The Most Rev. Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, has mandated that all employees and volunteers in the Diocese of Bridgeport must be VIRTUS trained and renew training every 5-10 years depending on their contact with minor children and/or vulnerable adults. As part of this process, all employees and volunteers will undergo a background check. This is to ensure the safety of all minors at our parish and so that our parish complies with the Safe Environment Code of Conduct.
Safe Environment Handbook-Key Changes
All of the policies related to Safe Environment programs in the Diocese of Bridgeport are included in the 2020 Safe Environment Handbook. This Handbook replaces the 2003 Sexual Misconduct policy and the 2004 Code of Conduct.
For all employees and volunteers: 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
- New Personnel: Prior to working or volunteering, all new personnel are required to register online with VIRTUS Online and complete a live VIRTUS training session which lasts approximately three 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. Please refer to VIRTUS First-Time Registrants.
- Renewals: 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. Volunteers and Independent Contractors who assist in adult-only ministries and have no supervisory responsibility or scheduled contact with minors must, every ten (10) years, undergo a criminal background check and complete online VIRTUS re-certification on child abuse prevention. Examples of the positions that fall into the (5) or (10) year re-certification requirement are available on the diocesan website. Please refer to the VIRTUS re-certification instructions.
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. Online opportunities are 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 at 203 416-1406 or Astrid Alvarez, Safe Environment Database Manager at 203 416-1407.
Questions or Concerns
Any questions or concerns can be directed to our Parish Safe Environments Coordinator, Gina DeVito at 203 322-1562
We thank you for helping us to ensure that our parish continues to be a safe place for all young people and vulnerable adults.