Since 2005 the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has mandated personal safety training for all children in the Catholic Schools and PSR programs in the diocese. Through an age-appropriate training program which is in accord with Catholic moral principles, pre-k – 12th grade students are educated on self-protection, appropriate boundaries, and the ability to recognize, resist, and ask for help with uncomfortable and unsafe situations.
Empowering God’s Children, Teaching Safety Program for Children™ The job of ensuring children's safety is a challenging undertaking. The prevention of child sexual abuse requires more than adult awareness, education, and training about the nature and scope of the problem. We must also give our children the tools they need to overcome the advances of someone who intends to do them harm. Empowering God's Children® is an age-appropriate comprehensive program through which educators (parents, teachers, and catechists) can give children and youth the tools they need to protect themselves, understand boundaries, and form healthy relationships. Each lesson begins with "The Power to Protect" video, which is a short, few minute introduction that lays the groundwork for the lessons to follow. The video addresses the purpose of the program, the goals for the lesson, and children's activities and discussion. All topics mentioned in the age-appropriate introductory video will be further developed through the live training and activities/ discussion that follows. The curriculum is broken into 6 lessons, but our schools/parishes will only use 2 lessons per year. The Office for Safe Environment will provide a set schedule of which lessons to use each year.
Beginning July 1, 2022, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will implement the use of Empowering God's Children® as the only diocesan-approved personal safety training for Catholic Schools and Religious Education Programs. Other training programs, including public school curriculum will no longer be accepted.
To access these training materials please contact the Office for Safe Environment.