Training for Adults

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is committed to educating adults to recognize, respond, and report child sexual abuse. To help fulfill our Promise to Protect, safe environment training is required for all adult employees and volunteers to be the eyes, ears, and voices to protect children in the diocese. By educating all staff and volunteers in our schools, parishes, and organizations, the diocese’s goal is to create a culture of prevention and protection.

Protecting God's Children® for Adults is training conducted by VIRTUS certified facilitators on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The training makes participants aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five easy steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse. Two videos are the centerpiece of the training: A Time to Protect God's Children™ and A Plan to Protect God's Children™. The facilitators incorporate policies and procedures into the training defining child sexual abuse, addressing the reporting of child sexual abuse, the screening and selection of employees and volunteers, and victim advocacy.

*No one under the age of 18 is permitted to complete this training*

To obtain access to the online Protecting God’s Children training contact your parish/school Safe Environment Coordinator or contact the Office for Safe Environment.

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Child/Youth Training

Since 2005 the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has mandated personal safety training for all children in the Catholic Schools and PSR programs in the diocese. Through various age-appropriate training programs, all of which are in accord with Catholic moral principles, pre-k – 12th grade students are educated on self-protection, appropriate boundaries, and the ability to recognize, resist, and ask for help with uncomfortable and unsafe situations.

Protecting God's Children, Touching Safety Program for Children™, is a school-based curriculum. The job of ensuring children's safety is a challenging undertaking. The prevention of child sexual abuse requires more than adult awareness, education, and training about the nature and scope of the problem. We must also give our children the tools they need to overcome the advances of someone who intends to do them harm. The Touching Safety program guide (Teaching Touching Safety Guide) is a tool designed to assist parents and teachers in this important task. The Touching Safety program is a vehicle through which parents, teachers, catechists, and youth ministers (educators) give children and young people the tools they need to protect themselves from those who might harm them.

The award-winning Power to Protect™ video lays the groundwork for the educator, who uses the activities to help students apply the message from the lessons to their daily lives. The lessons are organized in a three-year cycle so each child experiences a totally different lesson plan each time the materials are presented. Each child receives the full range of information from the Teaching Touching Safety Guide in small, "digestible" bites, over a three-year period. Then, as a child advances to the next age group, there are a whole new set of age appropriate lessons that explore the major topics in increasingly greater detail.

Other diocesan-approved training programs for children include various age-appropriate videos, Theology of the Body, RCL Benziger’s Family Life Series, and Pure Womanhood/Manhood.

To access these training materials please contact the Office for Safe Environment.

Mandated Reporter Training

Clergy members and school employees in the diocese are required to make a report when they suspect any child is being abused and/or neglected in any manner.

To recognize signs of abuse and/or neglect and how to report it, mandated reporters are required to take the Department of Children and Family Services online training course.

School employees must complete this training every year. Clergy members must complete this training every three years.

To view the Manual for Mandated Reporters, click here.

 To complete the online training, click here.