Child Advocacy

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Training and Education

As part of the Archdiocesan response to the scandal of sexual abuse of children in the Church, the Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation and Oversight has launched multiple programs that focus on the protection of children. The following provides some introductory information on the Parish Program For Adults and Children. 
Local Parish Training for Protecting God's Children (PGC) 
2015 OCA Training of Trainers 

Protecting God's Children for Adults

A prevention and awareness training at the parish level for adults - called "Protecting God's Children", and administered by the Catholic Risk Retention Group under an umbrella called VIRTUS - consists of classroom presentations, printed materials and videotapes that will focus on the prevention of abuse and the protection of children.

The program is designed particularly for those adults who have custodial care of children as part of their duties. Training in the signs and symptoms that indicate a child is being abused in some way, and how to talk with children about these issues will also be included, as will training in the responsibilities of mandated reporting and the archdiocese's policies and procedures for preventing child abuse. An on-line component called "VIRTUS On-Line" will provide continued training through monthly bulletins and annual recertification. For more information about VIRTUS "Protecting God's Children" , see

http://www.virtusonline.org/virtus/protecting_children.cfm 

Safe Environments Programs for Children and Parents

The Archdiocese of Boston has several approved programs for children preschool to grade 8 that focus on training children about personal safety and abuse prevention. They have been designed for teaching children both in the Catholic schools and in parish religious education programs.

Each grade specific program must be taught annually in your parish schools or religious education programs.

The programs concentrate on teaching children basic skills that will help keep them safe from dangerous or abusive situations, while supporting parents, educators and community members in responding effectively to suspected abuse. The developmentally appropriate programs introduce the subject of sexual abuse in the context of general safety.

  • Grades Pre-K to 3/4

     

Talking About Touching was developed by the Committee for Children (CFC), a nonprofit organization that has researched and developed award-winning social-emotional skills curricula since the late 1970s. CFC is committed to its mission to promote the safety, well being, and social development of children by creating quality educational programs for educators, families, and communities.

Stay Safe was developed by University College, Dublin in collaboration with Ireland’s Eastern Health Board and Child Abuse Prevention Programme for use by the Archdiocese of Dublin in the country’s Catholic schools

Keeping Children Safe was adapted (with permission) from the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education developed by the Michigan Department of Education under a grant issued by the Michigan Department of Community Health.

RCL’s Family Life Series /Contact RCL directly for a description of their safe environment series.

  • Grades 4-8

     

Keeping Children Safe for Grades 4-8 was also adapted (with permission) from the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education developed by the Michigan Department of Education under a grant issued by the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The concepts of safety and prevention for students in the Grade 4 –8 Keeping Children Safe curriculum include a review of the safety rules with increased emphasis on the ability to judge risks, a discussion of power and when it is appropriate for others to have power over them and when it is not, a discussion of peer pressure and power, a discussion of babysitting and appropriate touch, and a discussion of internet and online safety.

RCL’s Family Life Series /Contact RCL directly for a description of their safe environment series.

In Grade 7 ONLY the Created for Love Parish Religious Education program and the See, I Make All Things New Catholic School program can be used as an alternative option for implementation of the safe environment program, Keeping Children Safe.

The Created for Love Parish Religious Education program and the See, I Make All Things New Catholic School program are dedicated to helping parents and their middle school age children come to a better understanding of and appreciation for the sanctity and dignity of human life and human sexuality. Both programs adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church, in particular, those expressed in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and in addition, they each also include a lesson on sexual abuse, advice for avoiding dangerous situations, and recommendations for reporting sexual crimes. The programs focus on growing in the virtue of chastity and understanding that God has a plan for each person’s life, and the heart of that plan is love.