Protecting God's Children VIRTUS description
Protecting God’s Children
No child should suffer from abuse. VIRTUS® is a program created to protect children and others who interact with the Church by preventing wrongdoing and promoting best management practices within the Church community.
The VIRTUS program confronts child sexual abuse through its PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN programs. Most organizations that work with children have a child safety program in place. The VIRTUS program maximizes those efforts by helping churches and religious organizations renew their role as safe havens for children and empowering them with the tools to help adults protect children.
Renewing a church’s role as a child safe environment begins with making adults more aware of the ways children and adults interact with each other. The VIRTUS program educates and trains adults---clergy, religious, staff, volunteers and other adults in the faith community---about the dangers of abuse, the warning signs of abuse, ways to prevent abuse, and the methods for properly reporting suspicions of abuse.
The VIRTUS program utilizes a “best practices” standard for its products and services. The standard for preventing wrongful behavior---especially child abuse---requires continuous and interactive awareness and education using a variety of mediums, where the effectiveness of each is tracked so that the impact on adult behavior is measured and recorded.
The VIRTUS program begins with training trainers within your archdiocese or diocese. The PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN Training for Trainers is 2 days in length and is conducted by VIRTUS qualified trainers. It incorporates a detailed trainer’s workbook and the award winning videos: A Time to Protect God’s Children and A Plan to Protect God’s Children. Trainees can then use these powerful tools to make others aware of the signs of abuse and the steps available to prevent it. The train-the-trainer method allows an organization to incorporate the PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN components into its own prevention efforts, thereby preventing abuse and instilling trust.
Live instruction creates awareness, but to actually change behavior, you must conduct training regularly and monitor it continuously. With the VIRTUS® PROGRAM, behavioral change is efficiently achieved via VIRTUS Online. VIRTUS is a state-of-the-art, web-based platform that provides training and education resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anyone trained through the VIRTUS program can access VIRTUS Online. For those without Internet access, fax options are also available.
VIRTUS Online utilizes twice-monthly web-based training bulletins to reinforce the learning points made during live training. All continuing education of trainers is conducted via VIRTUS Online, as is all supplemental child abuse prevention training of clergy, religious, staff and volunteers.
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