Protecting God's Children

VIRTUS: Protecting God's Children for Adult training seminars are 4-hour training sessions where employees, volunteers and other responsible adults in the community can learn how to identify sexual abuse, how to report it when it is seen, and what they can do as members of the community to ensure that it is eradicated.

Sessions are held throughout the year at parishes and schools throughout the diocese and are free of charge to all participants.  If you are interested in attending and can't find a session that meets your needs for time or location, please contact your parish liaison to request a new session be scheduled.

Attendance at a seminar is required for all employees of the diocese and all volunteers with substantial contact with children, but all adults is welcome to attend.  No children may attend and in almost all cases childcare will not be provided.  For additional information, contact the parish where the session will be held, or check the session's notes.

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Facilitators

Facilitators are individuals trained to provide the VIRTUS: Protecting God's Children Training to employees and volunteers for completion of the required training under the policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Training

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Which adults must attend training?

 

According to the Policy on the Protection of Children/Young People and the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and/or Child Abuse, all employees of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington--all direct employees of any parish, diocesan school or diocesan office--regardless of contact with children must attend safe environment training.  Additionally, any volunteer with ministry with substantial contact with children must attend safe environment training.  However, training attendance alone is not sufficient for compliance with the policy.

Where and when can I attend a VIRTUS Training session?

Employees and volunteers with substantial contact with children have 45 days from the start of their ministry to attend a training seminar.  All other members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend a training.  Dates and times of currently scheduled sessions are available for view and registration at the VIRTUS Online page.  If there are no sessions that meet your scheduling needs, consider checking with your liaison to see if one could be scheduled at your parish or school.

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Is Safe Environment Training Effective?

The VIRTUS: Protecting God's Children program instructs and allows individuals to provide a safe environment for children and other vulnerable populations by making it clear that abuse is not tolerated and providing tools to responsible adults to know how to respond to abusive situations and eliminate them from occurring in the first place.  This reduces the rate of abusive incidents and decreases their severity when they do occur.

Can I become a VIRTUS Facilitator?

The Office of the Protection of Children/Young People periodically conducts training for new Facilitators.  If you are interested in taking on this demanding but fulfilling role, please contact our office for additional details.