virtus training                          


    The VIRTUS® programs assist the Church in being a safe  haven for children and a messenger for preventing child sexual abuse  within the Church and society in general. We seek to achieve this lofty  goal through our child sexual abuse prevention program: PROTECTING  GOD'S CHILDREN™.                                    

                                            Catholic Diocese of Arlington                     


    Most organizations that work with children have some sort of child  safety program. Through the PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN program, we  maximize those efforts by helping churches and religious organizations  refine their roles as child safe environments and empowering them with  new tools to help them, and adults and parents, protect children.

    Why Does It Work?

    Child abusers seek to operate and abuse their power within nurturing,  child-friendly environments where it is assumed that nobody would want  to harm a child. Religious organizations of all faiths are an easy  target. The PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN 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. 

    By  utilizing best practices for training and loss prevention, the  PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN program helps make churches safe for all  people—especially children.

    How Does It Work?

    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, volunteers, and parents)  about the dangers of abuse, the warning signs of abuse, the ways to  prevent abuse, the methods of properly reporting suspicions of abuse,  and responding to allegations of abuse.

    All  VIRTUS training programs, including the PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN  programs, 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. Our training programs incorporate  instructor-led training, train-the-facilitator education, awareness  videos, and regularly scheduled continuing education and training via  state-of-the-art web-based training and education courses.                         

                                                Catholic Diocese of Arlington                                         
    Using The Church To Protect Children      

    For any organization, the best practice to prevent wrongdoing,  including child sexual abuse, is to have an organization use its own  people to facilitate awareness of the issue. The PROTECTING GOD'S  CHILDREN program begins with the training of internal  facilitators—individuals selected by the archidiocese, diocese, or  religious organization to train other adults and parents on how to best  protect children. We use facilitator-led awareness sessions and  web-based training so that participants learn the best methods for  delivering their message, including the training for the PROTECTING  GOD'S CHILDREN program.

    Training Adults To Protect Children

    We begin by making adults of the Church that interact with children  aware of how to protect children. Our PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN program  for adults is a three to four hour awareness session that instructs  adults of the Church that interact with children that to protect  children you must have continuous awareness and vigilance. This  awareness session makes trainees understand the signs of child sexual  abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse and five  empowerment steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse.


    To see upcoming VIRTUS: Protecting God's Children training seminar in the Diocese of Arlington please click here