Step 8 of the "10 Steps of Volunteer Screening" addresses the need for education. We know that implementing our policies and procedures is a necessary step to making abuse impossible. However, to create an environment where abuse is unthinkable and everyone is part of a "culture of safety," we need to educate everyone who has any kind of leadership or who holds a position of responsibility in the parish. Our diocesan requirement is that this includes all clergy, staff, Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Council members, everyone who works with or around minors or vulnerable adults, coordinators of all ministries, even if their ministry does not involve minors, and all facility key holders.
Child Sexual Abuse Training
Called to Protect: group workshop training
The classroom program is excellent for parishes and programs which are just beginning to train their people or which have a number of new volunteers. Called to Protect is a 2 to 2.5 hour workshop, with videos and presentation content, purchased from Praesidium Inc. in the United States. With this training, our people satisfy the initial sexual abuse prevention program requirements. Sexual abuse prevention training must also be refreshed at least every two years. This would be done using Praesidium's online training, called Armatus.
Armatus: online training
The required initial education component of the "10 Steps of Volunteer Screening" can also be satisfied by individuals going online to complete the education modules from Praesidium. They call this program Armatus. The basic modules take about the same amount of time to complete as the workshop (2 hours). Armatus training is also the tool for the required refresher training, which should take place at least every two years. New modules (not just rehashing the original material) are regularly added for this purpose. People in all of the categories listed above must go through an average of one new module per year. Typically, each module takes 30 minutes to complete. If you have already been given login instructions or are already enrolled as a user, you may click on the link below at any time. If not, please contact your Parish Screening Coordinator or Ministry Coordinator to get set up.
Elder Abuse Awareness Training
In addition to the training for child sexual abuse prevention, those who are working with vulnerable adults in care facilities and visiting their homes, the Diocese of Calgary has trained a number of people who can deliver a 2.5 hour workshop called "Taking Action Against Abuse of Older Adults: An Awareness Workshop". This program was developed by the YWCA and has been made available to us free of charge. Please see your pastor or parish screening coordinator to find out if there may be a workshop in your parish or region.