Maximizing a church's role as a child-safe environment begins with making adults more aware of the ways children and adults interact with each other. The Protecting God's Children program educates and trains adults (clergy, religious, teachers, staff, parish volunteers and ministers, as well as our school parents) about the dangers of abuse, the warning signs of abuse, and responding to allegations of abuse.
All VIRTUS training programs, including PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN and KEEPING THE PROMISE ALIVE, are comprehensive and multi-dimensional - incorporating proven best practice standards for the prevention of child sexual abuse by clergy, staff, volunteers, and others who interact with children within the church environment. The training programs incorporate instructor-led training, train-the-facilitator education, awareness videos, and ongoing web-based training through online training bulletins and training modules via the VIRTUS online system.
CURRENTLY, IF YOU ARE AN ADULT OVER THE AGE OF 18 AND ARE INVOLVED AS A VOLUNTEER IN ANY PARISH/SCHOOL EVENT, OR ANY PARISH LITURGICAL MINISTRY, YOU MUST BE VIRTUS TRAINED. THIS REQUIREMENT ALSO APPLIES TO THOSE IN ANY SPIRITUAL/SERVICE/SOCIAL PARISH MINISTRY WHERE ADULTS ARE AROUND MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18, OR ARE MINISTERING TO VULNERABLE ADULTS. ALL VIRTUS TRAINING MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO A PERSON PARTICIPATING IN THEIR PARISH MINISTRY OR SERVICE.
***A SPECIAL NOTE FOR SCHOOL PARENTS: Mandatory for the school year: Any adult acting in a volunteer position in the Archdiocese and in St. Mel School or Parish must be trained in the Virtus/Protecting God's Children Training program. This was detailed in the Parent and Financial Agreement in the Registration packet. No St. Mel Parish preschool or elementary school parent will be able to volunteer at any school events or parties if he or she has not fulfilled this commitment.
If you have any questions, please contact Pat Andre via email, or call the Parish Center at 818-340-6020 ext. 1044
To search for a class, visit www.virtusonline.org. Be sure to look for classes in both San Fernando AND Santa Barbara County. Both offer classes nearby.