Safe Environment

The Diocese of Helena is committed to the care and safety of children and vulnerable adults.

The Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry provides the resources on this website as a quick-reference for the most commonly requested resources by youth ministers and others who work with youth in parishes/schools. View the Diocese of Helena website for the full, comprehensive plan to ensure the care and safety of those we serve:

Other Important Links:

Protecting God’s Children (VIRTUS)

The Diocese of Helena uses VIRTUS to ensure a safe environment for young people and vulnerable adults and to comply with the USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Every Diocese of Helena employee must complete and stay current with the VIRTUS program. In addition, all volunteers who regularly interact with or have access to young people or vulnerable adults in parish/school programs must complete and stay current with the VIRTUS program.

The VIRTUS program includes an in-person training (Protecting God’s Children) and a monthly online bulletin.

Teaching Safety

Watch the video for instructions on how to navigate the website to access the Teaching Safety resources, lesson plans, and reporting form:

Each year the Diocese of Helena requires all parishes and schools to facilitate an age-appropriate lesson from the Teaching Safety – Empowering God’s Children program for each of the four cohorts of young people (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, & 9-12).

Lessons for each age group must be selected from the plans listed on this page. (You may also find them in the Educators tab at Four lesson plans are available for each cohort: three that can be used any year and one that is new/updated each year by VIRTUS.

You may choose a different lesson for each cohort or use the same lesson for all. Pastors or principals may choose the lesson that best suits the needs of their community.


New this year due to the pandemic, VIRTUS has developed parent-specific lesson plans that can be distributed to parents to teach at home. The parish still has the responsibility for distributing the lessons in an appropriate, accountable, and recordable manner (leaving a stack at the back of the church is unacceptable). If you choose this option, you must use a parent-specific lesson; you may not just send home any lesson.


Lesson Plans:

Click on the images to download the lesson plan. You can also access all of the lessons in the “Educators” tab at

Parent-Specific (at-home) Lesson 1:
Physical Boundaries: Safe & Unsafe Touching Rules

Lesson 5 *New*
“Being a Safe Friend”

Lesson 7:
Internet Safety

Lesson 9:
Speaking Up! Speaking Out! Being Heard!

Lesson 11:
Partnering with Parents for Safety