Protecting God's Children
In response to the deep commitment of the Catholic Church to create a safe environment for children and youth, the educational program entitled Protecting God’s Children was created. The Diocese of Joliet mandated this program in 2003 for all of their schools and parishes. This policy is designed to ensure appropriate responses of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, religious, employees and volunteers. It addresses preventing sexual abuse through education and screening, reporting abuse and providing pastoral assistance to persons affected by abuse.
The Virtus education program, Protecting God’s Children, is the primary means of educating clergy, employees and volunteers. It includes information about child sexual abuse, its identifying signs, controlling access to children, appropriate boundaries in relationships, reporting sexual abuse and the effects of abuse on its victims.
Prior to beginning service, as either an employee of the Diocese of Joliet or a volunteer in any capacity within the school or parish, proof of attendance at a Virtus Protecting God’s Children program is required. In addition, a background check must be completed, a Department of Children and Family Services reporting form must be signed and the Pastoral Acknowledgment must be read and signed. These forms are available in the school office. Until such time as all requirements have been completed, anyone wishing to be employed or to volunteer at St. Pius X Parish School will be denied.