The Archdiocesan Safe Environment Program requires that clergy, staff and volunteers (ages 18 and above) who have regular contact with children and youth are required to attend a “Protecting God’s Children for Adults” (VIRTUS) workshop.
VIRTUS : Protecting God's Children Workshop
The workshop educates clergy, staff and volunteers who work with children, about the ways to create safe environments. The 3-hour workshop includes videos and facilitated discussions that focus on the prevention of abuse and the protection of children. Adults learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms that an adult is a potential risk of harm to children and how to know that a child is being abused or exploited in some way. You will learn about steps that the faith community can take to create a safe environment for all God’s children and how to respond when adults behave in a way that raises concerns.
All other adults are invited and encouraged to participate as part of the church’s commitment to make the world a safe place for all our children.
Keeping the Promise Alive- Refresher Program
Keeping the Promise Alive is a mandatory refresher course that went into effect in 2011. Keeping the Promise Alive is a 1.5 hour session with 1 video that is taken by employees/volunteers after 5 years of taking the “Protecting God’s Children”® It provides ongoing awareness for the prevention of child sexual abuse. The material covered in Keeping the Promise Alive is designed to identify and reinforce the lessons of the original Protecting God’s Children program by clarifying some of the more challenging aspects of the sessions and strengthening the participants’ ability to recognize risky behavior by adults in their environments and take action to intervene in potentially threatening situations.
Important things to note regarding program registration:
- Pre-registration is required and walk-ins are not accepted. Go to www.virtus.org to view a schedule of workshops. When prompted to select your organization – click “Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.” Please be sure to register using the same name on your driver's license or form of identification. This needs to match in order to be admitted when checking in for the class in person.
- Arrive early for the session. No admittance after training has begun.
- Sign in at your session - your signature on sign in sheet is required to receive credit for attending.
- Present a valid, non-expired form of Identification (Valid and Current Passport; Driver’s License; Texas, Mexico Consulate or Guatemala Consulate Identification Card)
- Completely fill out all required paperwork - Background Check and Code of Conduct
- After the Archdiocese has cleared the Background Check process and verified attendance of VIRTUS workshop, an email will be sent to your provided email stating that your approval has been confirmed.
|Keeping The Promise Alive (refresher course)
- Only to be taken 5 years after completion of VIRTUS
- To register for the refresher course go to www.virtus.org. Walk-ins are not accepted.
- Login using your original account created when you attended a VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children® workshop. (If you do not remember your user id and password, please contact the Safe Environment Office at 713-659-5461 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sign your electronic Volunteer Code of Conduct and Electronic Background Check
- Update your account information such as address, email, parish/school location