Content of the Programme
The E-Learning curriculum consists of six modules and two ongoing modules of 27 learning units (see figure below) which on the one hand have a knowledge-based content in the form of texts, graphics and pictures, and on the other hand encourage in-depth, practice-oriented exercises through interactive as well as visual and aural elements. Per module, three to four learning units of approx. 40 to 50 minute's length are planned. The structure of each module is based upon the process of detection of cases of abuse. The modules fit together chronologically, and regarding the content. Working with the modules in ascending order is recommended.
The E-Learning programme will combine systemic, knowledge-based learning with casebased, experience-based learning. Furthermore, evaluation strategies will test whether the outcome of a blended learning concept (E-Learning and face-to-face instruction) differs from that of a purely E-Learning-based programme. Its learning objectives include skills development in relationship work with children and adolescents, knowledge of warning signals of sexual abuse and children's living conditions, knowledge of the legal basis, and skills development in dealing with affected children. Additionally, an emphasis will be placed on the ongoing module self-reflection, which incorporates ideas of shelter, boundary-transgressing behaviour, cognisance, mental hygiene and partiality.
In module 1 “General”, basic principles will be learned along with an overall view of the historical development of the topic. This module will also include a learning unit dealing with basic terminology. The concept of an E-Learning portal is also to provide the legal framework in two parallel blocks, as well as to generate ongoing self-reflection. Introductory to this, two further basic texts to introduce the parallel blocks are part of module 1.
Module 2 "Theological aspects" will specifically target knowledge needed in the pastoral professions of the Catholic Church emphasising for instance the cultural and theological diversity of the church in a worldwide context and the respective adaptation of the E-Learning approach. Moreover, for understanding sexual abuse in the Catholic Church the understanding of sexuality in this specific context needs to be addressed and the canon law as a basis will be discussed. The issue of the confessional secret will likewise be included.
In module 3 "Risks", one learning unit deals with the normal and pathological development of children. In two further units the risk factors for sexual abuse will be the main issues, on the one hand in relation to the victim and the offender, and on the other hand in relation to the context of the family and institutional contexts.
Identification and Reaction:
The module 4 “Identification and Reaction” deals with the issues of conspicuous signs, dealing with situations where abuse is suspected, conversation techniques and statements, documentation and immediate help. This module is strongly practice-oriented and provides support with concrete action in cases on sexual abuse through the construction of examples and decision trees.
Intervention and Rehabilitation:
In module 5 "Intervention and Rehabilitation", assistance in dealing with affected children and children's contact persons is provided. At the same time the interaction of various institutions involved in child protection is discussed. The learning unit quality management in institutions deals with organisational development for the prevention of sexual abuse in institutions, for example with opportunities for complaint management. Furthermore, prevention measures will be discussed and their effect scrutinised critically, including sexual education measures and ways of dealing with sexualised media content.
In Module 6 "Specific contexts" one unit will deal with sexual assaults among peers and sexual abuse of children and adolescents with a disability. Especially important within the Church as a worldwide organization, cultural factors of sexual abuse will be addressed.
Ongoing module Self-Reflection:
The ongoing module "Self-Reflection" should offer participants the chance to deal emotionally with the contents of the individual modules using particular key words as, for example, "boundary-transgressing behaviour" or "mental hygiene", and thus to reflect upon their own position and to evaluate burdensome contents.