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Safe Environment Programs



To foster a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults, the Diocese of Joliet requires that church personnel (clergy, seminarians, diaconal candidates, religious, employees, and volunteers who work with minors and/or vulnerable adults) comply with the safe environment compliance requirements of the Diocese.  

These requirements include educational programs identified by the Diocese which contain information about sexual abuse, its identifying signs, controlling access to children and vulnerable adults, appropriate boundaries in relationships, reporting incidents of abuse and the effects of abuse on victims/survivors.

Prior to beginning service, all church personnel are required to complete the safe environment training program identified by the Diocese, currently the VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Adults program (or PGC). In addition to clergy, seminarians, diaconal candidates, religious, and employees, this requirement applies to all volunteers who minister with minors and/or vulnerable adults on a regular, recurring basis and those who may have an opportunity to be alone with children and/or vulnerable adults during parish, school or religious education sponsored events. The program is also available to parents and guardians.

PGC is currently offered as an online training, which is accessed through a user’s VIRTUS account.

All church personnel are required to have a VIRTUS account, which assists a user with completing and keeping up to date with safe environment compliance requirements.

Please visit VIRTUS’s Helpdesk Support / FAQs to assist with VIRTUS account related information, which includes the following:

  • User Names & Passwords / Trouble with entering existing accounts
  • Inactive / Suspended accounts
  • Registration / Preparing to attend
  • I moved / Need to transfer my account
  • Updating my existing account

Child/Youth Training

In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Diocese requires instruction for children and youth to assist the adults responsible for their care to help keep their environments safe. Utilized by the Diocese for student training is the VIRTUS Empowering God’s Children Program.  Empowering God’s Children® is an age-appropriate comprehensive program through which educators (teachers, catechists and youth ministers) and parents and guardians can give children and youth the tools they need to protect themselves and what to do if someone tries to violate their boundaries. All materials are available in English and Spanish.