Safe Environment

WHAT IS SAFE ENVIRONMENT?

On June 14, 2002 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”. The charter addresses the Church’s commitment to deal appropriately and effectively with cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, employees and volunteers within the Catholic Community. The Diocese of Lafayette requires Initial Training (2-hour) for all new volunteers to our community and Continuing Education (1 hour Recertification or “Recert”) Training every year after Initial Training. A volunteer is allowed to participate in, and at school, functions once ALL required paperwork is complete and references are returned.

WHO NEEDS TRAINING?

Anyone 18 and older who will come in contact with SPES students through any school-related activities is required to be Safe Environment certified. This includes volunteerism for field trips, classroom parties and/or activities, working in Library, working projects at school, attending class functions and/or parties, etc.

HOW DO WE GET TRAINING?

According to Diocesan Policy “A Safe Environment for the Protection of Children and Young People” provides Rayne Catholic Elementary School with a means of monitoring more closely everyone who has direct contact with our students.  The program educates the adult leaders of RCE on recognizing the signs of abuse.  The following applies to anyone who has contact with students:

  • A mandatory training session for all faculty, staff, and personnel who have contact with RCE students (Initial Certification 2 hour session)
  • A mandatory training session for all volunteers who have contact with RCE students (e.g. volunteer coaches, cafeteria helpers, classroom helpers, etc.)  (Initial Certification 2 hour session)
  • A criminal background check along with fingerprinting will be conducted on all paid faculty, staff, and personnel who have contact with our children.
  • A criminal background check will be conducted on volunteers who have unsupervised contact with our children.
  • All volunteers who have contact with students must complete a Volunteer Profile.
  • Mandatory training of ALL volunteers, faculty, staff, and personnel must be updated yearly (Re-Certification 1 hour session)

All parents must be Safe Environment certified in order to chaperone field trips.

As part of the ongoing mission of the safety of our children here in the Diocese of Lafayette, the following information is provided to demonstrate how to access the online rectification training-Protecting Gods’ Children Online awareness Training.  Only those individuals who have completed INITIAL training are eligible for this re-certification.

Important Reminder: Please review the Diocesan Code of Professional Conduct and Reporting Procedures. (These documents are located in My Diocese)

Steps to access the Protecting God’s Children Online Awareness Training:

  1. Go to www.virtus.org
  2. Click on “Registration” link highlighted in yellow
  3. Select “Begin the registration process.”
  4. Select your organization from the dropdown list – Lafayette, LA (diocese)
  5. Create a username and password (using your email address as your username may assure no duplication)
  6. Please provide the required contact information
  7. Select your organization from the dropdown list – parish/school location (please indicate all that apply)
  8. Select your primary role within the diocese. Please note: If you are a paid teacher, please select Educator
  9. Go to VIRTUS Online, and enter your username and password
  10. Once logged in, you will click on the green circle to begin your online training

This re-certification module will take approximately one hour.  If you have to close your session before you he finished, the session will start where you left of when you log back in to the site.

When you are logged in the system, you have the ability to change your account information by clicking on “Update My Account” and the ability to view the contact information for the diocese by clicking on “Contact my Coordinator.”

For further assistance, please go to www.virtus.org and click on “Help”, then click on “VIRTUS Online Help Desk” to send a message to VIRTUS, or you can call 888-847-8870.