Safe environment changes effective July 1

Published: June 29, 2017

Safe Environment Training

The Diocese of Little Rock is making two significant changes to its safe environment training "to improve quality, increase efficiency and better focus efforts on areas of greatest importance," said Deacon Matt Glover, chancellor for canonical affairs.

The changes, which take effect July 1, include switching from VIRTUS to CMG Connect and simplifying who must be trained and how background checks are done.

"These changes come as a result of a months-long process of analyzing what we’ve been doing and how we can do it better, and they have been vetted by multiple employees, volunteers, the Presbyteral Council and approved by Bishop Taylor," Glover added.

Previously, the diocese used VIRTUS' "Protecting God's Children" training for adults and "Touching Safety" for training of children and youth. Now the diocese will use the safe environment platform CMG Connect, which is produced by Catholic Mutual Group, for adult training and background checks. For children and youth training, the diocese will use "Circle of Grace," a program created by the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. It is endorsed by and works in partnership with Catholic Mutual Group.

The Safe Environment Program is also streamlining who is required to do the safe environment training and background checks. Moving forward, only the following adults will be required to do online training:

  1. All employees of the diocese, a parish or a school.
  2. Volunteers with routine contact with minors. This includes only those volunteers who have routine contact with minors as an essential part of their regular volunteering duties. 

All those who have already been trained through the VIRTUS program will not have to re-do anything. Those who are scheduled for a five-year recertification will be notified how to do that by their parish or school safe environment coordinator. For more information, visit the Safe Environment Program or contact Susan David, safe environment coordinator, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 332.