For online VIRTUS registration instructions click here. Please note: All must register online for VIRTUS. Due to the nature of the material presented at VIRTUS Training sessions, no children will be admitted.
To attend VIRTUS training, you must register online by clicking the yellow Registration link at www.virtusonline.org. You will be prompted to complete the registration form after you have chosen a User ID and Password. Select organization->Rockville Centre,NY (Diocese).
If you don’t have Internet access or need assistance please contact the rectory 516-352-7203 and ask for a VIRTUS coordinator.
If you’ve taken VIRTUS training at another parish, please notify the rectory of the date and location.
The Protection of Children and Young People – VIRTUS
Children and young people have a right to be protected from harm in any and in all environments–home, school, religious institutions, and communities.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre will do all in its power to create a safe environment for children and young people, to prevent their physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and to bring the healing ministry of the diocese to all who are in pain.
The Diocesan Child Protection Policy continues to emphasize concern for children and compliance with all provisions contained in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priest or Deacons approved by the U.S. Catholic bishops in November 2002.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is committed to the goals of this policy:
To minister to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the abused child and family as well as the affected Catholic community
To report all incidents of child abuse to civil and diocesan authorities
To strengthen all screening procedures with the goal of preventing child abuse by diocesan personnel and volunteers
To minister to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the individual who is accused of abuse” –Diocesan Child Protection Policy pg. 1
Criminal Background Checks
In its effort to ensure the safety of all children and young people, the Diocese has mandated proper criminal background screening of all clergy, religious, lay employees and volunteers. Prior to employment, a criminal background check must be completed. No one can be employed by the Diocese who has not completed the required background check. Before anyone is permitted to volunteer in any parish program, a criminal background check must be completed. No one will be permitted to serve as a volunteer until the criminal background check has been completed.
Safe Environment Training
VIRTUS Training for all Employees and Volunteers
In addition, all priests, deacons, religious, lay men and women employed by the Diocese of Rockville Centre and all who volunteer in the Diocese, in any capacity, are required to complete a formal, approved training program, VIRTUS. The VIRTUS program has been adopted by many Dioceses throughout the country. It is a three hour program that is meant to help prevent the abuse of children and young people. The VIRTUS program is designed to help parents, and all who work with children and young people, to be alert to the practices of predators who seek to gain the confidence of children. The program seeks to help provide a safer environment for children by alerting all responsible adults to proper safety practices and the proper procedures that should be followed for reporting suspected child abuse. The more aware everyone is of the dangers that exist, the practices of predators, and the signs that should alert us to unacceptable, inappropriate behavior, the safer our children will be.
Programs for Children and Young People
Children and young people in our parish school and religious education program will attend special programs that include but are not limited to the following topics:
Basic safety skills
Recognition of abusive and dangerous situations
Appropriate and inappropriate physical contact and other interpersonal boundary violations
Ability to say “No” to unwanted situations
Ability to identify trusting adults with whom to speak
Importance of disclosure if inappropriate or unwanted actions are directed toward self or others
Recognition that abusive situations are never the fault of the child
Volunteer Code of Conduct for Service in the Parish Community of Notre Dame
All who serve as volunteers in Notre Dame Parish are required to accept, and agree to, the following Code of Conduct:
“Our children are the most important gifts God has entrusted to us. As a volunteer, I promise to strictly follow the rules and guidelines in this Volunteer’s Code of Conduct:
As a volunteer, I will:
Treat everyone with respect, loyalty, patience, integrity, courtesy, dignity, and consideration
Avoid situations where I am alone with children and/or youth at parish activities
Use positive reinforcement rather than criticism or comparison when working with children and/or youth
Refuse to accept expensive gifts from children and/or youth or their parents without prior written approval from the pastor
Refrain from giving expensive gifts to children and/or youth without prior written approval from the parents or guardian and the pastor
Report suspected abuse to the pastor, or appropriate supervisor and the local child Protection services agency or other civil authorities
Cooperate fully in any investigation of abuse of children and/or youth
As a volunteer, I will not:
Smoke or use tobacco products in the presence of children and/or youth
Use, possess, or be under the influence of alcohol at any time while volunteering
Use, possess, or be under the influence of illegal drugs at any time
Pose any health risk to children and/or youth (i.e., no fevers or other contagious situations)
Strike, spank, shake, or slap children and/or youth
Humiliate, ridicule, threaten, or degrade children and/or youth
Touch a child and/or youth in a sexual or other inappropriate manner
Use any discipline that frightens or humiliates children and/or youth
Use profanity in the presence of children and/or youth
I understand that as a volunteer working with children and/or youth, I am subject to a thorough background check including criminal history. I understand that any action inconsistent with this Code of Conduct or failure to take any action as outlined in this Code of Conduct may result in my being asked to no longer volunteer in my parish, Notre Dame Church.”