Safe Environments Overview


Read an overview of Safe Environments (PDF)


For questions or concerns relating to Safe Environments, Background Checks, VIRTUS Awareness Training, Resources for Victims of Abuse or Mandated Reporting, please contact

Erin Neil
(203) 416-1406
(203) 650-3265
eneil@diobpt.org


To schedule a VIRTUS facilitator to come onsite to conduct a live training at your school or parish

Bernadette Griffin, Safe Environment Program Assistant
Office (203) 416-1650
Cell (475) 988-5366
bgriffen@diobpt.org

Welcome    Contact    Safe Environment Training (VIRTUS Registration & Re-Certification)    Dallas Charter

Q & A    Essential Norms    2015 Safe Environments Handbook    Report an Incident    Background Checks   

Mandated Reporting    Updates    List of Accused Clerics    Continuing Education Opportunities   

VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children Awareness Training


Bishop Caggiano’s Letter to the Faithful – Renewal of Safe Environment Programs in the Diocese of Bridgeport

KEY CHANGES to all of the Safe Environment programs of the Diocese of Bridgeport

NEW PERSONNEL: Live VIRTUS Training Registration instructions

Re-Certification Instructions for VIRTUS training and a criminal background check

Safe Environment Handbook Executive Summaries


> Click here for a schedule of upcoming sessions

Awareness training sessions called Protecting God's Children for Adults are being held across the Diocese by VIRTUS trained facilitators. This is a special 3-hour training that teaches adults in the Catholic community to create safer environments and become part of the solution to prevent child abuse. This training has met with positive responses from parents and volunteers from across our Diocese. The training provides adults with awareness of the issues surrounding child sexual abuse and some important steps that we can all take for the protection of children. Adults learn about the warning signs of potential sex offenders and unsafe situations that could place a child or a vulnerable adult at risk of abuse. At every session adults learn how to respond if they should suspect abuse and how to make a report in the State of CT and in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Participants are provided with an overview of the Diocese of Bridgeport Safe Environment Handbook.

To register for the awareness training please go to http://www.virtusonline.org and select Registration. Then select Bridgeport, CT. You will be directed to the most current schedule of upcoming sessions in your area. All participants who attend this training will receive a card as proof of attendance.

All parents, grandparents, and interested parishioners are welcome and encouraged to attend Protecting God's Children. Employees and volunteers from the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Diocese of Norwich are welcome to attend. Please notify your local Safe Environment Office if you are from another Diocese.


Scheduling a Training Session

To schedule a Protecting God's Children Awareness Training at your school, parish, organization or programs please contact: Erin Neil, Director of Safe Environments at (203) 416-1406. Training sessions last for 3 hours. The facility hosting the training must have a TV/DVD player or LCD Projector, a screen and speakers in the training room in order to show the video. We ask that training sessions be limited to 50 people at this time. You may need to schedule several trainings offered at your program, parish or school in order to accommodate all of your employees and volunteers.

Open Training Opportunities within The Diocese of Bridgeport will also be posted at www.virtus.org.


Pre-Registration Instructions

All members of the clergy, employees, volunteers and contract employees must register online at www.virtus.org to attend a training session.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education on abuse prevention is critical in maintaining Safe Environments into the future. Following the 3-hour live awareness training, select categories of personnel will receive continuing education online. Pastors, School Principals, Directors of Religious Education, Local Safe Environment Coordinators, and VIRTUS Facilitators will receive updates online. All parents and interested volunteers may access the free home page at any time to learn more about child safety and abuse prevention. For more information on continuing education, please contact your immediate supervisor at your school, parish or program. You may also contact Safe Environments.


Awareness Training Certificate of Attendance

In order for the certificate of awareness training to be accepted as temporary proof of awareness training, it must contain an original signature by a certified VIRTUS facilitator and the participant's signature must be documented on the awareness training sign-in sheet. Participant signatures on the VIRTUS sign-in sheets are official proof of awareness training attendance.

All original VIRTUS sign-in sheets are stored with Safe Environments. A copy of each sign-in sheet must be stored with each training location. Replacement cards can always be obtained by contacting Safe Environment office. Please be prepared to provide the date and training location where you attended.


Resources for Parents

Important Links from Child Lures Prevention (www.childluresprevention.com) and Netsmartz.org (www.netsmartz.org)

  • Helpful Hints: Helpful hints for discussing your child's personal safety.

  • Prevention Measures: Think of Child Lures Prevention as a vaccine: teaching kids its prevention measures should be as routine as taking them for their scheduled immunization shots

  • Definitive Guide: The definitive guide to keeping children safe: sample pages for you to review and then purchase. (PDF)