The Archdiocesan Safe Environment Program requires that all missionaries attend a “Protecting God’s Children for Adults” (VIRTUS) workshop. This is required because there may be contact with children during the mission. This must be taken at least 3 weeks prior to the mission.
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.
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 5 years after 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:
Questions may be directed to:
Tony Oltremari, Parish Administrator and Parish Virtus Coordinator
Procedure for Acceptance of Safe Environment Training from a Prior Diocese or Organization Outside of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
The Archdiocesan Safe Environment office only accepts VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” training from another Diocese if the training was taken within the last 12 months of when the individual starts here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
They do not accept any other program, examples (Praesidium, NetSmartz, Boy Scouts of America) they only accept VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” training
All MMDM volunteers are required to complete a diocesan approved VIRTUS course. Click on the link below for more information and to find a course that's convenient for you.