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Protecting God's Children

The Archdiocese of Detroit has implemented several safe environment programs, each designed to help people identify situations that could leave a child vulnerable to the methods of a sexual offender and to emphasize the critical steps that must be taken to prevent and report the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. More than 104,000 adults in our parishes, schools, and other ministries have been trained. Tens-of-thousands more individuals have been trained through age-appropriate programs for grade, middle, high school and religious education students.

All clergy ministering within the Archdiocese of Detroit, paid employees of Central Services, parishes and Catholic schools, and all volunteers who have regular and/or unsupervised contact with minors are required to complete Protecting God’s Children training. This three-hour awareness session teaches participants to identify situations that could leave a child vulnerable, the methods of sexual offenders, and critical steps to help prevent abuse.

Children and youth in grades kindergarten through Grade 12, whether they are enrolled in Catholic schools or parish-based religious education classes, are required to take age-appropriate safe environment training programs. Each of these programs use methods appropriate for the age level of the children to teach behavioral expectations, boundaries, how to identify trusted adults, and how to recognize inappropriate and unsafe behaviors.

More information about these programs is available at the links below:

Training for Adults

Training for Grades 9-12

Training for Grades K-8

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all adults who work with children required to take Protecting God’s Children training?

Yes. All clergy, paid employees of Central Services, parishes and schools, and all volunteers who have regular and/or unsupervised contact with minors are required to take Protecting God’s Children training.

Are adults who take Protecting God’s Children training required to get re-certified?

Under the Archdiocese of Detroit’s current policy, refresher training is not required of adults.

Are all children enrolled in Catholic schools or religious education programs required to take safe environment training?

Yes. Safe Environment Training is mandated by Article 12 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Among those required to comply are students enrolled in Catholic schools and religious education programs.

Are children who take an abuse prevention training program required to take additional training as they get older? In other words, if a student in kindergarten takes the age-appropriate Circle of Grace training, is she or he required to continue that training in future years?

To be most effective, it is expected that age-appropriate training be offered annually.

How many people have been trained since the Archdiocese of Detroit implemented its Safe Environment program in 2003?

Since Protecting God’s Children training was implemented in May 2003, more than 104,000 adults have been trained. While we do not maintain a detailed data base for children/teens, we know from enrollment figures that tens-of-thousands of students have been trained through age-appropriate programs for grade, middle, high school and religious education students.

Are the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Safe Environment programs audited? How often are these audits conducted?

The Archdiocese of Detroit’s Safe Environment compliance is independently audited every year. For more information on the audit process and to view the results of the most recent audit click here.

Posted: January 2019