Safe Environment


In 2005, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) drafted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in response to the crisis of sexual abuse of children in the Church.

The Charter establishes norms for responding to allegations, promotes healing and reconciliation with Victims and calls for the creation of safe environment programs in dioceses throughout the US.

To view the charter click HERE

Archdiocese of Seattle Safe Environment Training Program

Our program has three components:

1. Policy/Code of Conduct

2. Screening

3. Training

Church Personnel Definition

-Priests and Deacons


-Religious (men and women)

-All employees of the Seattle Archdiocese, Parishes and Schools

-All volunteers who have ongoing, unsupervised access to minors and vulnerable adults.

Vulnerable Adults Definition

-Any person over 60 unable to care for him or herself;

-Certain individuals with developmental disabilities;

-Anyone over the age of 18 who has a legal guardian;

-Individuals receiving in home care through a licensed health, hospice or home health care agency or from an aide hired on their own;

-Certain individuals receiving pastoral care services; or

-Individuals incarcerated in a correctional facility.


  • All newly hired Church Personnel are required to complete the Protecting God's Children foundation course within 90 days of beginning service. If the individual has completed the older Called to Protect for Ministries class, this requirement is waived.
  • Each parish must offer Protecting God's Children to their community. This may be offered in collaboration with other parishes or schools but MUST be made available and advertised to parents in the community once a year.
  • Safe Environment Training in Catholic Schools:
    • Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 10 will complete Safety Touching.


To register for classes or to view other resources, please click on this link

Virtus online registration instructions


Protecting God's Children: A three-hour training for all clergy, employees and applicable volunteers. Training is facilitated by a designated trainer of the Archdiocese of Seattle certified by VIRTUS.

Safety Touching: Is used in Catholic Schools and parish children's faith formation classes.

Online Refresher Courses: Online (internet-based) abuse prevention training; are required every three years and occur on the renewal date of the background screening.Background checks are required for all church personnel once every three years.


All church personnel are required to read and comply with the following policies by signing a Policy Acknowledgement in the Virtus online system.

1. Policy for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Abuse, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Harassment

2. Code of Professional Conduct for Church Personnel

3. Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect of Minors and Vulnerable Adults


Archdiocesan Information

For additional information, click on this link.

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