Volunteer guidelines

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Archdiocesan Safe Environment Program

The Archdiocese of Atlanta is committed to helping children and young people learn and grow
in a healthy and safe environment. St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church complies with
archdiocesan safe environment policies and procedures in accordance with the U.S.
Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Safe Environment programs
are in place to assist parents and children—and those whose duties involve contact with
minors—in preventing harm to young people.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta proudly offers Safe Environment training materials to all schools and
parishes. VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children (commonly referred to as “Virtus”) is the training
program for adults and children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.
We are happy to partner with you in working to keep your children safe. Please visit the
Archdiocesan Safe Environment page for information on reporting child abuse.

Effective January 1, 2016, the Archdiocese of Atlanta began utilizing VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Safe Environment training, which replaced the You Matter custom program. VIRTUS is a nationally recognized vendor utilized by 120 dioceses across the United States, offering a comprehensive program including Safe Environment training for adults, children and youth. VIRTUS also provides a convenient way for participants to register for training sessions, and allows participants to read and sign Safe Environment policies online.

What are the VIRTUS programs?

The VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children Program incorporates proven best practice standards for the prevention of child sexual abuse by clergy, staff, volunteers, and others who interact with children within the Catholic Church and School environments. Participants are made aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and are presented with five easy steps to prevent child sexual abuse. Two videos are the centerpiece of the training. Facilitators incorporate Archdiocesan policies and procedures into the training, defining child sexual abuse and addressing the legal requirements of reporting child sexual abuse.

Who needs to take the class?

All employees and volunteers who come into contact with children are mandated to attend a VIRTUS session.

How long is the class good for?

The training is valid for five years.

Where to I sign up?

You can go to https://www.virtusonline.org/virtus

Or for an English session please contact Diane Bauer at 770-432-8579, Ext. 0.