The Protection of Children and Young People – VIRTUS Click Here to Find & Register for a VIRTUS Class
“Children and young people have a right to be protected from harm in any and in all environments – home, school, religious institutions, and communities. The Diocese of Rockville Centre is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre will do all in its power to create a safe environment for children and young people, to prevent their physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and to bring the healing ministry of the diocese to all who are in pain.
The Diocesan Child Protection Policy continues to emphasize concern for children and compliance with all provisions contained in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priest or Deacons approved by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in November 2002.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is committed to to the goals of this policy:
- To minister to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the abused child and family as well as the affected Catholic community.
- To report all incidents of child abuse to civil and diocesan authorities.
- To strengthen all screening procedures with the goal of preventing child abuse by diocesan personnel and volunteers.
- To minister to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the indivisual who is accused of abuse”
Criminal Background Checks
In its effort to ensure the safety of all children and young people, the Diocese has mandated proper criminal background screening of all clergy, religious, lay employees and volunteers. Prior to employment, a criminal background check must be completed. No one can be employed by the Diocese who has not completed the required background check. Before anyone is permitted to volunteer in any parish program, a criminal background check must be completed. No one will be permitted to serve as a volunteer until the criminal background check has been completed.
Safe Environment Training
VIRTUS Training for all Employees and Volunteers. In addition, all priests, deacons, religious, lay men and women employed by the Diocese of Rockville Centre and all who volunteer in the Diocese, in any capacity, are required to complete a formal, approved training program, VIRTUS. The VIRTUS program has been adopted by many Dioceses throughout the country. It is a three hour program that is meant to help prevent the abuse of children and young people. The VIRTUS program is designed to help parents, and all who work with children and young people, to be alert to the practices of predators who seek to gain the confidence of children. The program seeks to help provide a safer environment for children by alerting all responsible adults to proper safety practices and the proper procedures that should be followed for reporting suspected child abuse. The more aware everyone is of the dangers that exist, the practices of predators, and the signs that should alert us to unacceptable, inappropriate behavior, the safer our children will be.