Virtus / Safe Environment Program
Criminal background checks are required of ALL who have contact with children in any way. In addition and in conjunction with the Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth, Our Lady of Grace School requires that all those who work with or come in contact with children or work in an environment where children are present must attend a safe environment workshop.
All parents who serve as coaches, scout leaders, chaperones, room parents, leaders of extracurricular programs, etc. or volunteer in any capacity are required to take part in the VIRTUS training program “Protecting God’s Children.” This three-to-four hour workshop includes training relating to the prevention, identification, response, and reporting of child sexual abuse. The program also includes continuing on-line education as an important part of the training. Information regarding this program may be found at www.virtus.org.
The safe environment workshop is offered at various times during the year at Our Lady of Grace School and Parish as well as at various other parishes throughout the area. Times and places of the workshops are published regularly in our school bulletin, parish bulletins, and in the Northwest Indiana Catholic newspaper. Parents are required to show proof of participation in this workshop in order to assist in school or with any school/parish program involving children.
Students in all grades also take part in a personal safety program called Child Lures. The Child Lures School Program teaches students life skills and prevention strategies that protect children from exploitation, abduction, Internet crimes, drugs, and violence.