Protection of Children announces renewal details, workshop plans

The Office for the Protection of Children has two programs in the works this fall. First, all active parish, school and service center employees must renew their child protection certification by Oct. 31. The Diocese of Jackson requires recertification every odd-numbered calendar year as part of its ongoing commitment to the safety of children.
“It is imperative that everyone who has contact with minors understand our policies and that they recognize potential signs of abuse,” said Vickie Carollo, office coordinator. “Renewing these certifications is a way for us to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest research,” she added.
New employees and volunteers must attend an initial training session at their parish, school or ministry site. Those who have already attended a training only need to read a series of review lessons and complete a quiz online. The program will automatically update the status of the volunteer or employee once the review has been submitted. The lessons focus on current research into child abuse, such as what children abusers may target. They also give contemporary examples of abuse cases, including ones involving social media and online communications.
While the review is online, it is possible to print any of the material. The employee must pass each lesson before moving on to the next one, but users can review a lesson and re-take a quiz. Access the quiz using the link on the home page of the Diocese of Jackson website,
The second program is a workshop open to anyone including pastors, catechists, volunteers and concerned parents and parishioners. On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Offices of Protection of Children, Faith Formation and Catholic Schools will offer a workshop at Madison St. Joseph High School from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on “Catholic Citizenship in the Digital Age.”
“We have a responsibility as Catholics to promote internet safety as a church. Education is important to us as good Catholics to be respectable and appropriate users of digital and social media.  Staying well-informed of changes in technology is crucial due to the dangers that threaten us and our children and young people,” said Carollo.
The presenter, Paul Sanfrancesco, is the director of technology for the Garnet Valley School District located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He also teaches as adjunct professor in the graduate education department at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, and Neumann University, in Aston, Penn. Read more about that program here.
A few years ago Sanfrancesco did a survey in his school system on how proficient teachers were at using technology. He found that many needed training not only in technology, but in online platforms such as social media. He started a summer program to train his own teachers. He now takes that program across the country
The workshop is free and lunch will be provided; however, registration is requested. For additional details, call the Office of Protection of Children at 601-960-8471 or email