Safe Environment guidelines: overnights stays with children

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By the Safe Environment Office
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

Reference: AOA Safe Environment Program Article VI-5 (https://aganaarch.org/safe-environment-br-policies)

Approval Process

  1. Complete & submit a “Request for Approval: Overnight Stays/Off Island Travel with Children” (Safe Environment Program Appendix 4).
  2. In the request form, list the number of boys and girls expected to be in attendance. Please have the parents of each child complete the “Permission Waiver Form” (Safe Environment Program Appendix 3).
  3. Provide a list of names of adult chaperones/volunteers who will oversee the event and/or supervisor the children. Make sure each adult has completed:
    • the VIRTUS Online training and background check (https://www.virtusonline.org/virtus/);
    • the “Volunteer Application Form” (Safe Environment Program  Appendix 9); and
    • the “Consent for Disclosure” form from BOSSA (Bureau of Social Services and Administration). Note:  This form must be submitted to the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Coordinator at the Chancery Office so that clearance from Guam Child Protective Services can be processed. 

Supervision Requirements

The safe environment program requires adequate supervision over children in the Church’s care. The adult to child ratio for children under 6 years old should be at least one adult for every six children.

In other words, if there are seven children, then at least two adults should be present. For children 6 to 17 years old, the minimum ratio should be one adult for every 12 children.

Even for small groups, the program recommends at least two persons in supervision of children at all times, if only one adult is available, then a second adult must be available on the premises in case of an emergency. See, AOA Safe Environment Program Article X.

Helpful Tips

  1. For those adults who have not already registered on VIRTUS Online, the process will go much faster if they first download and read the following documents from the archdiocesan website at https://aganaarch.org/safe-environment-br-policies:
    • Safe Environment Program
    • Appendix 1 Interactions & Behavior Charts
    • Appendix 2 Code of Ethics
  2. The online background check process can take up to three weeks to complete. Therefore it is important to start early in identifying the adults who will be involved and ensuring that they have registered on VIRTUS Online.
  3. Contact the Safe Environment Office for further information at safeenvironment@archagana.org or 562-0000/562-0029