Office of Minor and At-Risk Adult Protection
The Archdiocese of Denver is fully committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community – children, youth, and at-risk adults – through awareness, education, and action. Register for a free Safe Environment training class, access resources, and learn more about our ongoing efforts to keep our most vulnerable safe.
Adult Safe-Environment Training
*One of three requirements for adult compliance
The Archdiocese of Denver requires that all clergy, deacons, seminarians, archdiocesan employees, parish employees, and school employees, regardless of their positions, must attend live safe environment training. All volunteers who have contact with minors must also attend live safe environment training.
For this purpose, the program VIRTUS® Protecting God’s Children for Adults has been mandated for use in the Archdiocese of Denver. Since 2003, training has been offered in our parishes and schools 275-325 times a year for a total of over 85,000 adults trained. Presently, there are over 135 facilitators throughout the Archdiocese who are certified to professionally facilitate safe environment training with the provided curriculum. Most facilitators are volunteers and host trainings across the entire Archdiocese.
In addition, all clergy, school employees, etc. that are required by Colorado law have been instructed to complete the Colorado Mandated Reporter Training for child abuse and neglect provided online by the state of Colorado.
The Archdiocese of Denver also requires all previously trained adults to complete 5-year refresher training. Since July 2015, the Code of Conduct has required that all safe environment compliant adults also report vulnerable adult abuse and neglect. That training is now part of our 5-year refresher program.
All safe environment training is available to anyone who may wish to participate. There is no requirement that participants be involved with Catholic ministries to receive this valuable information.
*Two of three requirements for adult compliance
Employees and volunteers must submit for and have an approved background check, prior to a final offer of employment or volunteering with minors.
Only Exception to Archdiocese Background Check: Colorado licensed schoolteachers’ background check is confirmed through the teacher’s license since Colorado processes a background screening when the license is renewed every 5 years.
Disqualifying Offenses (page 16 of the Code of Conduct)
- No individual may serve with Minors in the Archdiocese if he or she has ever been convicted of any Disqualifying Offense, been on probation for or received deferred judgement and sentence or deferred prosecution for any Disqualifying Offense, or has presently pending any criminal charges for any Disqualifying Offense until a determination of guilt or innocence is made, including any person who is presently on deferred judgement and sentence or deferred prosecution.
- The following are always Disqualifying Offenses and will always constitute grounds for denial, suspension, revocation, or annulment of an opportunity to work/volunteer with Minors in the Archdiocese:
- felony child abuse
- a crime of violence, as defined in Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-1.3-406
- a felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior
- indecent exposure, as described in section Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-7-302
- felony domestic violence
- a felony drug offense
- The above list is not comprehensive; other offenses may be deemed Disqualifying Offenses per the applicable facts and circumstances, as determined within the discretion of the Archdiocese exercised in the interest of protecting the health and safety of Minors.
Code of Conduct
*Three of three requirements for adult compliance
All clergy, deacons, seminarians, archdiocesan employees, parish employees, school employees and volunteers with minors must read and sign the Archdiocese of Denver Code of Conduct. This comprehensive document outlines expectations of adults’ interactions with minors, vulnerable adults and others.
Child and Youth Safe-Environment Training
The Archdiocese provides the mandated, VIRTUS® Teaching Safety – Empowering God’s Children program for training all our children in K-12 in our parish religious education classes and in our Catholic Schools. (Parental opt-outs are allowed). The VIRTUS® training is grade and age-appropriate. Archdiocesan educators train and retrain 20,000-25,000 children every year in ways to help minors identify healthy and appropriate relationships.
Safe Environment Site Coordinators
All Ecclesiastical Organizations have identified a local safe environment coordinator. The purpose of this position is to ensure compliance of our Archdiocese safe environment policy at their location. The local safe environment coordinator maintains a database of employees and volunteers working with minors at their location and ensures all have met the requirements.
Our archdiocesan Office of Minor and Vulnerable Adult Protection contacts with the pastor, director, etc. annually at every location in the Archdiocese to ensure that appropriate child safety protocols are in place.
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops engages an independent, unbiased entity to audit each participating diocese and eparchy in the United States and publicly releases the results. Since 2003, our archdiocese has voluntarily submitted records and data to the contracted auditors. These audits are completed yearly by paper with an “onsite audit” every third year.
Seminary Screening and Priest Formation
The application process for entering seminary is multi-layered and stringent. It begins with an informal but personal discernment process with the Director of Vocations to determine if the man is being called by God to the priesthood. The formal application process includes a 24-page application, a comprehensive psychological evaluation, an autobiography, four letters of reference, a physical health exam, and a criminal background check. The process concludes with an interview with the seminary board of review and a personal interview with the Archbishop. For more information on the seminary screening and formation process:
Jim Langley, Psy.D.
Victim Assistance Coordinator