Virtus – Protecting God’s Children

“What is the VIRTUS”

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The VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” training program is designed to increase one’s knowledge and awareness of child sexual abuse and how one can help prevent the sexual abuse of minors and to implement the proper response when abuse may be indicated.

The primary goal of the VIRTUS program is to educate all volunteers in the recognition and prevention of sexual abuse. VIRTUS – Protecting God’s Children

This course is required for all employees and volunteers in Catholic churches, schools and ministries throughout the Diocese of Cleveland. The training sessions are part of the Diocese’s – and the Catholic Church’s commitment – to keeping children safe from sexual abuse.

The VIRTUS class trains parents, grandparents, teachers – anyone – to recognize signs of sexual abuse, spot abusers and prevent situations that could enable predators to harm children or vulnerable adults. It is required that anyone volunteering complete the training class (room parents, lunchroom helpers, coaches, parents who volunteer to read to a class, drive for a field trip, help with a party in the classroom, etc).

Classes are offered throughout the year, across the diocese. The class is free and must be taken only once.

*The name, ‘VIRTUS’ (vir-toos) is derived from the Latin word that means valor, moral strength, and worth.

Did you know…

that all adult volunteers in the Cleveland Diocese who have ongoing contact with children or young people need to attend a “VIRTUS: Protecting God’s Children for Adults” session?

The three-hour VIRTUS session consists of a presentation of printed materials, videos, and group discussion. Among other things, VIRTUS attendees will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate a child is being abused or exploited in some way, environmental factors to be aware of in the physical space of the parish or school, how abusers operate, and things parents can do to help educate their children about how to respond to inappropriate behavior toward them.