Local News and Stories

Office of Safe Environment to introduce new training program

By: Robbie Izzard – Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator

With the changes of technology and to better accommodate the busy schedules of volunteers in the Diocese of Juneau, the Office Safe Environment will implement a new web-based training program this fall.

The program, Safe and Sacred, allows volunteers, staff and clergy to login into a secure site dedicated to our diocese to take safe environment courses. Having the courses web-based, you will be able to complete your safe environment training from your home or anywhere you have an internet connection. As you make your way through the training and complete the course, I will be notified of your completion and receive a copy of your certificate for our records. This program will also allow you to read through and agree to our Diocesan Pastoral Code of Conduct.

Being able to receive the completion certification electronically will help streamline our record keeping of who has and hasn’t completed the required training. It will also allow the Office of Safe Environment to send reminders to individuals and parish offices of who hasn’t fulfilled their requirements.

The initial training is on “Serving Vulnerable Populations” and includes a segment on “Recognizing Child Abuse” and “Protecting Vulnerable Adults”. We are always looking for ways to stay up to date with the new information that is available to us and we’re confident that this program is designed for that purpose. There will be quarterly newsletters that will go out to those who have taken the initial training.

Safe and Sacred has been used in dioceses in the United States for over ten years and is a faith-based training program. It is currently being used by the Archdiocese of Anchorage. It is our hope that the implementation of Safe and Sacred in our diocese will help us strengthen our dedication to protecting the youth in our parish communities and the diocese.

We hope that this will make volunteering in our parishes more convenient for catechists and others who are willing to help with our programs that involve youth. We are dedicated to the protection of children and young people in our diocese and appreciate your willingness to be an active volunteer.

Hopefully this will remedy some of the problems we’ve had in the past with individuals having to sign off on our policies and take Safe Environment instruction more than once when they are volunteering in various capacities for different programs.

Thanks for your patience as we implement this new Safe Environment program. It is our hope that this will make our commitment to protecting youth easier for all of us. Thank you to everyone who volunteers directly with our religious education programs and to those of you who are involved in the various programs where we work with families. The work we do in the name of Jesus would not be possible without your help and it is our hope that this new program will make your job easier.