Safe Environment Training

Children and Youth Safe Environment Training

Each parish and school is required to offer a yearly, age appropriate training session for children in parish religious education programs and Catholic schools. The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings offers the following curriculums as part of our ongoing commitment to create and maintain a safe environment for our children, to protect them from sexual abuse and to instruct them in the integrity of their persons and bodies, all in accordance with Catholic teachings. 

Read Bishop Warfel’s message on safe environment training.

Approved Programs

1. Safe & Sacred Children’s Learning Program

Click here to access the website (you must have an account on the system in order to access these documents). Parents that would like to preview these programs may contact the Diocese to obtain a copy. Programs include:

• Pre-Kindergarten Personal Safety
• Kindergarten God Made Me Special
• Grade 1 Gift From God
• Grade 2 Safe People and Places
• Grade 3 Head and Heart
• Grade 4 Personal Space Zones
• Grade 5 Staying Safe
• Grade 6 Appropriate Online Behavior
• Grade 7 Boundaries
• Grade 8 Modesty and Reputation
• Grade 9 Bullying
• Grade 10 Cyberbullying
• Grade 11 Predators Around Us
• Grade 12 Connecting Online

The Circle of Care curriculum addresses age appropriate personal safety issues for children and youth introduced in the context of Catholic Moral teaching. Materials for the Circle of Care curriculum were originally developed by the Diocese of Manchester and are used with permission. To access these programs check out the links below:

2. Circles of Care Lesson Plans

• PreK / Kindergarten lesson (Note: uses a book that must be ordered ahead of class time: (https://www.amazon.com/When-Feel-about-Myself-Books/dp/0807589012) Or, may be ordered from any retailer. The Diocese does not stock this book.
• 1st Grade lesson (Note: uses a book that must be ordered ahead of class time: (https://www.amazon.com/Incredible-Ways-greatness-shine-through/dp/1401907822) Or, may be ordered from any retailer. The Diocese does not stock this book.
• 2nd Grade lesson (Note: uses a book that must be ordered ahead of class time: (https://www.amazon.com/Officer-Buckle-Gloria-CALDECOTT-MEDAL/dp/0399226168) Or, may be ordered from any retailer. The Diocese does not stock this book.
• 3rd Grade lesson
• 4th Grade lesson
• 5th Grade lesson
• 6th Grade lesson

• Ice Breaker Activities
• 9th–12thGrade lesson (an initial lesson for high school students)

Additional topics for High School if 9th – 12th grade lesson above has already been presented to the students in the past

If parents choose to not have their child participate in the safe environment training an opt-out form must be completed certifying they have been offered the training and declined it.  Opt-out forms are available in your parish office. 

Adult requirements for diocesan Safe Environment Program

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, like all dioceses in the United States, is required to cooperate with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations to provide education and training for children, youth, parents, clergy, educators, and others about ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children. Education and training are made available through local parishes and schools in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings for adults and youth.

Safe Environment Training is required for:
  • All diocesan clergy and employees
  • All parish employees
  • All parish volunteers with access to children or vulnerable adults
  • All school educators, employees and volunteers

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings currently utilizes the Safe and Sacred Program from Proud to Protect for on-line adult training. Once you create a profile in the system, your username and password remain yours throughout your employment/volunteerism no matter where you may go within the entire diocese. For example, if you live in Great Falls and assist a parish with their religious education classes and then move to Billings or Miles City as a teacher, the courses you completed while in Great Falls follow you to your new location. You are not required to begin all over again, repeating courses or submitting a new application for a background check.

A Step-by-Step Guide has been prepared to assist parishes and schools in the implementation of the Adult program. The program offers 5 training modules with an annual requirement. The modules are:

      1. Recognizing Child Abuse
      2. Professional Boundaries and Behaviors
      3. Internet Safety
      4. Bullying Approaches and Policies
      5. Protecting Vulnerable Adults


Upon completion of each course a Certificate of Completion is issued which is good for one year. Issuance of the certificates signifies:

  • You have a current background check on file (no more than 5 years old)
  • You have completed the training module
  • You have read and agree to abide by the Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct
 
Click here for direct access to the Safe and Sacred website and to get started on your Adult Training Requirements.