Protecting God’s Children
To Those Volunteering to Work with our Youth:
All employees and volunteers who have access to minors must follow the Archdiocese of Newark Policies on Professional and Ministerial Conduct. There are certain steps you must take in order to be in compliance and approved as a parish volunteer.
- Complete a Volunteer Application which includes authorization for a criminal background check.
- Read the “Archdiocese of Newark Policies on Professional and Ministerial Conduct” and sign Page 23 and return with your Volunteer Application.
- Attend a Protecting God’s Children Training Session
Requirements to Become a Volunteer
A. Fill out a VOLUNTEER APPLICATION (download above) providing all necessary information. A criminal background check is done from this. In addition, please indicate on the Application if you ever live in the state of NEW YORK, this is necessary for the background check, which has a different code if you’ve ever lived in the state of New York.
B) A copy of Policies on Professional and Ministerial Conduct (Here). Page 23 must be returned signed and dated. Keep the policies for your review or you can view them online at: http://www.rcan.org/sites/default/files/files/NewarkConductPolicy-12-04.pdf.
*Page 23 is The Code of Ethics Form is an acknowledgement that you received, read and agree to the Code of Ethics and Ministerial Conduct Policies. (PAGE 23 here)
C) Attend a “Protecting God’s Children” Training Session created by VIRTUS. This program concerns sexual abuse, the means for creating a safe environment for children, and how to respond to suspected cases of child abuse. Required training is a 2-3 hour in-person awareness course. Re-certification training is required every 3 years either by attending the workshop again, or subscribing to the online monthly articles and taking an annual re-certification module. (visit: http://www.virtusonline.org to register) For your convenience workshops are available throughout the Newark Archdiocese at various locations and times. If you do not have access to a computer, stop in to the parish center and we will help you register. (VIRTUS REGISTRATION Instructions here)
*Clarification from the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Coordinator: “There is a law in the US that governs the rights of individuals (Volunteer and Employee) who have any aspect of their background checked. This law happens to be called the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Anytime a check is done on someone of any aspect of their background (driving record, financial, criminal, bankruptcy filings) etc. the person has a right to get a copy of the report, and a right to dispute it, especially as it may be used to deny employment. The law’s name has Credit in it, but we don’t check people’s credit. We are, however, by law, required to tell them, on a separate piece of paper, that they have rights under this law. The firm we use to do background checks is LexisNexis Choicepoint. Their type of business is a Credit Reporting Agency. We use them to do criminal background checks only. So, despite the use of the word “Credit” we are not checking people’s credit. We are checking their criminal history. —Karen Clark, Director of Safe Environment Program, Office of Child and Youth Protection Archdiocese of Newark.