Youth Protection

Youth Protection

Youth are the most precious resource of the family and the Church. The greatest care must always be taken when the safety of children is involved. The Catholic Diocese of Arlington is committed to providing a safe environment to all children entrusted to our care and assisting each child to grow in grace and wisdom.

The Office for the Protection of Children and Young People (OPCYP) provides several programs including:

  • A comprehensive training program for employees, volunteers, parents and children
  • Application procedures for persons working with children, including background checks
  • Monitoring of child and youth activities to ensure that all contact with young people is appropriate
  • Outreach and support for victims of child abuse and their families

At St. Leo the Great, in support of these programs and the policies that accompany them, we work to see that all applicable persons are fully compliant with the Child Protection Policies of the Arlington Diocese.

Who is required to be fully compliant?

All employees are required to be fully compliant, regardless of their potential contact with our youth or the number of hours they work.

All volunteers with substantial contact with our youth are required to be fully compliant.  (Substantial contact is contact that is not incidental OR where their service is such that it is reasonable to think that the person may at some time have contact with our children outside the sight or hearing of other responsible adults.)

The online application is provided in:

  • Enlish
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese

Nota Bene: Neither OPCYP nor the ministries of St. Leo the Great are mandated reporters concerning immigration status for volunteers or parishioners. To register as a parishioner, any volunteer ministry or to receive the OPCYP background check does not effect your status here in the United States. 

What is Full Compliancy?

  • Completion of the online application and receiving a “Clear” status for your background check  (fingerprinting is required for employees).  You may request additional information from Mrs. Suzanne Flaherty,sflaherty@stleofairfax.com or at (703) 273-2371.
  • Attendance at a Virtus: Protecting God’s Children seminar within 45 days of submitting your electronic application.  These seminars are held at parishes all over the Diocese and you may attend any location convenient to you.  Please go to our Diocesan safe environment training webpage, click on Registration and check for a seminar near you.  They are held in the evenings and on Saturday mornings, generally lasting between three or four hours.  You must sign up on-line and sign-out at the seminar to receive credit.

Please email  sflaherty@stleofairfax.com or call Mrs. Suzanne Flaherty if you would like further clarification or want to know if you are already compliant.  If you are in the database at any Diocese of Arlington parish, we can have your compliancy transferred to our active list.

Thank you for working to make our parish a safe place for our youth!