Minors Program

Minors Required to Complete

In SD, a minor is someone who is under 18 years of age. High School students who are 18 or 19 years of age may complete the PK-12 Program. However, if the student is an employee or a volunteer with at a parish, school, or agency, the student must create a CMG Connect account to complete the annual awareness training and criminal background check.

  1. All minors who are enrolled in a Catholic school and parish religious education program will complete a Bishop-approved, age-appropriate safe environment lesson during class. The school and parish Parents will be receive advance notification from the parish or school about the day the lesson will be presented and may request a paper copy.
  2. All minors who are employees or volunteers are required to complete the age-appropriate safe environment lesson and the Youth Code of Conduct. The lesson may be completed with in class with peers or by appointment with the local coordinator or hiring authority. If the minor turns 18 before December 1, he/she should complete the adult safe environment program in CMG Connect and not be included in the minor audit. Minors who are an employee or volunteer cannot be opted out of the safe environment program by their parents. Minor employees and volunteers cannot be in positions of authority, such as a supervisor or lead teacher; cannot be left alone to supervisor other minors (an adult must always be present), and cannot drive on behalf of a parish, school, or other diocesan agency (drivers must be 21 years or older).

Approved Curriculums

There are three approved curriculums for minors: Circle of Grace, Made in His Image, and Called to Protect. Pastors and school principals work with their local coordinators to determine how the minors program will be implemented. The Guidelines and Principles for Addressing Sexuality and Sexual Abuse may be used for guidance for what is and is not taught in the classroom.

Curriculum Descriptions

Parishes and schools should not supplement any of the approved lessons. If a teacher, volunteer, coordinator, pastor, principal, or parent has a suggestion for a supplement, they should email a copy of the supplement to the Safe Environment Office to review. Review and approval make take up to one month.

Circle of Grace

Circle of Grace was developed by the Archdiocese of Omaha, Circle of Grace aims to empower children and young people in grades PK-12 by arming them with the essential knowledge and skills grounded in the richness of the Catholic faith. The program helps children and young people to identify uncomfortable situations; how to seek help from a trusted adult; and to understand dignity in mind, body, and spirit.This curriculum is discussion based with worksheets

Made in His Image

Made in His Image was written and illustrated by Joseph and Christine Schmidt, and is being used with permission from the Diocese of Steubenville. Made in His Image focuses on the fundamental belief that each person is made in the image of God and therefore deserves to be respected. This curriculum is rooted in a Catholic understanding of the human person, which includes human sexuality. This curriculum seeks to promote the sacred relationship between parents and their children, encouraging both parents and children to develop, maintain, and deepen their communication. The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church (YOUCAT) is referenced within some lessons. This curriculum is discussion based with worksheets.

Called to Protect

Called to Protect was developed by Praesdium, Inc. Lessons focus on teaching children about protecting their bodies and what to do if someone tries to break the rules. Middle and high school students will learn how to protect their physical, emotional, and behavioral boundaries from being violated and how to tell their parents or another trusted adult if someone is abusing them or one of their friends. This curriculum is discussion based with worksheets; grades 6-12 also view a DVD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Reporting Sexual Abuse or Harassment

Employees, volunteers, and clergy/religious at a parish, Catholic school, or agency who suspects abuse or has been approached by a minor who discloses abuse is obligated to report the abuse (more information).

Employees, volunteers, and clergy/religious at parish, Catholic school, or agency who have experienced sexual harassment from another employee or volunteer should report the harassment to the appropriate staff person (more information). 

Lessons

Can I be present when the lesson is presented to my child? Yes.

Why are the lesson plans not posted online? A couple of the curriculums are copyright protected and cannot be publicly posted online.

Can I receive a copy of the lesson being presented to my child? Yes, you may receive a paper copy from your local coordinator. 

Can I opt-out my child from the lesson? Yes; the opt-out form is located on the notification letter you receive from the parish or school.