Diocese Takes Steps to Keep Kids Safe

April 1, 2009

In April, the Diocese of Metuchen, along with dioceses and parishes throughout the United States will observe Child Abuse Prevention Month.

With the slogan "Keeping Our Promise to Protect," this year's campaign, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be marked in the Metuchen Diocese with the publication of a prayer for the healing of victims of abuse in parish bulletins as well as the inclusion of intentions to protect children.

A special website titled "Keeping Our Promise to Protect" has also been launched on the diocese's website, www.diometuchen. org.

Another mainstay of the diocese's child abuse prevention efforts is its Virtus training. Since 2003, over 21,000 individuals who have contact with children have completed the Virtus program, which teaches adults how to create a safe environment for children.

The software program ParishSoft Safe Environment Program Manager will give pastors and other authorized individuals access to the database of individuals who have passed the background check and completed Virtus training.

In its Catholic schools and religious education programs, the diocese has also taken steps to protect children from sexual abuse predators. A few years ago students began participating in Child Assault Prevention, a safe-environment training program for children sponsored by the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.

In September the diocese plans to introduce a new program, "Called to Protect," in the high schools. The program was created to teach high school students about boundaries and how to respond if their personal boundaries are violated.

For more information, visit the diocese's website at


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