Safe Environment

The mission of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth is to promote the dignity of children and assist those who have been affected by abuse and trauma. Compliance requirements are as follows:

Archdiocese of Chicago Application for Employment or Volunteer Service (Form 7703) is to be completed by all prospective employees at the time of their interview. References are called and documented (local principal’s initials, dated) on the 7703 form of the person being considered for employment. The school retains all application forms for 3 years following the interview.

Criminal Background Screening
http://www.archchicago.org/

  • All new employees are fingerprinted for security and background checks.
  • All employees and all volunteers who work with children must complete an online background check.
  • No one may begin to work or volunteer unless the criminal background check has been completed and approved.
  • All school employees and volunteers are required to complete the eAppsDB form, online. For assistance, call the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth at 312-751-5238.

Safe Environment Training

  • All employees and all volunteers who work with children must attend the Virtus/Protecting God’s Children training program within three months of beginning employment, ministry or service.
  • Verification of completing Virtus Training is filed in the personnel or volunteer file at the place of employment/ministry.
  • Dates and sites for the Safe Environment Training (Virtus/Protecting God’s Children) are posted on the Archdiocese of Chicago website. (Register online).

Code of Conduct

  • All employees and all volunteers who work with children must read, sign and date the Code of Conduct Personnel Acknowledgement Form.
  • The signed Code of Conduct form is to be kept in the personnel file or volunteer file at the place of employment/ministry.

Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS)

  • All employees and all volunteers who work with children must complete the Illinois Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System CANTS 689 yearly form. The form is to be given to the local administrator.

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.