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Child Protection Efforts


The Child and Youth Protection unit is aimed at creating safe environments for the children and youth in our parishes and Catholic schools. Our mission is to assist parishes and schools in understanding and implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This involves criminal background screenings and training certification programs that advance the safety of our children.

Our office coordinates and monitors the diocesan effort to ensure that all volunteers and employees submit to a criminal background check through fingerprint analysis and attend the required VIRTUS Awareness Training Program. These three-hour courses cover the scope and nature of child sexual abuse in addition to giving participants the five steps that caring adults can follow to protect children.

Our Safe Environment Programs:

The Child and Youth Protection unit works with parishes and schools to ensure that all employees and volunteers that have regular and consistent contact with children receive the proper training and have current criminal background checks. This training gives our employees and volunteers the safety tools they will need to use in all aspects of their lives. We also assist parishes and schools in implementing and scheduling VIRTUS training programs for both adults and children.

We currently offer the following training programs through VIRTUS (  Click here for a list of sessions.

  • VIRTUS Protecting God's Children for Adults
    This program helps the adults in our society to recognize the warning signs of a potential offender and how to appropriately respond.
  • VIRTUS Teaching Touching Safety Program for Children
    This program gives children the knowledge and tools they will need to be safe in all aspects of their lives – whether they are at home, at school or in their community.
  • VIRTUS Bullying Prevention
    This program teaches adults, caregivers, educators and staff to recognize the signs and behaviors of a person who is the victim of a bully and to also be able to recognize the individual who is acting as a bully.
  • VIRTUS Internet Safety
    This program shows adults that the Internet is a tool to be used with care and concern not only for themselves, but also their children
To All Diocesan Principals and Catechetical Leaders

Bishop O’Connell and the Diocese of Trenton are pleased to announce the adoption of a new safe environment program, RCL Family Life Series for all our religious education programs and Catholic Schools. Please read Bishop O’Connell’s letter of promulgation.

The Catholic Diocese of Trenton, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08648