In 1993, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati created their first Decree on Child protection. Since that time the Decree has been updated and an educational program called VIRTUS® was launched for anyone in the Archdiocese who has contact with children. The VIRTUS® program informs volunteers on child and dependent adult concerns for abuse and it is a call to action for all Christians to help defend the innocent. Program attendance is required for all parish employees and anyone who has contact with children. The program is also open to anyone who would like to know more about protecting the innocent in our parish community and where we live. The costs for the VIRTUS program are paid by St. Charles Parish for anyone who is a registered parishioner.
The VIRTUS® program consists of 3 main components:
- A VIRTUS online portal where information on training classes and monthly educational bulletins are published.
- A 3-hour training on child and dependent adult abuse topics in a classroom environment.
- An online, real-time, ongoing monitoring of police and court reporting on an individual basis of incidents that may put children in harm’s way.
All Archdiocesan employees (this includes all parish employees, all diocesan high school employees, and all other employees within the diocese of Cincinnati) are required to maintain Virtus compliance as a condition of employment. All volunteers who work around children, even briefly, are required to be fully Virtus compliant prior to volunteering. All other parishioners are invited to set up a Virtus account, attend the class, and read the bulletins for the educational aspect of child protection as part of the diocesan program even if they don’t volunteer around children. The program serves to educate and give everyone in the program the tools that they need to identify and respond in cases of abuse.
Each diocesan location has named an individual as the Safe Site Coordinator. They have received additional training on child and dependent adult protection topics. The Safe Site Coordinator is responsible for program administration at the parish level. The Safe Site Coordinator at St. Charles is Steve Morris. He may be reached at (937) 401-0521 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.