Circle of Grace
The Diocese of Portland will be introducing a NEW safe environment program, Circle of Grace, to be used with children and youth in all parish faith formation programs, youth ministry, and Catholic schools. This program will replace the Think First & Stay Safe: Child Lures program.
Implementation of Circle of Grace begins this faith formation/school year (2017-2018).
To prepare for the implementation of the new program, we request that two representatives from each parish faith formation program (PCL, catechist) and two representatives from each Catholic school (principal, teacher) participate in a one-day training session. Those trained will be given the tools they need to train their parish catechists/teachers.
We will continue to use the Protecting God's Children: Virtus program to train all adults who interact with the children and young people in our diocese.
The new program, Circle of Grace, was developed by the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska, and is currently used in over 40 dioceses. The faith-based program serves the dual purpose of providing prevention information while educating children and youth about the value of positive relationships with God and others. Throughout the program, adults assist children and youth to recognize that each of us lives within a 'Circle of Grace' that holds our very essence. The children and youth are taught how to identify and maintain appropriate boundaries, to recognize when violations could occur, and to take action when boundaries are threatened or violated.
For more information and outline of Circle of Grace, click here.
At the training, each parish/cluster will be provided with a Circle of Grace manual that includes a binder for Kindergarten through Grade 8 and a binder for Grades 9 through Grade 12. All materials will also be available electronically. The cost of one set of binders per parish/cluster/school will be covered by the diocese.
Training Sessions will be held on June 1-3, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
June 1 - Chancery, 510 Ocean Avenue in Portland (videoconferencing available at Holy Rosary Parish Center, 31 Thomas Street in Caribou, and St. John Church Hall, 217 York Street in Bangor)
June 2 - Chancery, 510 Ocean Avenue in Portland (videoconferencing available at Holy Rosary Parish Center, 31 Thomas Street in Caribou. Videoconferencing is NOT available in Bangor)
June 3 - Chancery, 510 Ocean Avenue in Portland (videoconferencing available at Holy Rosary Parish Center, 31 Thomas Street in Caribou, and St. John Church Hall, 217 York Street in Bangor)
Meet & Greet from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. both days.
Mary Beth Hanus is a victim outreach and prevention manager for the Archdiocese of Omaha, a position she has held for 11 years. Currently, she is also chair of the archdiocese’s anti-pornography task force.
Mary Beth is a clinical social worker and licensed mental health practitioner in Nebraska. She has more than 25 years experience working in the arena of child abuse and neglect.
She also has worked extensively in a pediatric hospital setting and is trained as a child forensic interviewer.