CHILDREN & YOUTH
REporting suspected abuse
The Archdiocese of Baltimore urges anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect to report it immediately to the local Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services, even if the potential victim is now over 18 years old and even in cases where the alleged perpetrator is deceased.
The 24-hour number for Anne Arundel County is: 410-421-8400
If anyone suspects Church Personnel of abuse, neglect, or misconduct with a minor, please also contact the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection by calling the Victims' Assistance line at 1-866-417-7469
or by contacting the office directly at 410-547-5348.
How can I help maintain a safe environment?
Become a STAND-cleared volunteer. Even if you don't currently minister with people under 18, the more well-trained adults we have looking out for our children and youth, the safer our environment will be! Contact our Screening Coordinator, Rena Black, to get started.
Explore & reflect on appropriate boundaries when relating to young people.
Not sure how to be friendly to families with children or teenagers without crossing a line? We are happy to share some strategies for connecting!
Communicate with us about your experiences, skills, and suggestions around safe environments. We want to hear from you!
Pray for victims, survivors, family members, and all affected by abuse. Prayer without action is dead, but action without prayer risks a loss of hope. If we keep the cross of Christ before us, we can be who we are called to be: people of justice, healing, and hope!
NEW Volunteer clearance process
Welcome! Before you begin as a volunteer with substantial contact with children and youth, you must be cleared through the VIRTUS (STAND) process, which includes training, personal references, and a criminal history record check. You may not volunteer until this process is complete and you are cleared. Training and background checks must be renewed every five years.
If you may drive in your capacity as a volunteer, the process also includes a driving history record check.
If you are unsure whether your volunteer position is considered one with "substantial contact," please contact the parish's Screening Coordinator, Rena Black.
Step-by-step instructions are available below (PDF format), in a detailed long form or a one-page summary:
EXISTING VOLUNTEERS: Adding a site
If you have volunteered at ANY Archdiocesan parish or school before, please take the following steps before you begin volunteering at St. Bernadette Parish:
Log into your existing VIRTUS account and add "St. Bernadette Parish" as a volunteer site.
Email our Screening Coordinator, Rena Black with your full name so we can check to ensure that your information is now visible to us.
Note that we still must verify your credentials before you begin volunteering.
Any questions or concerns about the VIRTUS platform, the clearance process, or the appropriate policies and procedures should be directed to the parish Screening Coordinator, Rena Black.
Virtus.org Screening & Training Site >
Detailed Instructions for New Volunteers >
Summary Instructions for New Volunteers >
Written Reference Form (PDF) >
Electronic Reference Form (Fillable .docx) >
If you are 14-17 years old, please contact the Screening Coordinator, Rena Black, for information about the Worthy of the Call clearance process for minor volunteers.