Child Safety – it’s everyone’s job
In the parishes and schools of the Diocese of Burlington, children are of the utmost value. That’s why diocesan policies are set in place to ensure their safety.
Along with archdioceses and dioceses in the United States, the Vermont-wide diocese has been focused on implementing measures in restoration of persons injured by clergy abuse, awareness education for adults and children and screening of volunteers and employees to establish safe environments for children and adults in all diocesan functions and activities. “The purpose of the Office of Safe Environment Programs is to develop, maintain and make sustainable a program that keeps a community aware of individual contribution that is necessary to keep all safe but especially children,” said Kevin P. Scully, director of the Office of Safe Environment Programs.
There is an ongoing screening procedure of the Safe Environments Office with more than 5,000 personnel screenings conducted, qualifying people to engage children in the multifaceted activities of the Church in Vermont.
As of September 2015 the Diocese of Burlington now uses the online program Safe and Sacred as the primary source of adult education in the protection of children, replacing VIRTUS and Shield the Vulnerable. As completely online program, Safe and Sacred is designed to make training accessible and convenient for both the program user and the administrators. All new and current employees/volunteers who with work with minors in the Diocese of Burlington are encouraged to take Safe and Sacred as soon as possible by accessing it through the diocesan website. Safe and Sacred does not include live training sessions nor ongoing monthly bulletins, but it does incorporate the new background check forms that are now in use by the Diocese of Burlington. Please visit our Safe and Sacred Website and create a new account to get started on your training!
By participating online in the Safe and Sacred program, volunteers/employees in all parishes and Catholic Schools will:
Receive their safe environment training (annually for those directly involved with children and/or in positions of trust and authority, every five years for those who are not)
Complete their online background screening form (every five years)
Read the Diocesan Policies on Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (annually)
Sign the Code of Conduct electronically (annually)
Once a volunteer/employee takes Safe and Sacred online, the program will automatically remind people when it is time for new training, a new background screening, or a new signing of the Code of Conduct.
Circle of Grace, a program that provides a holistic approach to the safety, wellbeing and spiritual formation of children and youth has been implemented in parish religious education programs and Catholic school classrooms throughout the Diocese of Burlington.