VIRTUS(R)
COORDINATOR
: Jamie Klauke jklauke@stfrancisseraphschool.org.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and St. Francis Seraph Parish requires all adult volunteers 18 and older, out of high school, who intend to work or volunteer with children to complete the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Child Protection requirements. This process includes:

  • completing a Background Check,
  • attending a VIRTUS(R) Child Awareness Session, and
  • staying current with monthly VIRTUS(R) bulletins before working with children.

The VIRTUS(R) program educates and trains adults (clergy, religious, teachers, staff, volunteers, parents) about the dangers of abuse, the warning signs of abuse, ways to prevent abuse, methods of properly reporting suspicions of abuse, and responding to allegations of abuse.

No individual, organization, or ministry is exempt from being certified in the VIRTUS(R) process.

  • What is the history of Child Protection in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati?

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati implemented its initial Child Protection Decree in 1993. Every 5 years, this Decree has been revised and promulgated to the clerics, employees and volunteers of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, its parishes and institutions.

In 2011, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) conducted an audit of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Child Protection Awareness process and recommended that it adopt a nationally recognized program for child protection. The Archdiocese chose The National Catholic Retention Group, Inc. program entitled VIRTUS(R). Cincinnati became the 129th diocese in the U.S. to use the VIRTUS(R) program.

  • What is VIRTUS(R)?

VIRTUS(R) is a brand name that identifies best practices programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote “right-doing” within religious organizations. The VIRTUS(R) programs empower organizations and people to better protect our children from abuse in our homes, parishes, and communities.

  • What is expected?
  1. ATTEND CHILD AWARENESS SESSION: Those adults who interact with children in the archdiocese’s parishes, schools and institutions are the core of the prevention effort. The archdiocese has mandated that all clergy, all employees and those volunteers who interact with children MUST complete an interactive Child Awareness Session on the prevention of child abuse. The session takes approximately 3 hours to complete. A trained facilitator leads these awareness sessions. This awareness session makes 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 sexual abuse.
  2. BACKGROUND CHECK
  3. FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS – You must take a VIRTUS(R) class, have current fingerprinting/background information within the past 5 years, and be current on your VIRTUS(R) bulletins or you will no longer be considered an Active Volunteer. If you have already taken the VIRTUS(R) class and need to be re-screened, see instructions below.
  4. All background checks for volunteers will be done online through SELECTION.com.
  5. CONTINUING EDUCATION BULLETINS – After Completing the awareness session, regularly scheduled monthly online bulletins are sent via email to reinforce the knowledge points made during the awareness session. Protecting God’s Children and VIRTUS(R) is web-based, so tracking certification and keeping current with bulletins is simplified to ensure compliance.