VINCENTIAN UNIVERSITY COURSE CATALOG

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1 VINCENTIAN UNIVERSITY COURSE CATALOG Mission Statement: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia empowers people, regardless of their background, ethnicity, or faith, to achieve stability & self-sufficiency by offering financial, material, educational, and spiritual support and by collaborating with others to develop and deliver programs and services that help those in need.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction... 3 Ozanam Orientation... 5 Connecting Clients with Resources... 6 Navigating the Benefits Maze... 7 Grants & Fundraising... 8 Invitation to Lead: Presidents & Vice Presidents... 9 Invitation to Lead: Secretaries Invitation to Lead: Treasurers Invitation to Lead: Spiritual Advisors Invitation to Serve: Existing Conferences Invitation to Serve: New Conferences Invitation for Renewal Voice of the Poor Catholic Social Teaching Safe Child Training Home Visitor Training CMS: Conference Administrator CMS: Intake & Case Manangment CMS: Treasurer

3 INTRODUCTION In an effort to fulfill the high standards to which The Rule calls us, SVdP Georgia offers a series of Formation opportunities for all Vincentians. These classes, workshops, retreats and celebrations together comprise Vincentian University. This course catalog contains all of the classes offered with a direct correlation for each to the Manual & Rule. Each course title indicates its target audience, status, department, duration and scheduling. Courses may be combined to create a full day of training wherein different subjects are offered or, a course may be held in isolation, depending on the need, see individual course scheduling for details. The following agenda is in place for full-day trainings: 8:30 a.m. Arrive/set up 9:30 a.m. Breakfast 10:00 a.m. Session 1 workshops begin 11:00 a.m. Break 11:15 a.m. Session 1 workshops resume 12:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 p.m. Session 2 workshops begin (or Session 1 workshop continued) 2:00 p.m. Break 2:15 p.m. Session 2 workshops resume 3:00 p.m. Sessions end/clean up 3:30 p.m. Departure Single trainings take place at the request of the Conference or District in accordance with the duration indicated on the individual course descriptions. These trainings may take place in the evenings or on a weekend, depending on availability. 3

4 Below is a table outlining the process for setting up a Vincentian University at your Conference or District. Host Conference Duties Selects desired topics from the Vincentian University Course Catalog to comprise a full-day of training or a single training, as needed. Conference Support Center Duties Provides: Speakers Curriculum materials Any necessary technology Coordinates date and time with Vincentian Services. Coordinates Registration. Secures and provides: Location (based on the number of registered attendees) Set-up (tables, chairs, set-up, breakdown) Internet connection, if necessary Promotes event in the Society Page and/or via eblasts. Provides/pays for breakfast. Places order for lunch. Pays for lunch in advance or upon delivery. If you have any questions about the courses or scheduling, please contact the Vincentian Services Department via , or by phone,

5 Title: Ozanam Orientation (to precede Home Visitor Training, see p. 19) Status: Required within first year of service. Duration: 3 hours Target Audience: All Vincentians & Volunteers Department: Programs & Client Services Scheduling: Single or combined, as requested Whether you ve been a Vincentian for two days or two decades, the Ozanam Orientation offers you an opportunity to be inspired, informed, refreshed and renewed in what it means to be a member of the Society and how that membership is to be lived in the Conference and everyday life. Each session covers the topics of Mission, History, Spirituality, Structure and Home Visits in a lively and interactive way. Interactive learning and fellowship take place when multiple Conferences join together to participate in this worthwhile event. It is essential that the Society continually promote the formation and training of its members and Officers, in order to deepen their knowledge of the Society and their spirituality, improve the sensitivity, quality and efficiency of their service to the poor and help them be aware of the benefits, resources and opportunities that are available for the poor. The Society also offers members higher training in order to better help raise the cultural and social level of those who request this support. (The Rule Part I: 3.12 Formation of members) Effective Conferences have members committed to Formation. They read, study, attend lectures and courses, and participate in training sessions organized by their District Council in order to learn more about helping people and solving problems. (Manual, Guidelines for Effective Conferences p. 29) 5

6 Title: Connecting Clients with Resources Status: Suggested Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: Case Workers Department: Programs & Client Services Scheduling: Combined only Course Summaries Connecting Clients to Benefits: This overview will explain the importance of wrap-around services our clients need, how to partner with other local agencies to deepen the assistance we give and additional techniques associated with case management. Common Point of Access to Social Services (COMPASS): An important tool for determining the client s eligibility for receiving additional aid, this class also focuses on the specific procedures, documentation and forms needed to correctly process clients through the COMPASS system. ClearPoint Credit Counseling Services: The course also outlines the various services made available to the clients through ClearPoint, a credit counseling agency. These services include: confidential help with managing budgets, debt, and preventing foreclosure; online financial literacy courses on a variety of topics; and online counseling in English or Spanish. Conference Support Center Resources: Additionally, this class describes the various resources available to the clients within their Conferences and Districts, as well as ideas for organizing and distribution the information about these resources to Vincentians and the clients. SVdP Georgia Partnerships: Outlines the responsibilities of the CSC, the development and expansion of member friendships, as well as the ways in which the CSC can support the Conferences and their members in the areas of communication, documentation, advocacy, funding, Formation and the provision and distribution of services to the SVdP clients. The class also discusses ideas for improving the relationships in existing partnerships and developing new, productive partnerships in the future. When the problems they encounter are beyond their competence or capacity, Vincentians may contact State Agencies and other more specialized charitable organizations, provided that such action helps the Society in its struggle against injustice and respects the spirit of the Society. (The Rule Part I: 6.7 Relationships with state agencies and other charities) Neither race, creed, church attendance, lifestyle nor income should automatically qualify or disqualify anyone for assistance. It is important not to create dependencies in the people we help Vincentian support frequently takes the form of encouragement and realistic planning, building upon the strengths we find in the struggling individual or family. (Manual, Conference Policies in Giving Material Relief p.27) 6

7 Title: Navigating the Benefits Maze & Earned Benefits Status: Suggested Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: Case Workers Department: Programs &Client Services Scheduling: Combined only This class will provide information about the various benefits clients could be eligible for, the proper ways to screen for this eligibility and the appropriate way to connect clients with these benefits. The necessary tools and procedures needed to accomplish this goal will be discussed. This class also goes into detail about the Earned Benefits Online Tool. The Earned Benefits Online Tool should only be used when SVdP has received the Earned Benefits grant. If unsure about the use of Earned Benefits to screen clients, ask your Family Support Center manager. For purposes of the Family Support Center, the benefit screener will only complete applications for Food Stamps and refer client to Lifeline/Linkup, WIC, and Free Tax Preparation Assistance if eligible. Vincentians endeavor to help the poor to help themselves whenever possible, and to be aware that they can forge and change their own destinies and that of their local community. (The Rule Part I: 1.10 Promotion of self-sufficiency) Members who personally encounter the needy individual or family are assumed to have a special insight into the best way to give help. Neither race, creed, church attendance, lifestyle, nor income should automatically qualify or disqualify anyone for assistance. It is important not to create dependencies in the people we help Vincentian support frequently takes the form of encouragement and realistic planning, building upon the strengths we find in the struggling individual or family. (Manual, Conference Policies in Giving Material Relief p.27) 7

8 Title: Grants & Fundraising Status: Suggested Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: All Vincentians Department: Development & Philanthropy Scheduling: Combined only This class outlines the basics of seeking out and securing grants, and the procedures and helpful tips behind successful fundraising. In order to prevent duplication and competition between grant applications from Conferences, all grant applications must be coordinated with the Georgia Council s Development office. It is essential that the Society continually promote the formation and training of its members and Officers, in order to deepen their knowledge of the Society and their spirituality, improve the sensitivity, quality and efficiency of their service to the poor and help them be aware of the benefits, resources and opportunities that are available for the poor. The Society also offers members higher training in order to better help to raise the cultural and social level of those who request this support. (The Rule Part I: 3.12 Formation of members) It s not for everyone, nor for just anyone, but being a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul being a Vincentian is for some A Vincentian attempts to put on the attitude of Jesus, who did not come to be served but to serve. Practical translation of faith into action, meditating upon it and adapting it to our changing world, is the very life of every Vincentian, the very life of the Society. (Manual, The Vincentian Vocation p.54) 8

9 Title: Invitation to Lead Status: Required within 3 months of office Duration: 3 hours Target Audience: Presidents & Vice Presidents Department: Vincentian Services Scheduling: Single only The class will cover the specific duties and responsibilities of the President and Vice President, such as regular attendance of Conference meetings, and the organizing and executing of plans for the Conference. Following Christ s example, the Presidents at all levels of the Society endeavor to be servant leaders. They provide an encouraging atmosphere in which the talents, capacities and spiritual charism of the members are identified, developed and put to the service of the poor and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The President of the Conference or Council will have special responsibility for promoting Vincentian spirituality. (The Rule Part I: 3.11 Presidents as servant leaders) Effective Conferences have competent leaders. The officers of the Conference handle their specific duties with whatever competence they have naturally or can cultivate. They work hard, but share with members the responsibility for decision-making and action. (Manual, Guidelines for Effective Conferences p.29) 9

10 Title: Invitation to Lead Status: Required within 3 months of office Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: Secretaries Department: Vincentian Services Scheduling: Single or combined In this class, participants will learn about the duties and responsibilities of being the Secretary, This course will cover the following topics: the importance of reviewing meeting minutes, maintaining annual reports, member training, national database entry, and fostering communication between the parish and Conference. It is essential that The Society continually promote the Formation and training of its members and officers, in order to deepen their knowledge of The Society and their spirituality, improve the sensitivity, quality and efficiency of their service to the poor and help them be aware of the benefits, resources and opportunities that are available for the poor. The Society also offers members higher training in order to better help to raise the cultural and social level of those who request this support. (The Rule Part I: 3.12 Formation of Members) Effective Conferences have competent leaders. The officers of the Conference handle their specific duties with whatever competence they have naturally or can cultivate. They work hard, but share with members the responsibility for decision-making and action. (Manual, Guidelines for Effective Conferences p.29) 10

11 Title: Invitation to Lead Status: Required within 3 months of office Duration: 3 hours Target Audience: Treasurers Department: Vincentian Services, Finance Scheduling: Single only In this class, participants will learn about the duties and responsibilities of being the Treasurer. This course will cover topics such as the importance of monthly reporting, recordkeeping and the maintenance of Conference finances in CMS and other essential duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer. It is essential that The Society continually promote the Formation and training of its members and officers, in order to deepen their knowledge of The Society and their spirituality, improve the sensitivity, quality and efficiency of their service to the poor and help them be aware of the benefits, resources and opportunities that are available for the poor. The Society also offers members higher training in order to better help to raise the cultural and social level of those who request this support. (The Rule Part I: 3.12 Formation of Members) Effective Conferences have competent leaders. The officers of the Conference handle their specific duties with whatever competence they have naturally or can cultivate. They work hard, but share with members the responsibility for decision-making and action. (Manual, Guidelines for Effective Conferences p.29) 11

12 Title: Invitation to Lead Status: Required within 3 months of office Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: Spiritual Advisors Department: Vincentian Services Scheduling: Single or combined Good Spiritual Advisors are needed to help the Society be true to its founding spirituality. This class will provide Vincentians with the needed information to best fulfill their role as Spiritual Advisor. This course will cover topics such as enabling members to better understand the meaning of charity and its practical application toward those in need, and assisting with the development of their Vincentian spiritual life. Members of the Society are united in the same spirit of poverty and of sharing. They encourage one another to live a profound spiritual life and spirit of prayer. For this purpose, the role of a Spiritual Advisor is very important. (The Rule Part I: 3.13 The spirit of poverty and encouragement) The Spiritual Advisor assumes responsibility for the spiritual growth, development, and life of either a Council or a Conference with full knowledge of and dedication to the mission and ministry of the Society. (Manual, Spiritual Advisors, 48) 12

13 Title: Invitation to Serve: Existing Conferences Status: Suggested Duration: 3-5 hours over a period of time Target Audience: Parishioners Department: Vincentian Services Scheduling: As requested This is a formation opportunity where participants experience a simple yet thorough program that encourages people to join in the good work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. More event than course, the Invitation to Serve involves a series of activities, such as presentations and new candidate events for the purpose of providing information and support to those who feel the calling to serve with the Society. The Society is open to all those who seek to live their faith loving and committing themselves to their neighbor in need. (The Rule Part I: 3.1 Membership) The Conference as a whole, and members individually, should encourage recruitment of new Active (Full), Associate, and Contributing members. Participation in special parish days to acquaint parishioners with parish organizations can be effective, with literature and photographs used to showcase the work of the Society and the Conference s various projects. One-on-one personal recruitment works best. Conferences and Councils should take advantage of the effective recruitment model Invitation to Serve, available from the National Council of the United States. The local Conference must maintain a welcoming environment, so that men and women of all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities can work together and share their Christian values. (Manual, Recruitment p. 28) 13

14 Title: Invitation to Serve: New Conference Status: Suggested Duration: 1 year Target Audience: Parishes Department: Vincentian Services Scheduling: As requested A period of discernment wherein a parish begins the process of learning about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul through pulpit reflections, Ozanam Orientation, Invitations to Lead, officer training, etc. in order to establish a new Conference. The Vincentian Services team along with guest speakers, Vincentians and the pastor, collaborate to share details about the work of The Society and discern the Holy Spirit s calling to serve the poor by starting a Conference. The Society is open to all those who seek to live their faith loving and committing themselves to their neighbor in need. (The Rule Part I: 3.1 Membership) The Conference as a whole, and members individually, should encourage recruitment of new Active (Full), Associate, and Contributing members. Participation in special parish days to acquaint parishioners with parish organizations can be effective, with literature and photographs used to showcase the work of the Society and the Conference s various projects. One-on-one personal recruitment works best. Conferences and Councils should take advantage of the effective recruitment model Invitation to Serve, available from the National Council of the United States. The local Conference must maintain a welcoming environment, so that men and women of all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities can work together and share their Christian values. (Manual, Recruitment p. 28) 14

15 Title: Invitation for Renewal Status: Suggested Duration: 5 days Target Audience: All Vincentians Department: National Council Office Scheduling: Annually The Invitation for Renewal is a leadership formation program for current and emerging Vincentian leaders. Invitation for Renewal is intended to help the Society return to its roots to better understand its mission and values. It also develops and strengthens leaders to move the Society forward in ways that are true to both our spiritual foundation and the needs of those who are poor today. This week-long course is an opportunity for leaders to share hopes, concerns and ideas for the Society with other Vincentian leaders to gain a deeper love and appreciation of the Society; understand how the Society grows and changes, how the Council grows and changes, and your role as a Vincentian leader; and feel inspired to return home and renew the spirit of your Council, your Conferences and your Special Works. Interested Vincentians/Conferences/Districts should contact the Conference Support Center or ) to learn more about registration and payment. Faithful to the spirit of its founders, the Society constantly strives for renewal, adapting to changing world conditions. It seeks to be ever aware of the changes that occur in human society and the new types of poverty that may be identified or anticipated. It gives priority to the poorest of the poor and to those who are most rejected by society. (The Rule Part I: 1.6 Adaptation to a Changing World) Indeed, membership in the Society involves lifelong formation. Effective membership requires a kind and loving heart, formed in the Vincentian spirit. Initial formation for new members is provided informally by the local Conference. (Manual, Formation of Members p. 20) 15

16 Title: Voice of the Poor Status: Suggested Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: All Vincentians Department: Voice of the Poor Scheduling: Single or combined The Voice of the Poor is the advocacy element of St. Vincent de Paul Society, and as such, the class will provide details about the procedures and actions expected and required in fulfilling the duties and responsibilities associated with the Voice of the Poor work. With members representing every section and demographic of the nation, the course identifies those issues that are critical to those living in poverty and need, and help bring attention to them so communities and our elected representatives can help develop strategies and tactics that will provide the most effective and efficient means to reduce or eliminate poverty. Every Vincentian needs to understand the Society s priorities and motivation in advocating for the poor. The Voice of the Poor, a national committee of the Society, upholds Catholic Social teaching by researching, validating, documenting, advocating, and promulgating issues related to the condition of the poor and disenfranchised. (Manual, Services to Promote Social Justice, p. 26) The distinctive approach of Vincentians to issues of social justice is to see them from the perspective of those we visit who suffer from injustice. (The Rule Part I: 7.4 The practical Vincentian approach to social justice) The Society helps the poor and disadvantaged speak for themselves. When they cannot, the Society must speak on behalf of those who are ignored. (The Rule Part I: 7.5 A voice for the voiceless) Where injustice, inequality, poverty or exclusion are due to unjust economic, political or social structures or to inadequate or unjust legislation, the Society should speak out clearly against the situation, always with charity, with the aim of contributing to and demanding improvements. (The Rule Part I: 7.6 Facing the structures of sin) 16

17 Title: Catholic Social Teaching Status: Suggested Duration: 1.5 hours Target Audience: All Vincentians Department: Vincentian Services and the Archdiocese of Atlanta Scheduling: Single or combined In this class, participants will learn more about the seven themes of justice taught by the Magisterium since Pope Leo XIII and his 1891 encyclical letter, Rerum Novarum, and discuss what Catholics can do to bring social justice to life in their communities. The seven themes are as follows: Sanctity of human life and dignity of the person; Call to family, community, and participation and the pursuit of the Common Good; Rights and responsibilities, social justice; Preferential option for the poor and vulnerable; Dignity of work; Solidarity and the universal destiny of the goods of the Earth; and Care for God s Creation. Vincentians envision a more just society in which the rights, responsibilities and development of all people are promoted. As citizens of one world, Vincentians listen to the voice of the Church which demands their participation in creating a more equitable and compassionate social order, promoting the culture of life and the civilization of love. In this way, the Society shares the Church s mission to evangelize the world through visible witness, in both actions and words. (The Rule Part I: 7.2 A Vision of the civilization of love) The Society s vision goes beyond the immediate future, looking towards sustainable development and protection of the environment for the benefit of future generations. (The Rule Part I: 7.3 Vision of the future) In imitation of their founder, Frederic Ozanam, Vincentian men and women are ready to take their place in the third millennium. They are comforted, inspired, and animated by their spirituality and by their vocation to be agents of mercy. They are ready to collaborate, for greater effectiveness in their service to the poor, with the broader Vincentian Family throughout the world. They look confidently to the future. (Manual, Vincentian Call to Action p. 105) 17

18 Title: Safe Child Environment Status: Required within first 3 months of service. Duration: 3 hours Target Audience: All Vincentians Department: Vincentian Services and Children s Healthcare of Atlanta Scheduling: Single only It is a high priority of SVdP to ensure the safety of all its clients and volunteers, regardless of age. To that end, SVdP supports and is in compliance with the rules and regulations regarding the prevention and reporting of suspected and actual physical and sexual abuse of a minor child. This course covers topics which include the many resources available for those needing information about how to recognize, prevent and report suspected or actual incidences of Child Abuse. This class goes into great detail via training videos and PowerPoint presentations regarding the proper procedures and contacts in addressing this serious issue. The Society should work not only with individuals in need but also with families and communities. It can help an excluded or deprived local community to develop a sense of responsibility and solidarity which leads it to improve its economic, social or environmental well-being, always retaining the personal contact of members with those who suffer. (The Rule Part I: 7.9 Working with communities) Effective Conferences have members committed to Formation. They read, study, attend lectures and courses, and participate in training sessions organized by their District Council in order to learn more about helping people and solving problems. (Manual, Guidelines for Effective Conferences p. 29) 18

19 Title: Home Visitor Training (to succeed Ozanam Orientation, see p. 5) Status: Required Duration: 3 hours Target Audience: All Vincentians Department: Vincentian Services Scheduling: Single only The Home Visit is a very important part of SVdP s work with its clients. There are specific procedures and guidelines to adhere to as a Home Visitor. In this class, Vincentians will become familiar with the proper way to conduct a Home Visit, from safety protocol to documentation. The Home Visitor training is based primarily on the SVdP Home Visitor Training Video, and the training is interactive and informative. Beginner Level This course will focus on the basics of what is required to be a Home Visitor, from the appropriate attitudes to have when conducting a home visit to the proper procedures and documentation necessary to initiate, conduct and conclude the home visit. Intermediate Level This course will act as a refresher for those who have already been trained as Home Visitors. The class will also discuss important and pertinent topics related to Home Visits, such as what to do when your Home Visit involves a fellow parishioner as the client, learning more about resources and agencies that could help the Home Visitors clients, etc. The course will provide experienced Home Visitors with an opportunity to take what they already know and expand it to new or recurring issues in Home Visits. Vincentians serve the poor cheerfully, listening to them and respecting their wishes, helping them to feel and recover their own dignity, for we are all created in God s image. In the poor, they see the suffering Christ. (The Rule Part I: 1.8 Reverence for the poor) Vincentians endeavor to help the poor to help themselves whenever possible, and to be aware that they can forge and change their own destinies and that of their local community. (The Rule Part I: 1.10 Promotion of self-sufficiency) From the Society s beginnings, the central and most basic activity of Conferences has been the visitation of the needy in their homes. This is the clearest symbol of our Vincentian charism, which dictates the highest respect for dignity of the poor. It symbolizes our Vincentian commitment to reach out to the needy, rather than require them to report to an outside service site. In the home, needy persons feel most free to confide their stories of struggle. In that family setting, Vincentians are asked to listen, offer humble advice, and render assistance. (Manual, Home Visits, p.23) 19

20 Title: CMS: Conference Administrator Status: Required Duration: 3 hours Target Audience: Officers Department: Technology Scheduling: Single only This course provides a summary of what CMS is and how it is to be used in working with clients via Case Management. The class details the step by step instructions for navigating the system and how to access the required information for case file creation and updates. The class will also include any relevant updates or changes to the system or the operation of the system. Each Conference and Council must, at all times, maintain accurate records and submit an annual report. (Statute 22: Conference and Council Annual Review) We live today in a time of increasing scrutiny. With our Councils and Conferences serving millions throughout the United States, it is imperative that we demonstrate good stewardship by providing accurate, timely information to our Church, our donors, and the general public. Good recordkeeping is an essential part of Vincentian activity, beginning at the Conference level. While the actual recording of information is the responsibility of the Conference Secretary, all members should keep written records of their Vincentian activities. (Manual, Reporting Procedures and Forms p.30-31) 20

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