ALL adults who intend to work or volunteer in any capacity with children, MUST be trained in the Protecting God's Children, the Virtus program before such work begins. Protecting God's children, the Virtus program educates and trains adults (clergy, religious, teachers, staff, volunteers, parents) about the dangers of abuse, the warning signs of abuse, the ways to prevent abuse, the methods of properly report suspicions of abuse, and responding to allegations of abuse. No individual, organization, or ministry is exempt from being certified in the Virtus.
The program for adults up to a three 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 make 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 abuse. There are also monthly on-line follow-up and informative bulletin articles that must be completed in order to remain certified.
Virtus has replaced the former child protection decree training program. Everyone previously approved will be required to be re-certified in the Virtus program by June 30, 2014 in order to continue to work with children. New employees and all volunteers must attend a Virtus class before beginning their work.
Most dioceses in the United States have already converted to this program. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati was the 129th diocese in the United States to convert to Virtus. Criminal background checks will continue to be required prior to employment and volunteering.
For more information about this new program, visit the Virtus website.
Position Appointments: Fr. Bill Wagner has announced that Linda Caskey has been named our Local Safe Environment Coordinator (SEC) and our Chief Facilitator. In addition, Business Manager Dick Berish has been certified as a Virtus Facilitator. Facilitators present the Virtus training classes to clerics, employees, volunteers and others in the Archdiocese.
The Local Safe Environment Coordinator is responsible for maintaining parish compliance with background checks and Virtus training under the Child Protection Decree. The SEC works closely with the diocese to ensure the program is in compliance with national requirements. Approximately 75-80% of the Catholic Church in the United States utilizes Virtus. It is not just a diocese program.
Both positions are a requirement at each parish and institution by the Archdiocese.
Virtus Training Classes at St. Thomas More Parish: St. Thomas More Parish has joined with St. Veronica Parish to coordinate our Virtus class schedule. As fewer individuals need certification, both parishes wish to continue to offer a class each month. By working together we can still offer a certification class every month in the Union Township area! The St. Thomas More classes will be held in the Parish Hall and the St. Veronica classes will be held in their Parish Ministry Center (across Mt. Carmel-Tobasco Road from the church). Please register for the class at the appropriate location but list your parish as the primary location.
No classes are currently scheduled
NOTE: Classes may be canceled or changed prior to the start date/time if there are an inadequate number of enrollees. You will be notified of any cancellation by the instructor in advance of the class date.
Registration for the classes must be done on line in advance of the class at the Virtus web site. Please go to the right for detailed instructions on how to register for a Virtus training class. Be sure to scroll down to the specific date for St. Thomas More or St. Veronica Parish to attend one of our classes. You will also be required to complete a few screens regarding a background check through selection.com. (If you qualify, please contact the St. Thomas More parish or school office in advance to obtain a Fastrax token to pay for your check.) If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the Parish Office for assistance. A computer is required for follow up bulletin training. For more information on the new background check procedure, visit the Child Protection-selection.com page on our web site.
You may take your Virtus class at any location in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati if the schedule at St. Thomas More or St. Veronica is not convenient. Be sure to log your home parish in as the primary location. All the classes that are offered are listed in the Virtus web site when you set up your account.
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, WALKINS TO A VIRTUS CLASS ARE NOT PERMITTED. THIS IS ARCHDIOCESE POLICY. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!
VIRTUS CERTIFICATION WILL REQUIRE PLANNING ON YOUR PART~ Many times, our parish was asked to hold an emergency child protection decree class so a parishioner could volunteer as soon as possible. The old 2008 child protection decree class took about 45 minutes and could be done for just one person. We accommodated the majority of these requests. Virtus on the other hand takes about 3 hours and can have up to 100 people in each class. There are breakout sessions and collaboration with one another. Classes are scheduled in advance and cannot be done one on one or at the last minute. It will take planning to attend the class far in advance before beginning to volunteer and begin employment.
No one under 18 may not be brought to the classes because of the sensitive nature of the material. Baby sitting is not provided.
New volunteers and new employees over the age of 18 must be certified in Virtus before they can begin volunteering or employment. The Archdiocese will no longer accept any previous version of the old child protection decree certification classes as acceptable for volunteering or employment.
VIRTUS® MONTHLY BULLETIN POLICY ~ The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has announced that All VIRTUS® trained employees and volunteers are expected to read and keep current with all monthly continuing education VIRTUS® Bulletins. Effective July 1, 2014, anyone who falls behind and does not read three or more monthly Bulletins in a row can not have any further contact with children. All leaders of each Archdiocesan institution, (i.e. pastors, principals, etc.) are responsible for enforcing this VIRTUS® Monthly Bulletin Policy. Specifically, the diocese has reported:
"All persons who have attended a VIRTUS® Protecting God’s Children Training Session must keep up with the continuing education component of VIRTUS® by reading all monthly VIRTUS® Training Bulletins
If a person falls behind by three or more Bulletins (whether in consecutive months or not) he / she must “catch up.” No suspended person can have any contact with children until after he / she has his / her VIRTUS® User Account reactivated, and then “catches up” with all previously unread Bulletins."
Effective July 1, 2017:
If a Virtus account has been inactive and are 18 or more training bulletins behind, the account may NOT be reopened to catch up on all the old bulletins upon request. Instead, the location SEC is to be contacted to arrange with the diocese for the volunteer to attend a 90 minute interactive, on line training class within two weeks. Once the class has been successfully completed, the location SEC will notify the diocese to delete all the old, unread bulletins. The volunteer's Virtus account will be marked active and will be approved to volunteer as along as their bulletins are kept up to date.
Virtus will send an email reminder early in the month to remind everyone to read their new bulletin and take the quiz. Please add the following email address to your address book: firstname.lastname@example.org
VIRTUS® TRANSFER POLICY FROM ANOTHER DIOCESE ~ "Any person who wants to transfer from another diocese into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati must meet two conditions: (i) the person must have attended a live VIRTUS® Child Awareness Session in their diocese, and (ii) the person wishing to transfer his / her User Account must be current on reading all VIRTUS® monthly Bulletins. Only then can that person’s VIRTUS® User Account transfer from his / her previous diocese into Cincinnati."
To transfer your Virtus account to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati from another diocese, please complete this form and follow the instructions to process the transfer request.