Virtus & Requirements to Serve
Archdiocese of Baltimore Child and Youth Protection
Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer at Holy Family Catholic Church, Davidsonville. As you know, Holy Family and the Archdiocese of Baltimore have a commitment to maintaining the trust of the faithful by providing our children and youth with safe environments characterized by healthy relationships. With our longstanding commitment in mind, all parishes and archdiocesan Catholic schools will be using VIRTUS.
As of Nov. 1, 2017, the Archdiocese of Baltimore joined more than ninety dioceses using VIRTUS as a training and compliance management system. The Archdiocesan policies were updated April 30, 2020. VIRTUS has worked with us to customize training tailored to our policies and to Maryland law.
Church personnel, including volunteers, who have not already registered in Shield the Vulnerable, will be required to register using VIRTUS. VIRTUS will direct volunteers to review the Code of Conduct for Church Personnel and A Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth. The Archdiocese of Baltimore will continue to work with Employment Screening Resources (ESR) to conduct online criminal history screening; as part of the registration process, VIRTUS will direct volunteers to the ESR website where they will be asked to submit to an online criminal history screening. VIRTUS can be accessed at: https://www.virtusonline.org.
If you wish to volunteer with the youth of our parish, you must complete the online registration process indicating your role as Volunteer with Substantial Contact with Children.
Background Check & References
You will agree to a background check, provide 3 references and complete the online training. The Virtus Volunteer Coordinator for Holy Family in Davidsonville is Louisa Woolery.
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Woolery by telephone through the church office or by emailing Louisa.Woolery@hfccmail.org.
Youth Volunteers Ages 14-17
Youth ages 14 to 17 years-old who wish to volunteer need to register as volunteers, by completing a hard copy of the application, provide 3 references either Electronic Reference or Written Reference. The final requirement is to view the video Worthy of the Call.
This can be arranged by contacting either Louisa Woolery, Dodie Seppi, to complete the requirement. While not a requirement, we do ask that at least one parent participate in the viewing of Worthy of the Call to continue the conversation of topics discussed in the video. You may also visit this link “Talking with Your Children About Abuse".
Youth under 14 years-old who wish to volunteer need only submit a volunteer application. Please sign page 2 of the application.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for children and youth. This commitment is expressed in the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Child and Youth Protection Policies. These Policies of the Archdiocese have been in place since the 1980s. They have been evaluated, strengthened, and disseminated broadly through the years. In 1993, the Archdiocese publicized written child protection policies and established an Independent Review Board. The Archdiocese implemented mandatory screening and training policies for employees and volunteers in 2003, as well as mandatory safe environment education for children. In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops promulgated the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms which establish a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Archdiocese of Baltimore has regularly been found by outside auditors to be compliant with the Charter. The Archdiocese continues to work with others outside of the Archdiocese to assist with efforts to protect all children in the community from child abuse. Over the years, the Archdiocese has updated its policies. The Archdiocese now in 2023 rededicates its efforts to creating safe environments for our children and reiterates its expectation for compliance with the child and youth protection policies and procedures through this revision of its policies.
Church personnel in the Archdiocese are expected to promote the dignity of each person and to understand the power they have to do great good and the power to cause harm. We pray for the healing and reconciliation of all those who have been victims of child abuse. We will exclude from ministry, employment, and volunteer service anyone against whom there is a credible allegation of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect of a child. We will affirm efforts to provide appropriate and loving outreach to the children and youth of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore wishes to acknowledge the commitment of the clergy, religious, employees, and volunteers to the young people of our Church and the implementation of these policies.
We believe that God's people have the right to healthy ministry and to quality pastoral care.
We believe that at the heart of this ministry is a relationship with God, a desire for holiness, and a commitment to live in right relationship with God's people.
We believe that the protection of those children and youth entrusted to the Church's care is of paramount interest.
We believe that those who work in the Church have grace influenced ability to do great good for children and youth.
We believe that when a representative of the church commits child abuse, emotional, spiritual, physical and/or psychological damage occurs.
We believe that the Church must continue to reach out to those who are victims of child abuse with the very compassion of Christ.
We recognize our responsibility to provide avenues of healing for those who are victims and for their families.
We recognize our responsibility to observe the requirements of civil law regarding prompt reporting of suspected child abuse and to continue cooperating with civil authorities.
We recognize there are instances where the state may not prosecute even though a credible allegation has been made.
Regardless of criminal proceedings, when a credible allegation has been made we take appropriate action to promote the safety of children and youth.
We recognize our responsibilities as an employer:
Church personnel are entitled to fair treatment under canon and civil law.
Code of Conduct for Church Personnel of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Statement of Policy.
Reporting Suspected Abuse
The Archdiocese of Baltimore complies with Maryland laws requiring reporting suspected child abuse to civil authorities. Under Maryland Law any person who has reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse must report the suspected abuse to civil authorities, even if the potential victim is now over 18 years old and even in cases where the alleged perpetrator is deceased. If someone associated with the Church, including clergy, employees, or volunteers of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is suspected of abuse, then the suspected abuse must also be reported to the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth at 410-547-5438 or the Victims Assistance Line at 1-866-417-7469.