CORI, PGC/Virtus, and Safe Environment for Faith Formation Leaders

CORI – Office of Background Screening

  • The CORI Process for Parishes page is very helpful. 
  • Here is one of the more common questions and answers:
    • Question - Who needs a CORI check?  
    • Answer - The Archdiocese of Boston requires that all clergy, including those not serving in a parish, and all parish staff (full and part-time), together with all volunteers (18 years of age and older) who minister to or have the potential for unmonitored access to children, youth, elderly or the disabled, undergo a CORI check. A “CORI check” is an individual’s submission of his/her completed CORI Request Form to the Parish Coordinator in accordance with this Policy. Examples of those ministries which must undergo a CORI check, include, but are not limited to: Ministries to the Dying, Music Ministry, Religious Education, Parish Health Care, Youth Ministry, and Parish-chartered Boy Scout/Girl Scout Troops. If a pastor/administrator has a question with respect to which volunteers have the potential for unmonitored access to children, youth, elderly or the disabled, he should contact the Office for Background Screening..
  • Examples of Ministries Required to CORI Their Members
  • Everyone needs a CORI every year. 
  • We have a process for people residing out of state
    • The DCJIS has access only to Massachusetts criminal offender record information. Therefore, if there is an individual in the parish who is required to have a CORI check, but is currently not residing in Massachusetts, the individual will be required to obtain their CORI Return for their current state of residence. If there is an individual in the parish who is required to have a CORI check, but has lived in Massachusetts for less than one year, the individual will be required to obtain their CORI return from their previous state of residence. It will be the individual’s responsibility to get a copy of their out of state CORI Return(s) and submit the CORI Return(s) to the Coordinator in a sealed envelope marked “Personal and Confidential”. The Coordinator shall then forward the sealed envelope and the individual’s CORI Request Form to the Office for Background Screening. The envelope should clearly identify the parish name and its location
  • In short, when in doubt, do a CORI check and do it every year!

Protecting God’s Children (PGC) – Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation, and Oversight

  • A description of the PGC program for Adults and some key points:
    • 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.
    • More information about VIRTUS "Protecting God's Children" here.
    • While the program is required for any adult who has custodial care of youth in any context, it is strongly recommended for parents and indeed the general public to increase their awareness of the warning signs of abuse and how to address situations involving those signs.
    • Please note that minors are never permitted to have custodial care of other minors – and in fact the Archdiocese strongly encourages all chaperones to be at least 21 years of age.  
      • This means that any young people serving as catechists or babysitters at any parish event must also have some adult supervising their care of other minors.
  • If you have a leadership role in your parish or collaborative, please consider becoming a PGC program facilitator.  Contact Vivian Soper for more information.
  • Find a PGC workshop 
  • How to submit PGC workshop sign-in sheets
  • Parish clergy, staff, and volunteers are mandated reporters

Safe Environment – Office of Child Advocacy

  • Personal safety and abuse prevention training is required for any children aged preschool through grade 8
  • The recommended program for grades Pre-K through 5 is the Child Protection Unit from Second Step  which is an update to the older Talking About Touching curriculum.
  • The only other permitted safe environment program for grades Pre-K through 8 in the Archdiocese of Boston is the Virtus Teaching Safety Curriculum. Any parish using another safe environment curriculum will need to transition to either the Second Step or Virtus programs.  Please contact the Child Advocacy team for more information.
  • The Virtus Teaching Safety Curriculum is now also required for high school aged youth in parish faith formation, sacramental preparation, and youth ministry programs.  Please contact the Child Advocacy or Faith Formation & Missionary Discipleship Teams for more information.

Created for Love

  • The Archdiocese of Boston mandates the Created for Love curriculum for all those in grades 6-8 in archdiocesan parishes and schools in addition to the child safety/safe environment curriculum mandate.
  • This mandate is an RCAB mandate separate from the USCCB child protection safe environment curriculum mandate.
  • Created for Love no longer fulfills the USCCB and Archdiocesan of Boston child protection safe environment curriculum mandate but is still a required curriculum for all those in grades 6-8.
  • The materials and additional information about Created for Love is available at https://www.bostoncatholic.org/respect-life-education.