From The Safe Environments Office
A reminder to our parish volunteers and vendors who are over 18 years of age: Since 2003, the Bishop’s Office of the Diocese of Bridgeport has mandated that any employee, volunteer or vendor who is active in parish ministry must be Virtus compliant. The Virtus Program has 3 steps: 1) Attend a one-time training session, 2) authorize a background check and 3) sign an acknowledgement. If you haven’t attended previously, pre-register online at www.virtus.org or call the Parish Office: 203-377-0928.
There is a dedicated office for the assistance of victims of child abuse involving any person from the church. If you or someone you know is a survivor of abuse, we care deeply about your healing and you are very important to us. Help is available and your report may help to keep other children safe. We encourage you to contact the Safe Environment Office, the Police, The State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families Child Abuse and Neglect Care-Line, D.C.F.
You can contact any of these offices: The State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families Child Abuse and Neglect Care Line, D.C.F. at 1-800-842-2288. Erin Neil, L.C.S.W., Director of Safe Environment & Victims Assistance Coordinator at 203-650-3265. Michael Tintrup, L.C.W.S., Victims Assistance Counsel at 203-241-0987.
Important Safe Environment Reminder for Adults 18 and older
All Clergy, Lay Employees, Volunteers and Independent Contractors (full time, part-time, per-diem and substitutes) – even if they are not working with children, must have the following safeguards in place.
Register online to attend VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Adults by logging onto the website www.virtusonline.org Select the word REGISTRATION & BRIDGEPORT DIOCESE and follow the directions.
For new volunteers, employees, vendors:
1) Attend a live VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Adults class (Approximately 3 hours) and return a copy of your training certificate to the location where you work or volunteer.
2) Complete a criminal background check. Once you have created an online Virtus account, you will be asked to complete a background check online. If you have any difficulties, please call the Parish Office.
For current volunteers, employees, vendors:
1) Read the Safe Environment Handbook 2015, here
or you can stop in the Parish Office for a paper copy.
2) Once you have read the handbook, come to the Parish Office and we will update your Virtus online profile, review your training history and complete a background check. Please do this ASAP.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at the Parish Office, Tuesday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Thank you and God bless you.
Deacon Rob McLaughlin, Parish Virtus Coordinator
As a part of Retired Superior Court Judge Holzberg’s investigation into clergy sexual abuse of minors and the Diocesan response to that abuse, a hotline has been established for those who wish to communicate with the Judge and his team. Survivors or any others affected by abuse are encouraged to contact the hotline to discuss past incidents of abuse or their experience with the Diocese in regards to such abuse. The hotline can be reached as follows:
- English speaking USA and Canada: 833-990-0004
- Spanish speaking USA and Canada: 800-216-1288
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (must include company name with report)
When contacting the hotline, an individual may or may not choose to identify him or herself.
REPORTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR NOT PREVIOUSLY REPORTED SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES CARE LINE AT 1-800-842-2288 OR TO YOUR LOCAL POLICE. IN ADDITION, THE DIOCESAN SAFE ENVIRONMENT OFFICE ENCOURAGES SURVIVORS WHO HAVE NOT REPORTED ABUSE TO CALL 203-650-3265 OR 203-241-0987.