Circle of Care / Safe Environment

What are the Circle of Care, Circle of Grace, and Safe Environment programs?

The Circle of Care program is an umbrella program that assists in our parish's and archdiocese’s efforts to best protect our parish and school youth, as well as other vulnerable individuals, from unsafe adult-youth interactions.  The Circle of Care program has two components—the Circle of Grace (CoG) teaching program for our youth and the Safe Environment (SE) certification program for our adults.  Our youth receive Circle of Grace teachings in their School or Religious Education classes. Adults receive Safe Environment training in either a face-to-face training session (Initial Training) or via online training (Recertification Training).  In addition to training, a Safe Environment certified adult must also submit to, and successfully pass, a recurring background check.  You can read more about the Circle of Care programs in the Pastor's letter found here.

Who Needs to be Safe Environment Certified?

Anyone having contact with our parish and/or school youth or vulnerable adults.  As well, ministries serving the homebound where they may encounter youth or vulnerable adults are required to be Safe Environment certified.  You can find more information about the situations where Safe Environment certification is required by viewing the second page of the Pastor's letter found here.

Upcoming Initial Training (Other Dates and Locations)

Instructions for registering for Initial Safe Environment training is found here.   By following those instructions, you can find all available training date and location options that are currently offered.  All training sessions contain the same material, so you’re welcome to attend any session that is available and best suits your schedule.   The link will take you to the CMG (Catholic Mutual Group) website where you’ll create an account that is used for signing up, tracking, and documenting your training. 

Recertification Training

Initial Safe Environment training and certification is valid for six years.  If you keep your CMG profile updated with your most current email address, you will be notified when your Safe Environment certification is about to expire.  No one else at the parish or diocese is notified when your Safe Environment certification is about to expire, expired, or renewed.  When it is time to renew your certification, you may do so by taking an online recertification course found at the following link https://archomaha.org/safe-environment/ .  As part of that process you also renew your agreement to have your background checked and monitored.  Successful recertification is valid for six years. 

Questions?  If you have any questions about the Circle of Care programs or training, please contact the St. Matthew’s Safe Environment Coordinator, Deacon Mark White at [email protected] .