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Safeguarding Children

Author(s): N/A

ISBN13: 9781847301895

ISBN10: 1847301894

Publisher: Veritas

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  • Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland
    By NBSCCC

    Our Children of Church (OCOC) was launched I December 2005 following its endorsement by the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference, CORI and the Irish Missionary Union. A core recommendation of OCOC was the establishment of a National Board for Safeguarding Children.

    A key responsibility of this Board is to assist those implementing safeguarding policy and procedures throughout the Church in Ireland to achieve a consistent and up-to-date standard of best practice.

    The Board has found that over the years most diocese and religious orders have produced and implemented their own policies and procedures, largely in isolation from each other. The result is a multiplicity of guidance that contains different interpretations of what represents best practice for the Church.

    This publication seeks to address this situation by reiterating and developing further the core principles outlined in OCOC. These principles are drawn from Gospel values, mirrored in civil legislation and policy, and apply across both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.

    From these core principles are drawn seven Standards that represent best practice in the area of safeguarding and protecting children.

    The intention of this publication is to provide a practical mechanism by which everyone in the Church in Ireland can reach a uniform standard of best practice in safeguarding based on the core principles established in OCOC.

    It is important to note that this document involved some amendments to the structures and processes outlined in OCOC.

    The Board therefore suggests that this publication , Safeguarding Children , now becomes the first and only necessary point of reference for all those with responsibility for implementing the Churchs safeguarding policy and procedures across both jurisdictions in Ireland.

    Where aspects of OCOC have not yet been developed in this document, these will be considered in due course and presented in the form of supplementary material.
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    Provision of safeguarding guidance in a child friendly format;

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  • STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL BOARD FOR SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    `Our Children, Our Church: Child Protection Policies and Procedures for the Catholic Church in Ireland (hereafter, OCOC) was launched in December 2005 following its endorsement by the Irish Bishops Conference, the Conference of Religious of Ireland and the Irish Missionary Union, (the `Sponsoring Bodies). A core recommendation of OCOC was the establishment of a National Board for Safeguarding Children and a National Office to implement the Boards decisions and policies. The authority of the National Board, including its responsibility to make recommendations as to best practice, derives from its specific functions agreed with the Sponsoring Bodies.

    A key responsibility of the National Board is to assist those implementing safeguarding policy and procedures throughout the Church in Ireland to achieve a consistent and up-to-date standard of best practice.

    In seeking to do this the members of the National Board are aware of the immense progress already made over recent years in developing a more effective and accountable safeguarding environment for children across many Irish dioceses and religious congregations. We are also aware of the great wealth of experience and commitment that exists among the trained volunteers and paid staff who already work for the Church in this area. We realise that building an effective and ongoing partnership with all of you is essential to the success of the National Boards efforts to monitor and develop the Churchs safeguarding policy and practice. It is hoped the publication of this Standards and Guidance document will strengthen that collaboration and provide an opportunity for those already engaged in this vital work in parishes, dioceses, religious congregations or other Church organisations to become more familiar with the work of the National Board and the support available through the National Office for Safeguarding Children.

    One of the key findings of the Board to date is that over the years most dioceses and religious orders have produced and implemented their own policies and procedures, largely in isolation from each other. The result is a multiplicity of guidance which contains different interpretations of what represents best practice for the Church.

    The Standards and Guidance document seeks to address this situation by reiterating and developing further the core principles outlined in OCOC. These principles are drawn from Gospel values, mirrored in civil legislation and policy, and apply across both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.
    From these core principles are drawn seven `Standards that represent, in our view, best practice in the area of safeguarding and protecting children. For each standard we have listed practical criteria by which performance in achieving each safeguarding standard can be measured.

    The intention of this document is to provide a practical mechanism by which everyone in the Church in Ireland can reach a uniform standard of best practice in safeguarding based on the core principles established in OCOC.

    To achieve this uniform standard the document contains a self audit tool designed to enable those with responsibility for safeguarding children in the Church to identify areas of strength and weakness in current policy and practice. Our hope and expectation is that upon receiving this document each diocese, religious order and Church organisation will immediately review its policies and procedures using this tool. If deficits are identified, support in addressing these is available through the Office of the National Board for Safeguarding Children. The National Board also has the expectation that each diocese, religious order or other relevant Church organisation will seek advice from the National Office in advance of publishing any child safeguarding policy or procedures or any update of existing policies. For the Church in Ireland to achieve a uniform standard of best practice it is vital that the Board is kept informed of all policy and practice being developed in this area.

    It is also important to note that this document involves some amendments to the structures and processes outlined in OCOC. These have been made by the Board in light of developments in best practice in safeguarding children. The Board therefore suggests that for all practical purposes this Standards and Guidance document now becomes the first and only necessary point of reference for all those with responsibility for implementing the Churchs safeguarding policy and procedures across both jurisdictions in Ireland. Where aspects of OCOC have not yet been developed in this document, these will be considered in due course and presented in the form of supplementary material.
    As this document is fully compliant with child protection legislation in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, it does not a stand alone but incorporates and complements the best practice and guidance provided in the two statutory policy documents `Children First and `Cooperating to Safeguard Children.
    We are aware that some Church organisations come under the direct responsibility of government departments which already have procedures for reporting allegations and suspicions of child abuse. Where such procedures exist, they should continue to be followed.
    The safeguarding of children is the responsibility of everyone in the Church whether clergy, religious or lay faithful. This document now becomes the definitive reference for all those involved in the safeguarding of children within the Church across the island of Ireland. Over the coming months, additional issues will be addressed by the Board and guidance provided to supplement this document as appendices. Examples include:
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Safeguarding Children