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Safe environment training sessions offered by Diocese

August 6, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Office of Children and Youth Protection will sponsor a series of safe environment training sessions for volunteers and diocesan employees throughout the diocese. Each workshop will include youth protection awareness and mandated reporting training.

Anyone who works or volunteer in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown — at the parish, school, or diocesan level — are required to undergo training in both Youth Protection Awareness and Mandated Reporting every five years.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown utilizes the Virtus Youth Training Platform “Protecting God’s Children®” that allows participants to become aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five easy steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse.

The diocesan director of Children and Youth Protection participated in the “Train the Trainer” program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) and is a certified trainer of “Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse.” The advantage of having an on-site organizational trainer allows frequent training opportunities and ongoing support to prepare staff and volunteers throughout the Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown to be knowledgeable, proficient, and confident with reporting suspected child abuse.

PFSA is the only approved entity in Pennsylvania able to offer “Train the Trainer.” The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance provides education, support, and training programs throughout Pennsylvania, envisioning all children to grow and thrive free from abuse and neglect.

The Mandated Reporting Training is approved by the Departments of Human Services, Education, and State and is eligible for Act 48 credits and meets the requirements for required training under Act 126 and Act 31.

All workshops will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The dates and locations of the sessions are as follows:

Johnstown sessions will be on Wednesday, and Sept. 22, at the Saint Patrick School Building, 625 Park Ave., Johnstown.

Blair County sessions will be on Thursday, and Sept. 8, at the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Administration Center (Building A), 927 South Logan Boulevard, Hollidaysburg.

Additional sessions within the diocese include Oct. 13, at the Family Life Office, 5379 Portage St., Lilly and Oct. 20, at the Saint Peter Parish Annex Building, 433 West Church St., Somerset.

To register for an upcoming session, visit www.virtusonline.org, select AltoonaJohnstown Diocese as “your organization.” Individuals may also register through the Diocesan Office of Children and Youth Protection, Cindy O’Connor, director, at coconnor@dioceseaj.org or 814-695-5579, ext. 2621.

Trainings are also available online. For more information, visit the Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown website at www.dioceseaj.org/youth-protection.

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