Protecting God’s Children programme – Mar 29, 2011

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Protecting God’s Children programme – Mar 29, 2011

Protecting God’s Children programme – Mar 29, 2011 PDF Print E-mail

The Roman Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago is moving to facilitate greater protection for the nation’s children relative to abuse of all kinds. The Archdiocesan of Port of Spain will soon launch a series of workshops facilitated by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) and the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ) to allow persons who work with children at Catholic institutions to participate in “Protecting God’s Children”, a programme conceived, developed and financed by the US-based National Catholic Risk Retention Group Inc., part of its VIRTUS series.

First off will be the local clergy when the series begins on March 29. The subsequent sessions will accommodate principals, teachers, catechists, volunteers in a not yet determined order. A married couple nominated by the Archdiocese, along with Leela Ramdeen, Chair of the CCSJ, will serve as coordinators/facilitators for the programme.

The clergy session will include two awareness videos (“A Time to Protect God’s Children” and “A Plan to Protect God’s Children”), in conjunction with some group work with the aid of a handbook and workbook.

According to VIRTUS website, “Protecting God’s Children” has a special focus on “education and training of clergy, staff, volunteers, parents and other adults about the nature of child abuse, child sexual abuse and how adults can help prevent harm to children.” The “Protecting God’s Children” programme aims at turning every parish into child-safe havens.

As the programme is implemented throughout the country, the archdiocese will create a Safe Environment Committee, which will be charged with developing a Safe Environment Policy, a Pastoral Code of Conduct and a procedure for handling allegations of abuse.

Trinidad and Tobago would not be the only country to benefit from the programme as it is being rolled out in the other regional dioceses which comprise the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) following a commitment by the AEC bishops “to do all in their power to protect the children of the region from sexual abuse.”

The diocese of Roseau in Dominica stated in a recent release that the programme was an initiative intended “to create communities of informed adults who model appropriate behavior and are vigilant to the warning signs of abuse and improve safety.”

Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2011 13:28