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Education of Children and Youth and their Parents in Personal Safety

Education of children and youth should be integrated into the curriculum, held during a regular class period, and repeated at least annually. Parents should be involved with a class of their own in which they learn what will be taught to their children and how they can maintain a safe environment in the home.

Parents should be invited to observe educational programs in which their children participate. All parents have the right to decline participation by their child in programs of the parish or school, but this decision should be communicated in writing for the parish or school record.

The following programs have been reviewed and found to be effective in the experience of local personnel or others who have shared resources with the diocese. However, parishes and schools are free to select other programs on the basis of local needs. These programs should be submitted to the pastoral center for review.

Additional information regarding the education of children and youth is contained in the report from the USCCB, Safe Environment Training of Children in the Catholic Church



Archdiocese of Omaha

Circle of Grace is the children's education component of the Diocese of Tucson's Safe Environment training. It serves the dual purpose of educating and informing children and youth about the value of positive relationships with God and others.

Through Circle of Grace, adults assist children and youth to recognize that each of us lives within a Circle of Grace that holds our very essence in body, mind, heart, soul, and sexuality. Children and youth are taught to identify and maintain appropriate physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual boundaries; recognize when boundary violations are about to occur; and demonstrate how to take action when boundaries are threatened or violated.

 Circle of Grace Video


Circle of Grace from Archdiocese of Omaha on Vimeo.

Circle of Grace is clinically sound and grounded in the Catholic tradition. Its strong parent component means parents can actively participate in their children's education and formation.

After several years of successful implementation, testing and evaluation, the Diocese of Tucson is making Circle of Grace available to those responsible for creating safe environments for children. Already thirty (arch)dioceses have successfully implemented this comprehensive prevention program. Spanish and Vietnamese versions are yours free when you purchase the Circle of Grace program.

Those adopting and using Circle of Grace say it's a user-friendly program with an invaluable "train the trainer" component. Plus, youth who have participated respond favorably.

Why commit valuable diocesan resources to invent a safe environment program? Our experts have done it for you – and the program works! Let us know you have any questions about this proactive and effective new program or if you want to review Circle of Grace free of charge for thirty days.

Sample Curriculum & Program Overview

Circle of Grace is one of the few programs that teaches:

  1. God's presence and assistance in difficult and confusing situations as an essential component in its K-12 curriculum
  2. A philosophy that can be used throughout the year as a concept that reinforces God's real presence in our lives, respect and skills of how to make good choices
  3. The sacredness of each person and how relationships are called to be experiences of divine love
  4. Beyond the "safe-touch" models by addressing the whole person thus is able to teach how boundary violations can occur through all of our senses
  5. A holistic approach giving children and youth the skills to identify uncomfortable situations long before inappropriate touch occurs
  6. Children and youth to identify the "trusted adults" in their lives in addition to their parents
  7. Parents by informative letters, lesson handouts and education material

Circle of Grace is one of the few programs that includes:

  1. A nihil obstat and imprimatur from an Archdiocese
  2. Each lesson correlated with appropriate Catholic teachings
  3. Evaluation results that show its effectiveness
  4. Designated grade pre and post assessments
  5. Summary evaluations that capture required information needed for the national audit
  6. Philosophy and goals are consistent throughout the K-12 curriculum
  7. Comprehensive and self-contained materials for each grade
  8. The ability to customize the program with local contact information
  9. Administrators section with all the information needed for implementation
  10. An in-service to "train the trainers" for all who use the program
  11. Curriculum in Spanish

Parent information in Vietnamese


Recommended Programs

Keeping Kids Safe: P.S. It's My Body!

The Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center (SACAC) offers a Community Outreach and Education Program entitled Keeping Kids Safe. This comprehensive, school-based child abuse prevention, awareness and intervention program is designed to:

1) Teach children to reduce their vulnerability to abuse (particularly sexual abuse)
2) Assist parents, school staff and child care providers in recognizing risk factors and signs of abuse, and in developing child protection strategies
3) Promote mandated reporting of suspected abuse.

Training sessions are available, in both English and Spanish, for staff and volunteers, parents, and students from pre-kindergarten through the 7th Grade) throughout Southern Arizona.
Typical training sessions include the following.
1) Staff and Volunteers: "Recognizing and Responding to Suspected Child Abuse," mandated reporter training.
2) Parents: Parental involvement and participation is an integral part of P.S. It's My Body! (see below). Parents are informed as to what their children will learn and also receive important information about how to keep their children safe
3) Students:  P.S. It's My Body! is a research-based curriculum that utilizes age-appropriate lessons, activities and presentations to teach children the three "Rs" of personal safety: "Recognize," "Resist," and "Report."

To schedule, call 520-243-6420.

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