.- The Diocese of Winona has launched an interactive online learning community, teaching members of the diocese about recognizing and reporting child abuse. The site was launched in partnership with the Professional Learning Board, the Prudent Press Agency reported.
"It is so important that our churches, schools, homes and individual communities are safe for all God's people — especially our children," said Bishop Bernard Harrington of Winona.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People mandates that every diocese provide a safe-environment program, which requires training of parents and those working or volunteering with minors in Church organizations on the issue of child abuse, including sexual abuse.
PJ Thompson, chancellor of the Diocese of Winona, said the online learning community was the best way for the wide-stretched and relatively rural diocese “to reach virtually all of the people in our diocese that work with children in a religious, education or volunteer capacity."
Traditional classroom seminars were costly compared with online training, especially in reaching rural parishioners. The online program is called Safe & Sacred SeriesTM. It was designed by the Diocese of Winona.
The first three courses in the program include: Protecting All God's Children; Essential Commitment: Code of Conduct; and, Essential Commitment: Regarding Misconduct
The online learning community enables the diocese to track the learning and compliance of its participants to ensure that the diocese is fulfilling its commitment to children and to the USCCB.