Safe Environment Training

 

Our children depend on us to protect them. We require anyone who wishes to work with our children and teens, or to apply for any position, must take Safe Environment Training and submit to a criminal background check, and they must also be acquainted with the education staff for at least 6 months. The safety of our children is our prime concern. We need the entire parish to be on guard and keep St. Paul a safe haven for our children.

 

 If you have any question about becoming safe environment trained, please contact Joan at 719-219-2712. 

St. Paul Catholic School Training Schedule

All New & Returning Volunteers:

As of August 1, 2020, the Diocese of Colorado Springs implemented the VIRTUS® Programs as its new comprehensive safe environment training  platform for adults and children. In summary, the Protecting God’s Children® Program will be the official training for employees and volunteers, while the Empowering God’s Children® Program will be the safe environment training curriculum for children.

The corresponding VIRTUS Online database is an online portal that provides access to your safe environment account. As a volunteer for the Diocese of Colorado Springs, you will have access to your previous training records within the database. When it’s time for you to complete a training  document, to obtain recertification training or conduct a background check, you will receive automatic email notification from the VIRTUS website to access your account. The email will contain your VIRTUS User ID, how to reset your password and instructions of the needed requirement.

To access your VIRTUS account prior to receiving the automated email, please click here to be directed to the VIRTUS website and log in as an existing user with user ID.
Please click on the following link to reset your password: https://www.virtusonline.org/virtus/forgot_password.cfm
If during this process you have difficulty resetting your password, please contact the VIRTUS Helpdesk at [email protected] or at 888-847-8870.

Thank you for your time and talent as a volunteer and thank you for your diligence in making our churches, schools, and ultimately our communities a safer place for all of God’s children.

**Volunteers that completed the UPDATE Training last year do not need to do an update training this year**

 

You can also click here to visit the Diocesan website with additional training opportunities. 

 

INTERACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS SUMMARY

The lists below are not intended to be exhaustive, but are provided to serve as a guide to interactions and behaviors with minors. Violations should be reported immediately.

 Appropriate Physical Interaction

  • Side Hugs
  • Shoulder to shoulder or "temple" hugs
  • "A-frame" hugs
  • Handshakes
  • "High-fives" and hand slapping
  • Pats on the head or back when culturally appropriate
  • Holding hands (with smaller children in escorting situations)
  • Holding hands during prayer

Inappropriate Physical Interaction

  • Any form of affection unwanted by the minor
  • Showing affection in isolated areas
  • Physical contact insisted on or requested by an adult or minor volunteer
  • Inappropriate or lengthy embraces
  • Full frontal hugs
  • Kisses
  • Touching knees or legs
  • Touching buttocks, chest, or genital areas
  • Wrestling, "rough-housing," tickling
  • Corporal punishment
  • Allowing a child to cling to another's leg
  • Massage

Appropriate Behavior

  • Consistently applying the Guidelines for Working with minors (for adult volunteers only)
  • Providing a safe environment where the dignity of and respect for every individual is ensured
  • Knowing how and to whom to report inappropriate behavior
  • Avoiding emotional attachment and/or vulnerable situations
  • Awareness of the powerful attraction of minors to those in positions of trust, and ability to refer minors developing dependency to another qualified adult

Inappropriate Behavior

  • Contact with minors via any personal communication tools (such as phone, instant messaging, e-mail, social networking site…)
  • Being alone with minors while working in the scope of volunteer duties (such as a vehicle, restaurant, residence, sleeping facility, locker room, rest room, hot tub or pool, etc.)
  • Allowing or assisting minors to have access to alcohol, drugs, pornographic material, inappropriate website, DVD, CD or any illegal substance.
  • Photographing minors without parental consent
  • Singling out a minor with a personal gift

Appropriate Verbal Interaction

  • Positive reinforcement
  • Appropriate jokes
  • Encouragement
  • Verbal praise
  • Program content communications

Inappropriate Verbal Interaction

  • Name calling
  • Cursing
  • Off-color or sexual jokes or innuendo
  • Shaming or belittling
  • Compliments/comments related to physical attributes
  • Telling secrets/asking children to keep secrets
  • Racial or ethnic insults, slurs or derogatory remarks about others
  • Discussing personal adult matters, including sexual issues
  • Using harsh language that may intimidate or frighten minors

 

To view the complete Safe Environment Training Handbook, click here.

 

Check out this video from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops