Child Protection

Child Protection

VIRTUS/Child Protection


The Archdiocese of Cincinnati requires adult volunteers and employees who have contact with children to complete a criminal background check through and to attend a VIRTUS® Child Awareness Session. The Ohio Revised Code also requires certain employees (for example, teachers, teachers aides, school employees, cafeteria monitors, playground monitors, and coaches with pupil activity supervisor permits) to have a criminal background check through fingerprinting. The laws of the State of Ohio and the policies of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati regarding criminal background checks through fingerprinting must be adhered to.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati defines a  volunteer is an adult who is not a cleric or employee (for example, a catechist, scout leader, coach, server coordinator, etc.) who functions in regular relationship with children. This includes interns, student teachers, and others in similar capacities.

A regular volunteer has contact with children at least once a month, or participates in any overnight event with children.  It does not include the occasional volunteer, such as a driver or chaperone whose contact with children is less than one hour for individual activities that are not overnight.

A regular volunteer may not have contact with children until an acceptable background check through and attendance at a VIRTUS® Child Awareness Session are completed in accord with the current policies of the Archdiocese.

New Archdiocesan Policies (updated 2017):

Regarding those who fall behind in their monthly bulletins: 

All persons who have attended a VIRTUS® Protecting God’s Children Training Session must keep up with the continuing education component of VIRTUS® by reading all monthly VIRTUS® Training Bulletins.  If a person falls behind by three or more Bulletins (whether in consecutive months or not) he / she must “catch up” before having any further contact with children.

Archdiocesan policy is that people will have their VIRTUS accounts inactivated if they are six or more months behind in reading their monthly bulletins. If your account is inactivated, you will need to contact Joe Ollier, our local Save Environment Coordinator, to become reactivated. 

Those who fall 18 months behind on bulletins are required to take a 90-minute online refresher course or another in-person VIRTUS training before having contact with children.


Regarding Background checks:

As of January 1, 2014, all volunteers and employees are required to have a background check through

Those who completed background checks prior to January 1, 2014 were given a 5-year "Grandfathering" from their last background check.  (eg: If your previous background check was completed on July 12, 2013, you have until July 12, 2018 to complete the online background check through  All volunteers and employees will be transitioned by January 1, 2019. Volunteers and employees can access through the VIRTUS website.  To complete the background check, see the instructions in the following link.  How to run a background check from within VIRTUS

Ascension will pay for background checks for our own employees and volunteers.  Contact Joe Ollier, Ascension’s Safe Environment Coordinator, to receive payment tokens. or 253-5171 x113


Regarding those transferring from another Diocese:

Any person who wants to transfer from another diocese into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati must meet two conditions:  (i) the person must have attended a live VIRTUS® Child Awareness Session less than two years ago, and (ii) the person wishing to transfer his / her User Account must be current on reading all VIRTUS® monthly Bulletins.  Only then can that person’s VIRTUS® User Account transfer from his / her previous diocese into Cincinnati.



Ascension Child Protection FAQ brochure

Archdiocese of Cincinnati Decree on Child Protection (updated July,  2013)

Archdiocese of Cincinnati Child Protection Web Site

To sign up for a VIRTUS Training session or to keep up with monthly online bulletins, go to Virtus online

Archdiocese of Cincinnati VIRTUS/Safe Environment FAQs