Safe Environment

Protecting God's Children

The Archdiocese of Chicago Office of the Protection of Children and Youth’s (OPCY) mission is to respond to victim-survivors who report sexual abuse by assisting them in the process of healing and reporting allegations, and ensure the Archdiocese is providing services to prevent future instances of sexual abuse. All volunteers within the Archdiocese of Chicago are required to adhere to the requirements of the Protecting God's Children program. For further information and requirements, please view the following documents.

Protecting God's Children Compliance Letter

Eapps Instructions for Volunteers

DCFS - CANTS Form and Instructions

Code of Conduct

Virtus Class Instructions

Mandated Reporter Instructions

Second Step: Steps to Respect

During the 2010-11 school year, St. Francis de Sales Parish School implemented a new curriculum called Second Step: Steps to Respect for preschool through grade 8. The program focuses on life skills critical for the future of all students within the Catholic educational environment. In addition, due to the rising prevalence of bullying in schools in recent years, St. Francis de Sales felt it necessary to take steps against this trend.

The staff and the governing bodies of St. Francis de Sales Parish School believe this program helps keep our school safe, caring and respectful, and provides students with the essential skills for today and the future. Students are taught to recognize, refuse and report bullying. By helping children feel safe and supported, Steps to Respect encourages stronger bonds with peers, teachers and the school itself.

The program is based on research that links communication and social skills with many problem behaviors such as bullying, cyber bullying, classmate relationships and coping with stress. he major themes of this program are:

  • Empathy and communication
  • Bullying prevention
  • Emotion/Anger management
  • Impulse control, problem-solving, and goal-setting
  • Substance abuse education

All students, teachers, administrators, support staff, coaches and aides participate by integrating the program’s concepts into everyday interactions at school, home, sporting events and extracurricular activities. Several St. Francis de Sales staff and School Board members attended training provided by the Committee for Children on the program. In July of 2010, Father David F. Ryan, Pastor, Roy Rash, Principal and several School Board members attended a weeklong Steps to Respect training session in Chicago. The training was organized by the Committee for Children, a non-profit organization working globally to prevent bullying, violence and child abuse. The Committee for Children is responsible for the implementation of Steps to Respect nationwide. amilies play a crucial role in the success of the Second Step program. Letters about what the children are learning at school and what can be done at home to help them understand and practice the new skills are sent home. From time to time, a survey is provided to teachers and students to ensure that our administration receives adequate feedback and continues to improve upon this program.

Please feel free to visit the website at www.cfchildren.org to learn more about this curriculum.