OPCY is here to assist parishes and schools in their efforts to fulfill the child protection policies of the Archdiocese of Chicago as well as those of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
VIRTUS’s Protecting God’s Children training session. Register and attend within 15 days of beginning work or volunteering (Policy 603.3)
Protecting God’s Children for Adults is conducted by certified facilitators on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The training educates participants on the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and how to prevent it.
Facilitators incorporate Archdiocesan policies and procedures into the training, defining child sexual abuse, addressing the reporting of child sexual abuse, and the screening and selection of employees and volunteers.
All employees and volunteers who work with children and youth must fulfill this compliance requirement. Anyone employed two months or longer who has not attended are at risk to be suspended from their work or volunteer for the Archdiocese of Chicago until compliance is met.
Participants must be present for the entire training session to receive credit for attendance.
Please see below for training options. Contact [email protected] with additional questions.
Participate in Training If you have never participated in this training, click here to find and pre-register for an upcoming training session and create a new account.
Participated in Training with Another Diocese If you have taken this training with another diocese, please contact VIRTUS at 888.847.8870 to authorize them to transfer your account to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Please note, online trainings of Virtus Protecting God’s Children for Adults do not meet the Archdiocese of Chicago’s requirement.
Unable to Attend a Registered Session If you have already created an account and pre-registered for a training session, but did not make a session and need to transfer your account to a different training session, click here to view upcoming sessions. Please be sure to use your existing account to transfer your information. If you are unable to transfer your account to another session, email the date and location you would like to attend training along with your VIRTUS user ID to [email protected].
Create a VIRTUS Account Online If you have already attended a training session, but never created a VIRTUS account online go to www.virtusonline.org and create a new account. Be sure to choose the training session you attended from the drop-down box when asked. When completed, contact us to have your account approved/activated at 312.534.5206 or email [email protected].
If you have already participated in training for the Archdiocese of Chicago, log in to your account at www.virtusonline.org to ensure it is approved, active and updated with your current information.
Each parish and school should have a trained, certified VIRTUS Facilitator. Employees/volunteers interested in being certified to train are required to participate in this two-day training hosted by the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY). For pertinent information and to obtain the required application form, contact Maricela Gonzalez at 312.534.5388 or [email protected].
It is recommended that each school and/or parish have a certified facilitator to train their employees and volunteers. Applicants must be pre-approved by the pastor/principal to attend the training. Applicants must be in compliance with the Safe Environment requirements prior to taking the training.
Mandated Reporter Training provides adults mandated by state law and Archdiocesan policy to report suspected child abuse and neglect with information on how to recognize and report child abuse and neglect.
The following employees and volunteers are required to complete this training within 60 days of hire:
School personnel, medical personnel, social service and mental health personnel, law enforcement personnel, coroner/medical examiner personnel, child care personnel and clergy. School personnel are required to recertify every 3 years.
Catechists, youth ministers, coaches, and pastoral center employees who work directly with children.
Seminarians must complete this while at the seminary and training is offered to deacons during their formation.
Online training The Office for the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY) has partnered with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to use their existing online training: Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Training for Mandated Reporters. At this time, online training is available in English and Spanish. Participants should be aware of the following:
Training takes at least 60 minutes to complete.
You must use a computer with a printer to print the certificate at the completion of the training. Only a computer-generated certificate will be accepted.
The computer used for training must be equipped with speakers or a headset to allow you to hear the audio.
Employees must have their employee ID number (can be found on a paycheck stub). Volunteers use an email address to create their online training account.
Archdiocesan Standards of Behavior for Church Personnel Working with Minors and Vulnerable Adults (formerly Code of Conduct). Read and signed at time of hire and re-acknowledged yearly through VIRTUS (Policy 603.4)
Every parish and school is required to have a Site Administrator, an on-site employee designated by a pastor or principal at their parish or school, whose qualifications and duties include, but are not limited to, the management of compliance data for their site’s employees and volunteers. Site Administrator Training provides administrators with an understanding of the responsibilities and expectations to ensure and verify every employee and volunteer has complied with Safe Environment requirements.
Every student in every grade in schools and religious education programs are to be offered training annually on sexual abuse prevention. (Policy 603.7)
Those under the age of 18 are unable to meet safe environment compliance requirements; therefore, they may not be in a supervisory role or in charge of minors. However, if they are employed, minors must create a Virtus account at virtusonline.org to be assigned appropriate training.
Safe Environment compliance is a condition of employment and volunteer service. All compliance recordkeeping is to be verified and tracked within the Virtus System Database and reported in the Annual Audit.