The Archdiocese’s Safe Environment Program (PreventandProtectSTL.org) requires all adult employees and volunteers who work with or near minors and/or vulnerable adults to comply with the following policy requirements:
- Attend a Protecting God’s Children live workshop and complete online updates every three years.
- Understand and sign the Archdiocese’s Code of Ethical Conduct for Clergy, Employees, and Volunteers Working in Ministry.
- Complete a national criminal record check and agree to regular updates.
The Protecting God’s Children program, developed by VIRTUS® and employed by many dioceses, educates participants to identify the signs of child sexual abuse, understand the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and be aware of the steps that can be taken to prevent ongoing or future abuse. Over 400 workshops are held each year at the Cardinal Rigali Center, parishes, schools and agencies throughout the Archdiocese. The workshops are led by 175 trained local facilitators who not only share the two videos at the center of the training program, A Time to Protect God’s Children™ and A Plan to Protect God’s Children™, but who also incorporate our archdiocesan policies and procedures into the training, address the reporting of child or vulnerable adult sexual abuse, explain the screening and selection of employees and volunteers, and share victim advocacy efforts.
In addition, students in grades K-9 in archdiocesan schools and parish school of religion programs receive annual age-appropriate instruction in the Safe Touch curriculum to enable them to protect themselves from potential abuse. This local curriculum was developed in partnership with West County Psychological Associates, the Archdiocesan Child Safety Committee, and area educators and school administrators. Discussion topics range from physical boundaries to online safety.
Working in conjunction with the Office of Child and Youth Protection, each parish and archdiocesan school and agency employs a Child Safety Coordinator (CSC) whose role is to ensure employee and volunteer compliance with the three Safe Environment policy requirements outlined above. The CSC maintains the parish, school or agency’s records of compliance which are audited annually by the Office of Child and Youth Protection.
We invite you to join us in our abuse prevention efforts by registering today, and we thank you in advance for your service to the Archdiocese of St. Louis!