Protecting God's Children

All staff and volunteers who may be in a position to have unsupervised contact with children are required to attend a workshop entitled “Protecting God’s Children”.  A felony background check is also a part of the Protecting God’s Children Program.  For any questions regarding the requirements, policy or procedures, please contact Fr. Bucon or Cathy Ghrist in the Religious Formation Office.   

Purpose:     The Archdiocese of Detroit is committed to providing safe environments and fostering continuous improvement in every organization that sponsors activities and/or provides
services to children and youth. The Archdiocese intends to create communities of
informed adults who model appropriate behavior, are vigilant to the warning signs of
abuse and take action to prevent abuse and improve safety. Likewise, the Archdiocese
is determined to ensure that facilities, grounds and procedures promote optimal safety.

General Policy: All adults who are paid or volunteer personnel (clergy, religious and lay) shall

1. Have a criminal history background check and have been provided the Pastoral
or Volunteer Code of Conduct before starting work in any capacity, and

2. Participate in a Protecting God’s Children workshop within 6 months of a staff or volunteer assignment, if the potential exists for contact with children or youth.

This may include, but is not limited to, the following: Parish Staff (all), Choir Director, Altar Server Coordinator, Scout Leaders – Boys, Girls, Campfire, Religious Education (catechists, assistants, hall monitors), Vacation Bible School Volunteers, Youth Group Director and volunteers, School Staff – faculty, administrative, custodial, substitute teachers,  School Volunteers - Room Parents, Office Volunteers, Field Trip Chaperones & Drivers, Retreat Chaperones & Drivers, Camp Counselors, Chaperones & Drivers, Part-time or Supply Clergy, Athletic Directors, Coaches and Assistants, Knights of Columbus, Parish Festival Chairpersons, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Soup Kitchen and domestic shelter staff and volunteers in locations where any children are present.

3. Numbers 1 and 2 above apply to incumbent staff and volunteers. However, their
participation in a PGC workshop shall be required within 6 months of the issuance of this policy.

4. Volunteers under 18 should be paired with an adult or another teen and regularly
supervised by an adult. Employees or volunteers, aged 16 and older, will attend the Protecting God’s Children Workshop and will have a criminal history check. Staff and volunteers age 16 to 18 are required to have parental permission to attend the workshop and to have the criminal history background check.

5. All parents/guardians are urged to attend a Protecting God’s Children workshop.

6. Contractors or personnel provided by public school districts cannot be required to
attend PGC workshops. However, it is required that background checks be done
by the contractor of the employees working in facilities when children or youth
are present.Requirement:Each organization shall maintain a database of all staff and volunteers with the dates of each person’s criminal background check, receipt of the Code of Conduct and Safe Environment Policies and participation in a Protecting God’s Children workshop,.

Requirements:  Each organization shall require a copy of the PGC certificate from each participant. An organization shall accept proof of attendance at a PGC workshop completed outside the Archdiocese or an equivalent training approved by the Office of Safe Environments.
Confirmed attendance at a Protecting God’s Children Workshop is a condition for
employment or volunteering. Non-compliance with this policy will result in the loss of
employment or volunteer position, until requirements are met.