parishes, school employees, and agency volunteers are trained in the Virtus program for child abuse prevention, as well as making sure they all have appropriate background screenings. She will also direct the training for all personnel who are mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). All Archdiocesan employees and volunteers who work with children are required to attend the Virtus/Protecting God's Children ä training program within three months of beginning employment, ministry or service.

Jones' office also oversees implementation of the Child Lures program, used in Catholic schools and religious education classes, to help children recognize ploys that predators might use to gain their trust, and what to do if that happens. She also will be working with the Children Matter Network, ( www.childrenmatternetwork.org) a partnership of people and agencies involved in protecting children and young people.

Most recently, Jones, who had been with DCFS in Chicago for more than 15 years, was the Child Protection Statewide Training Manager. Her tenure there included time as a child welfare specialist, a child protection investigator of "serious harms" allegations, a supervisor and regional manager for serious harms investigation teams and then training manager.

Jones, who holds her M.A. in Psychology, Counseling and Guidance from Chicago State University and her B.S. degree in Law Enforcement Administration and Political Science from Western Illinois University, resides in Harvey with her husband and three children.

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