The entire code of conduct has been revised for 2015. Please see the letter from Bishop Caggiano. If you received your VIRTUS training and/or background check more than 5 years ago you must complete a re-certification. Please see instructions below.
KEY CHANGES IN THE DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT SAFE ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM 2015
THE SAFE ENVIRONMENT HANDBOOK:
All of the policies related to Safe Environment programs in the Diocese of Bridgeport are included in the 2015 Safe Environment Handbook. This Handbook replaces the 2003 Sexual Misconduct policy and the 2004 Code of Conduct. The Executive Summary which applies to your role must be signed and provided to each location where you work or volunteer and it must be re-signed when there is a change in role or a change in diocesan location. Carefully read the Safe Environment Handbook, paying particular attention to the sections that apply to your work and ministry, acknowledge your receipt and understanding of the Handbook by signing the Executive Summary form, and return the form as directed.
VIRTUS AWARENESS TRAINING & CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS:
Prior to working or volunteering, all new personnel are required to register online with VIRTUS
and complete a live VIRTUS training session which lasts approximately three 3-hours. The Mind Your Business, Inc. (MYB) criminal background check and an electronic acknowledgement of the Safe Environment Handbook is included in the new registration process.
Effective as of January 1, 2015, all members of the Clergy, Religious Sisters and Brothers, Lay Employees of the Diocese (Full-time, Part-Time and Per-Diem) age 18 and above and all volunteers who are working in scheduled contact with minors and vulnerable adults must, every five (5) years, undergo a criminal background check and must complete online VIRTUS
re-certification on child abuse prevention which lasts approximately one hour.
- The first step is to access your own VIRTUS account by visiting www.virtusonline.org and logging in with your User ID and Password. It is very important that you do not create multiple VIRTUS accounts. If you attended a VIRTUS training in the past, you should have an account. You may contact the Diocesan Safe Environment database manager, Michael DiToro at 203-416-1407 firstname.lastname@example.org or you may contact the VIRTUS helpdesk at 1-888-847-8870 for assistance. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the parish office @ 203-438-6538.
- Once Logged in, renew your criminal background check. Note, if you are not due for a background check, this option does not even appear and you can go directly to the next step.
- Complete re-certification requirements by selecting Protecting God’s Children® Online Awareness Session 3.0 located at the bottom of the page. You will need at least an hour to complete this portion, but note you may start the session and return at a later date, if necessary. **Please note: If you are using Internet Explorer and experience difficulty, switch to a different browser (ie. Chrome; Mozilla; etc.).
- Once you have renewed your background check and completed your virtus training there will be an opportunity to print off and save a certificate of your completion. Send this to Maria Arena in the Parish Office along with your Executive Summary (Catechists and Youth Ministry volunteers send to Religious Education Office).
ANNUAL CONTINUING EDUCATION:
All diocesan clergy, lay personnel and volunteers who work with minors are required to participate in annual awareness programs concerning Safe Environment issues. Beginning in 2016, online opportunities will be made available to meet the requirements for ongoing education on protecting children in subject areas of technology safety, mandated reporting and additional subject areas that expand on the VIRTUS program.
For questions related to the Safe Environment program or to report suspected abuse of a minor involving a person from the Church, please contact Erin Neil, LCSW Director of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance Coordinator (203) 650-3265 or email
or Michael Tintrup LCSW (203) 241-0987.