About Safeguard the Children
Safeguard the Children was established to create a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults in the parish community. The Los Angeles Archdiocese has produced an informative brochure explaining the program entitled “Working Together” that provides resources on how to prevent abuse and provides information on reporting child abuse.
Holy Family School Compliance Requirements and Information
For Kindergarten and new families both parents are required to submit the following to the school by August 31, 2016:
1) Live-Scan Fingerprints.
2) Current VIRTUS® Training Certificate
3) Signed “Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or Parish School Activities or Events”
For all parents with children registered for the 2016-2017 school year with additional family member volunteers or nanny volunteers, the following requirements apply:
- Background Check/Fingerprinting: Both parents and every volunteer must have submitted fingerprints to the Holy Family parish prior to signing up to volunteer for supervising children in any capacity such as driving students to a field trip, serving hot lunch, attending overnight trips, coaching, supervising students in the drama program, etc.
o Upcoming Safeguard the Children Sessions at Holy Family Church:
- Virtus®: “Protecting God’s Children” (Expires after four years) Must register for a session on-line at virtus.org (How To find a Virtus®). Sessions scheduled at Holy Family Church, South Pasadena:
- For future sessions at Holy Family, please check the Sunday Bulletin weekly for dates and times.
- Virtus® Re-certification: “Keeping the Promise Alive” (to be taken only after completing “Protecting God’s Children”) Please check virtus.org for dates, times, and where sessions are being held. To register please call the phone number listed. Sessions scheduled at Holy Family Church, South Pasadena are:
- Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 2:30-4:00 pm
- Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Register at virtus.org and call Holy Family Church, South Pasadena at 626.799.8908 to register.
- Live Scan Fingerprinting Sessions (Fingerprinting Overview) are scheduled at Holy Family Church, South Pasadena periodically with the next session being held Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 12:00-3:40 pm and 5:20-7:20 pm; please call Patricia Plescia at 626.403.6106 for an appointment.
- L.A. Archdiocese’s free fingerprinting dates and locations can be found at http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/hr/Pages/fingerprinting.aspx.
o When you are fingerprinted, you will receive a copy of the “Request for Live Scan Service” Applicant Submission form which you hold onto and give a copy to the school office.
o Fingerprinting with the parish/school is only required once.
o Unfortunately, fingerprinting through another organization does not meet this requirement. We realize that teachers, law enforcement and many others submit fingerprints to their employers, but this does not fulfill the Archdiocesan requirement because this information is confidential and cannot be shared between organizations.
- VIRTUS® Training Certificate: At least one volunteering parent must submit or have on file a current VIRTUS® Certificate of Training Attendance. Also, any other volunteer, parent or family member must submit current VIRTUS® certificates prior to volunteering in any capacity, such as assisting at carpool, in class, in the drama program, in scouting, or in any parish program with children.
o Holy Family and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles require individuals volunteering with or around children to attend VIRTUS® classes every four years.
o There is no fee.
o The information provided is enlightening and compelling and educates and empowers us as a community to protect our children.
o Find a class and register at VIRTUS Registration – Click on Los Angeles Archdiocese, San Gabriel Region for classes closest to Holy Family
Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or Parish School Activities or Events: Each school year, all parents and every volunteer must submit signed forms to the School office acknowledging that they have read and agree to follow the “Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or Parish School Activities or Events.” “Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or Parish School Activities or Events.”
Reporting Child Abuse
It is important that everyone report suspected child abuse. The truth is that our first inclination is to not get involved, but if you fail to act, that is all it takes for abuse or neglect to continue. If you ever come across suspected abuse, we urge you to call the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000. The hotline is operated twenty-four hours, around the clock, seven days a week. You don’t need to know that child abuse or neglect is taking place, you are welcome to report your suspicions and consult with a social worker if you are not clear whether what you are witnessing or have learned of is abuse. Depending on your profession, you might even be legally obligated to report suspected child abuse and neglect, a so-called “mandated reporter.” But if you are not a mandated reporter, you can even make your report anonymously.
Priests, deacons, school faculty and administrators and other staff members in our parishes and schools have been designated as mandated reporters under California law. When one of these persons receives information leading to a “reasonable suspicion” that a child is being abused or neglected, he or she must make a report to the appropriate child protection or law enforcement agency. For more information on Responding to an Allegation of Suspected Child Abuse: www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/vam.
Los Angeles County:
LA County Child Abuse Hotline: 800.540.4000
Investigative Control Unit for All Child Abuse Reports: 213.486.0530 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department:
Special Victims Bureau (24 hours) 562.946.8531
To speak to a detective 562.946.7960
District Attorney’s Office:
Sexual Crimes Division 213.974.9790
Family Violence Division 213.974.3785
For callers residing outside the State of California who wish to contact Child Protective Services in Los Angeles: 213.639.4500
If you are being abused, have been abused, or know someone who is being abused, you can call Victims Assistance Ministry at: 800.355.2545 for assistance. You may also seek help directly by contacting one of the Child Protective Services or one of the Law Enforcement Agencies listed below. In an emergency call 911.
Safeguard the Children Committee
Holy Family has an active STC Committee chaired by a parishioner. More information can be found on the Holy Family Church website by clicking on the stained glass window at the top entitled: “Protecting Children” or on the Safeguard the Children Ministry tab: http://holyfamily.org/safeguard-the-children/
Any questions? Please contact:
Safeguard the Children Committee Chair