Required Safe Environment Training for the Protection of Children and Youth

1.    The safe environment training of adults who minister or work in the name of the Church in the Diocese of Lansing is provided by the Protecting God’s Children Awareness Program (VIRTUS) of the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc.

2.    The following must complete one session of safe environment training in person:

   a.    All clergy, religious and laity who are assigned or employed, whether full or part-time, to serve in the diocese, its parishes, its public juridic persons, or in any of their schools or programs;

   b.    All who apply for diocesan sponsorship to a seminary, apply as aspirants to the program of diaconal formation or apply for certification or commissioning as a lay ecclesial minister.

3. The following must complete one session of safe environment training whether in person or online:

   a.    All persons employed by third party vendors who provide services that involve contact with minors in the entities mentioned in the preceding norm;

   b.    All substitute teachers and student teachers;

   c.    All adult volunteers (including those who receive "stipends" in a catechetical program) who have contact with minors in any capacity regardless of the frequency and length of contact with them (such as aides, bus drivers, coaches, helpers, mentors, musicians, nurses, overnight chaperones, playground supervisors, tutors).

4.    Proof of completion by attendance must be furnished to the diocesan Office of Child and Youth

Protection. (Proof of online completion is provided by VIRTUS itself.)

5.    Administrators of parishes, Catholic schools and religious education programs of the Diocese of Lansing are to see that children and youth participate in safe environment education and training. (Illustratively, these include pastors, parish administrators, pastoral coordinators, principals, directors of religious education and the Christian Initiation of Children.)

   a.    Those in grades K-5 are to participate in Safe Sheep in Our Flock.

   b.    Those in grades 6-12 are to participate in Called to Protect for Youth (Praesidium).

   c.    Parents and guardians are to be informed of the scheduled lessons and informed that they may deny permission for the participation of their children by signing an opt-out form approved and provided by the diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection.

(By various decrees, Bishop Boyea established the use of Virtus: Protecting God's Children for Adults, Praesidium: Called to Protect for Youth and Safe Sheep in our Flock for grades K-5. The most recent decree was issued January 2, 2011 as particular law of the diocese, and a copy is available from the curia. The instructions for completing the safe environment training are available from that office through the diocesan website http://www.dioceseoflansing.org. Also see Article 12 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.)

Date approved by Bishop

Posted by
In Committee